A tropical Schlumberger plant can often be found on the windows of houses. It is very popular among flower growers because of its beautiful flowers that appear in December. Therefore, the people still call him the Decembrist or the Christmas tree, and his scientific name is zygocactus. Belongs to epiphyte cacti. At home, in the forests of South America, grows on trees, sprawling from the central bush to the sides.
Unlike all cacti, the Decembrist has no thorns, belongs to hygrophilous plants and does not need abundant lighting. Rozhdestvennik has flattened branches consisting of segments at the tip of which buds appear. They can have a variety of colors: from cream and light pink to dark red. But the most popular zygocactus with raspberry flowers. The root system of the plant is rather weak, but has the ability to quickly restore and form complete roots.
The time for breeding Schlumbergera does not matter, it takes root equally well both in the warm season and in the cold. Although many flower growers recommend propagating this houseplant in the second half of February, after the end of the flowering period. For spring trimming, cut pieces can also be used to grow new flowers.
The air temperature in the room should be kept at + 17–20 degrees. At lower temperatures, cuttings can decay, and in the heat - dry out.
Humidity should not be high, otherwise the petiole will rot.
To avoid this, the prepared shoots are dried on a newspaper for 48 hours. During this time, microcracks that arose after unscrewing have time to tighten.
Pot and soil requirements
The capacity for planting sprouts needs to be taken small, plastic cups are well suited. Such a volume of seedlings will be enough for a year of growth for the normal formation of the root system. Then it can be planted in a new pot, somewhat larger than before. In a tank too large, the plant will begin to rot. The pot for the Decembrist must, without fail, have holes at the bottom for water drainage.
You can plant a Christmas tree in a ready-made purchased substrate for cacti or cook it yourself, in compliance with the proportions of all the components:
There are several ways to breed a plant at home :
Breeding a Decembrist with a leaf makes it possible to preserve all species qualities in a new plant. The optimal time for cuttings by many flower growers consider the beginning of spring, when the plant fades and is in the growing season. Then there is a more active rooting. Although cuttings taken at other times of the year also take root well.
The number of leaf segments on the sprout does not affect the quality of rooting: you can plant cuttings consisting of one or two sections, or long shoots obtained during the formation.
The only thing is that elongated shoots require the establishment of support when rooting in the soil. Otherwise, they will begin to bend, thereby damaging the already fragile roots.
Decembrist cuttings are carried out in two ways:
In both cases, you can get a positive result, observing certain rules. A prerequisite for the selection of cuttings is a completely healthy maternal bush. The layering itself must have an intact sheet plate, without any scratches and cracks, be tight to the touch.
If there are processes with small aerial roots, it is best to choose them.
The intended stem is gently unscrewed from the stem. Holding the twig with one hand, gently scroll the appendix clockwise with the other. Then it is placed on a newspaper or napkin and placed in a dark place to dry.
To propagate Decembrists by cuttings in the soil you need:
In a small pot or plastic cup, a layer of drainage is poured out by a third, on top is a prepared, well-moistened substrate. The sprout is planted to a depth of 5 mm. If the pot is large or it is planned to plant a lush bush, you can immediately plant several cuttings. Only one sprout is planted in small glasses.
To maintain the necessary humidity, the container must be covered with a bag or jar.
To accelerate the rooting process, you can use stimulants, in particular "Kornevin." Slices of cuttings are dipped into it before planting. The temperature in the room where the shoots take root should be kept at + 18–20 degrees, the lighting is diffuse. Every day you need to open the plant for about half an hour.
Watering the sprout is done when the upper ball of soil has dried up, with plenty of moisture they rot. Well suited for plants spraying with warm water. When growth points appear, the coating can be removed. Reproduction in this way lasts about a month
To root the Decembrists in water, you need plastic cups or small glass jars, as well as water that has been left standing for at least 24 hours. For this method, long cuttings are well suited, which are immersed in the liquid on one segment, topped up as necessary. The emergence of roots begins in about two weeks.
It is necessary to observe the state of the water: if it is cloudy, it should be poured, and the sprout should be placed in a clean one. If this is not done, the stalk will rot.
