Flower Decembrist classified as forest cacti. Received the name due to the fact that it blooms in December, on New Year's Eve. Because of this, he gained considerable popularity around the world. Beautiful flowers of this unpretentious plant are an amazing decoration in the winter on the windows.
Description of a tropical plant
The Decembrist is an epiphytic cactus. It grows best not in the ground, but on another plant, feeding on moisture from the bark. But in the indoor environment it is still usually grown in simple ground. Stems branched, flat, consist of a large number of individual segments (leaflets), which have cloves at the edges. He has no spines, unlike cacti.Interesting! The Decembrist has other names: Rozhdestvennik, Schlumbergera zigokaktus, Varvarin color, cancer neck.
Flowering occurs at a time when most other plants are in a resting phase. Although it is believed that it can bloom 2-3 times a year, with proper care, but one of these blooms always falls in December. In its homeland (in Brazil) it blooms in summer, not in winter. But summer in Brazil falls in winter in Eastern Europe and Asia, which causes an interesting flowering period. In nature, flowers have a white or red color. But thanks to the work of breeders, many indoor varieties were obtained with buds of a wide variety of shades.
Photo of the blooming Schlumbergera
In their natural environment, they grow in tropical forests with an abundance of moisture, high temperatures and a shortage of soil. In order for the plant to grow in indoor conditions without problems and difficulties, it needs to ensure as many similar conditions as possible, then the Decembrist flower will grow healthy and beautiful for at least 25 years.
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There are several varieties of plants. Each has its own peculiarities. Below are the most popular indoor species.
- Decembrist Russellian possesses stems up to 80 cm in length. Segments are flat, dark green. Each segment, large, as a separate leaf. The flowers are large with pointed edges.
- Flower Decembrist Gertner has a large size. The leaves are dense, fleshy, grow up to 7 cm. The flowers are large with elongated petals and hanging stamens. Color depends on the variety.
- Decembrist truncated differs in light green segments in stalks. Flowers are large, well distinguishable at the ends of the stems. The color of the buds is white, purple or pink. After flowering gives the fruit red.
- Decembrist Bookley grows up to 50 cm tall. Stems glossy and dense, dark green color. Flowers are multi-tiered, tubular, quite large, reaching a length of 8 cm. The color varies from white to violet. Flowering falls from November to March.
Photo of a blooming Decembrist (Rozhdestvennik, Schlumberger)
How to care for the Decembrist at home?
Like cacti, the Decembrist flower is an unpretentious indoor plant. There are practically no problems with it, and even with minimal care it will develop well, only flowering will occur rarely and not for long. And yet, how to properly care for the flower Schlumbergera at home?
- The location of the pot should be away from direct sunlight. This may be the north window, the middle of the room, the open top shelf of the cabinet, the shelf where there is not a lot of light. But this does not mean that there should be no light at all. Without light, this plant does not bloom. So the lighting should be sufficient, but without direct, burning sunlight.
- For temperature is tolerated. Zigokaktus normally feels at + 5 ... +37 degrees Celsius, and yet the temperatures within + 18 ... +25 degrees are optimal for rapid growth and flowering. In the natural environment (in tropical forests), temperature fluctuations and climatic changes occur very rarely, therefore, in room conditions, the plant does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature or humidity.
- Moisture is very important. Watering is carried out as the topsoil dries. If the earth is in a dry state for a long time, the Decembrist flower will dry quickly and most likely will not recover. In the case when after watering a lot of water remains in the pan, it is necessary to drain it, as the development of diseases or root rot can begin. Water for irrigation is taken at room temperature.
- Spraying flower Decembrist is carried out in the summer, when it is hot. This cactus is very fond of moisture, so the sprinkling response to improving color and growth. In winter, the plant is never sprayed!
- Top dressing is carried out from June to October - this is the period of the most active growth. Fertilizers are used for zigokaktus or cacti. During flowering and during the rest of the winter months, the plant does not need any additional feeding.
- After flowering, it is recommended to pinch the shoots so that they develop better in the future. To do this, you need to pinch the penultimate segment and unscrew the last one. Such a wound will heal very quickly, but when cutting, the Zygocactus of Schlumberberger recovers long.
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As you can see, home care for this plant is not problematic. How about a transplant? A pot for transplanting is always taken a little more if the culture has grown. The main thing that the plant was comfortable in a new place! The shape of the pot is wide, the height is small. The root system of the plant is not strongly developed, therefore, as a rule, it is grown in low containers.
The Decembrist flower prefers a light, loose substrate. You can buy it (soil for zigokaktus) or you can make it yourself from 2 parts of peat, 1 part of fertile land and 1 part of coarse sand.
Before planting, you need to release the plant from the previous pot and try on a new one (it should fit well). After that, the bottom of the new pot is laid drainage. You can buy it at the store or use brick chips, pebbles or similar material. On top of the drainage, the prepared soil is strewed. When the place for planting is ready comes the time to prepare the plant. From its roots the old earth is picked, the roots themselves are examined on diseases, wounds.Important! If a part of the root looks sick, you should try to separate it (if you can remove it) and sanitize the injury site, and only then plant it in a new soil. It should be understood that such a plant may die, because root diseases are always a big risk for plants.
When the plant is ready for planting, it is placed in the middle of the pot (or where it is needed), the roots are straightened and gradually covered with earth. At the end, you need to water the Decembrist in a pot, and when the earth sits down to fill the missing amount.
How to reproduce the flower Decembrist?
Flower Decembrist reproduces elementary. In order to get a new plant, it is necessary to separate a few extreme segments by simply pinching them with your fingers (without cutting them off). The resulting cuttings are dried in air for 2-3 days, and then rooted in moist soil. To make the cuttings quicker, they are covered with plastic wrap (bag) and placed in the shade at a temperature of + 15 ... +20 degrees. Watering is carried out as the soil dries.Important! If you plant 3-7 cuttings in one pot at once, you can get a new, lush bush in a few months.
Possible diseases and problems in growing
When growing any plant, sooner or later these or other problems arise. And in order to quickly cope with them, it is necessary to understand the reason and how to solve it. The main diseases of the flower Decembrist and treatment methods:
- If the stem segments began to turn yellow or crumble, then most likely the flower is in a sunny place. But the sun is very harmful for Schlumberger zigokaktus. It needs to be moved to a shade or a darkened place and after 3-4 days you can see improvements.
- When the plant does not bloom at all and even skips the winter bloom (mandatory in this case), you need to do something. The easiest way - to arrange unusual conditions for him - to move to a cool room, do not fertilize and practically do not water. This is done from September to November. Young shoots may start to wither, but this is normal. The plant receives a signal that it is necessary to plant buds and by the middle of December gives flowers.
Photo of healthy flowers Dekabrista
- When a plant is damaged by a shield, brown specks appear on the segments. To combat the pest need to use insecticides for indoor plants: "Forte", "Agricola" and the like.
- Sometimes the plant is affected by fungal and bacterial diseases. They will help special drugs sold in any flower shop: "Alirin", "Master", "Pokon" and others.
- Sluggish, pale stems (segments) - a sign of bright light.
- If you need to extend flowering and get brighter Dekabrista flowers, then you just need to make sure that the temperature in the room does not exceed +18 degrees during the budding period.
- The plant throws off buds or extreme segments when it is improperly watered. Note that if there is a lot of water in the pan or the ground is too dry, then this is a normal culture reaction.