Schlumbergera gaertneri


Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri
Epiphyllopsis gaertneri var. serrata
Epiphyllopsis gaertneri var. tiburtii
Epiphyllum gaertneri
Epiphyllum makoyanum
Epiphyllum russellianum var. gaertneri
Hatiora gaertneri
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri var. tiburtii
Rhipsalidopsis serrata
Rhipsalis gaertneri


Schlumbergera gaertneri is native to Brazil South where the plant grows as an epiphyte in Atlantic forest. The cactus can spread up to 1,300 of altitude.


Schlumbergera gaertneri is a very common ornamental cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant is an epiphyte, so in nature it can grow upon other plants or tress. The cactus has an erect habit at first and a falling habit later and can reach up to 40 cm in diameter. The plant branches from the base and the stems are arranged in segments. The segments are flat, pale green to bright green, oblong to elliptic and with toothed margins. The areoles are woolly, apically, white and with yellowish bristles and bear very small golden spines. Blooming occurs from late winter to early spring and the blossoms are borne at the top of the stem segments. The flowers are funnel-shaped, large, ranging in color from dark scarlet to orange to white and the stamens are creamy white to yellow. The fruits are oblong, depressed at the apex, dull red in color. Also known as Easter Cactus Schlumbergera gaertneri is perfect like a gift or to decorate your home and give color and beauty to your office.


This is a fast growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a bright exposure, indirect sun-light, this will help development of flower buds. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. The succulent can tolerate temperatures to 45° C, and short periods of frost, but prolonged cold under 8 °C will damage the plant. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 12 and 15 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. The pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly during the vegetative period. During the vegetative period you can water the plant every 5 days with half a glass of water, checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant twice a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil; it is usually done every 3-4 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs. Once flower buds have formed, do not move the plant, as slight changes in environment may cause the buds to drop.


The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use leaf cuttings, but also seeds and grafting is possible. For leaf cutting you can cut some healthy leaves and plant it in a pot with sand and loam. Place the pot in a warm and bright environment and in 1-2 months the cuttings will be ready to plant. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 18-21 C° for 14-28 days. By grafting Acanthocereus pentagon can be used as rootstock. Make the cut as close to the growing tip as possible, then chose a stock with a diameter similar to that of the scion. After the cut, wash away the latex until it no longer remains. Bring the scion closer to the stock and held together with elastic bands. The plants should be left in an airy and shady place for 7-10 days before the bands are removed.


Its name was chosen in honor of the botanist Schlumberger; it is a really unusual cactus, with flattened, succulent stems and an epiphytic habit.

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