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Christmas Cactus
Discover the Christmas custom, story, myth and legend associated with the Christmas Cactus. This festive tradition and Christmas custom, with its familiar symbol and meaning, has evolved over time. But what is the history, meaning and origin of the Christmas Cactus? This article provides facts and information about the history of the Christmas Cactus as a familiar symbol, tradition and Christmas custom.  

The Christmas Custom, Origin and History of the Cactus
Some origins date back to the pagan traditions and customs of the ancients. Other symbols, customs and traditions have specific religious significance to the Christian religion and the Nativity of Jesus Christ. And finally there are many new, non-religious customs which have emerged
due to increased prosperity and the commercialism of the festival in the modern world. The Christmas Custom of giving a Xmas cactus plant as a gift is a relatively modern notion due to cactus blooming at this time of the year, it has no religious symbolism.

What is another name for a Christmas Cactus?
What is another name for a Xmas cactus plant? Schlumbergera is the correct botanical name but they are also called Zygocactus which was their former botanical name. The original Xmas cactus was developed by a French botanist named Charles Lemaire and named after French horticulturist called Frederic Schlumberger. They are called Flor de maio (May Flower) in Brazil. Other names for the Xmas Cactus are Epiphyllum altensteinii, Schlumbergera truncata, Zygocactus truncatus, Epiphyllum bridgesii, Epiphyllum truncatum, Zygocactus bridgesii, Epiphyllum delicatum, Schlumbergera truncata, Zygocactus delicatus, Epiphyllum ruckeri, Epiphyllum ruckerianum, Cactus truncatus and Epiphyllum truncatum.

Origin of the Christmas Cactus
The Christmas Cactus were originally forest cactus which grew in southeast Brazil, South America. The grew as an  epiphyte which is a plant that derives moisture and nutrients from the air and rain. It usually grows on another plant but not parasitic on it.

Christmas Cactus Confusion!
The name of the Xmas Cactus causes some confusion regarding the plant. The word 'cactus' is generally associated with a desert plant which are heat tolerant and does not require much water. The Christmas Cactus is a tropical plant which needs appropriate care and maintenance. Xmas cactus keep their blossoms longer in cooler temperatures and require watering when the the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Christmas Cactus Care
Tips and helpful hints in relation to Christmas Cactus care are as follows:

  • Care Tip 1 - Keep the plant in a well-lit, sunny location

  • Care Tip 2 - Ensure the plant is in well-drained soil

  • Care Tip 3 - The cactus plant should be shielded from hot air from heat vents, fireplaces etc.

    • Exposure to direct hot air will cause the flower buds to drop from the plant before they have a chance to fully open

  • Care Tip 4 - The blooms will drop if the plant is kept too dry or over-watered. Water the Christmas Cactus plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch

  • Care Tip 5 - Plant Food - Use a blooming houseplant type of fertilizer

  • Care Tip 6 - Xmas Cactus plants can be moved outdoors in the summer but should be kept out of direct sunlight which will burn the leaves

  • Care Tip 7 - Pruning a Xmas cactus plant after blooming will encourage the plant to branch out

How to make Christmas Cactus bloom?
How to make Christmas Cactus bloom? A Christmas Cactus will bloom if care is taken regarding temperature and lighting. When subjected to cool temperature of 50 - 55F the plant will bloom. If this is not possible subject the plant to lighting treatments.
Christmas cactus will bloom if given long uninterrupted dark periods at night. Place the Christmas Cactus plant in a dark closet or cupboard every night for about 12 hours. After a period of 6-8 weeks the buds will start forming. Christmas cactus will bloom for the Christmas holidays if cool or light treatments are started by early November.

Christmas Cactus
Christmas is celebrated worldwide, throughout the Christian population of approximately 2275 million people, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. A Christmas custom or tradition is symbolized by a familiar symbol or icon, such as the Christmas Cactus,  have come to represent the spirit and meaning of this special time of the year.

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

  • Christmas Cactus
  • The history, meaning and origin of this familiar symbol
  • How to make Xmas Cactus bloom?
  • Xmas Cactus Care
  • Origin of the Xmas Cactus
  • Custom, Origin and History of the Cactus
  • Meaning and origin of this traditional Christmas custom
  • Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"

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