As in the previous method, to accelerate root formation in water, you can add a couple of drops of "Kornevin." A process with roots greater than 2 cm can be transplanted into the pot. The transplant process is optimally carried out by the transhipment method. In order not to injure still immature roots, the plant is planted together with a lump of earth. For transplantation you need a low capacity of small size.
Since the Decembrist has a superficial root system, he does not need a deep landing. The pot must have openings for draining water. The presence of drainage of at least a third of the pot is also a prerequisite for the proper growth of the Decembrist, in order to avoid the accumulation of moisture at the roots. Half of the substrate spills out on the drainage, it must be moistened, the plant, together with a lump of earth, moves into a new pot. The earth is filled up around the circumference and pressed down a little.
After that, the plant is left in the shade so that it adapts. At this time, it is advisable to change the watering by spraying with warm water. After about two weeks, the Decembrist can be exposed, but protected from direct sunlight. Cactus is very fond of fresh air, so a young plant can be put on a balcony in a shaded place.
In the case when the stem was rooted in a pot, the plant does not need to be disturbed for several months, until the roots appear in the drainage holes. This means that the roots of the flower have already filled the soil and a transplant is needed. The new tank is chosen in diameter 2 cm larger than the previous one.
Schlumbergera is very rarely bred, it’s mainly flower growers who like experiments. Opuntia is most often used as a rootstock, and a Decembrist stalk having three segments is taken for graft. The process of reproduction occurs step by step:
in prickly pear cut the upper part and make small incisions;
notches are also made at the end of the Decembrist stalk;
in the incision of the prickly pear, the stalk is fixed, fixing it with a medical plaster or bandage.
Until the plant takes root, you need to maintain the temperature in the room at + 18 degrees and shade it from direct sunlight. Lighting should be moderate and diffuse. Emerging lateral shoots on prickly pears must be removed so that the plant spends all its strength on germination of the scion. With the advent of new segments, the bandage is removed. Due to propagation in this way, the Decembrist bush acquires the trunk, and the drooping branches of the plant look even more beautiful.
Zygocactus is propagated by seeds mainly by breeders, in this way new colors of flowers are obtained. Pollination of the Decembrist occurs only in a cross way, therefore, during flowering, there should be at least 2-3 types of Christmas trees with different colors of flowers. After a flowering period, the seeds ripen for six months. With its appearance, the fruit with seeds resembles a rosehip box. When it becomes a little soft, it is torn off and seeds are picked.
They are washed in a weak solution of potassium permanganate and spread on a moist surface of the substrate. To germinate the seeds, you do not need to sprinkle them on top with sand or cover with a film. In a week, the first shoots should appear. Dive the plant in the first year of life once every three months, and then once every six months. The Decembrist grown in this way will bloom in the third year.
Young plants require an annual transplant, so they grow faster. It must be carried out in early spring. Decembrist withstands transplants well and his condition after them does not worsen. Adult flowers are transplanted every 3-5 years, you can only replace the upper ball of soil.
Care for young sprouts is the same as for mature bushes. Watering is carried out with warm water. Spraying the plant with the same water, especially a flower needs it at low humidity in the room and high temperature. If the shoots have not yet fully formed the root system, and buds have begun to appear on them, they must be removed. Otherwise, the Decembrist will spend all his strength on flowering, and not on the formation of roots.
Residues of water that have not been absorbed for 20 minutes after wetting should be removed from the tray. You can feed the flower 2-3 months after transplantation. For this purpose, top dressing for cacti is used, but the specified dose must be diluted in half. Due to improper care with a young plant, some problems may arise, and in order to avoid them, it is necessary to adjust the conditions in which the Decembrist is located.
- The stalk can also fade from a fungal infection - then it should be treated with an antifungal drug.
- The roots may rot due to excess moisture or too cold water for irrigation. If these reasons are corrected, the roots will be restored. An excess of the amount of fertilizers can serve as a reason for such a disease, here the flower should be transplanted into new soil.
Sprouts rooted in March begin to bloom in the first year, so in December you can expect the appearance of a flower. When small buds are formed at the edge of the segments, the plant cannot be rearranged or even moved, otherwise the Decembrist will drop the petals.
With proper care and compliance with the necessary conditions for the maintenance of the plant, the Christmas tree will delight for a long time with its incredible inflorescences on dull winter days.
How to propagate the Decembrist Schlumberger, see in the next video.