White Christmas Cactus: Varieties, Care, Where to Buy

The Christmas Cactus or Schlumbergera (Zygocactus) plant comes from the family of epiphytic forest cacti found in the tropical rainforests of Brazil. Like other epiphytes, they grow in nature not on the ground, but on the trunks and branches of trees, feeding on bark and leaf humus. The Schlumberger of white varieties is compared by flower growers to white swans and is called the White Christmas Cactus.

white christmas cactus

Characteristics of White Christmas Cactus

The group of white Christmas Cactus combines varieties and hybrids of plants with lush flowers. Representatives of the Schlumberger genus are branching leafless dwarf shrubs. Arcuate bent shoots consist of segments that grow together alternately. The forest cactus does not have needles and pubescence, since in the tropical jungle there is no need to store water and protect yourself from the scorching sun.

Christmas Cactus of white varieties have dark green segments, leathery, slightly fleshy, and shiny with a jagged edge. A pronounced central vein runs in the middle of the shoot. All jointed shoots end in large halos, in place of which flower buds are formed, which form in mid-December.

Blossoming of the Christmas Cactus begins around Christmas Eve, which explains its name – “Christmas”, and continues until the end of January. Flowers are arranged singly or in groups of 2-3, can elongate and grow into numerous tiers. A single flower is 5-6 cm long and 2-3 cm in diameter. The color of the flowers is predominantly white, while the majority of the pistil is always pink.

Attention! A feature of white hybrids is the temperature dependence of the color. In extreme cold, pure white petals turn pink.

The group of white varieties and hybrids includes plants not only with a pure white color of flowers but also with a cream color, as well as bicolor zygocactus, in which a white shade is the main one.

The Christmas tree was first described and introduced into the culture by the French scientist, cactus collector, Frederic Schlumberger. From his surname came the botanical name of the whole genus. Introduced to Europe by the collector Alan Cunningham around 1816.

want to know about What Soil To Use For Christmas Cactus?

Where to Buy White Christmas Cactus?

  • Popular christmas cactus (zygocactus) hybrids can be purchased at the city’s flower shops.
  • Hybrids with variegated leaves are available from collectors.

In hypermarkets such as AUCHAN, IKEA, OBI it will be cheaper. If a florist is looking for a certain variety or a rare, for example, variegated variety, then it is more expedient to purchase planting material from collectors, in stores at botanical gardens and nurseries. You can not only buy a Schlumberger from plant collectors but also exchange planting material. The largest internet site for collectors’ addresses is the Plant Collectors Data Bank (CDBD). You can purchase from many other online stores i.e amazon, Walmart, etc.

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White Christmas Cactus Description and photos of varieties

In nature, there are species of Christmas Cactus only with red and white flowers. The varieties of white zygocactus are more stable in the preservation of genetic traits due to their wild relatives. Most often, white varieties and hybrids come from the species Schlumbergera truncatus and Schlumbergera bucklei. The most beautiful and popular varietal varieties are:

White Christmas

The most popular variety of zygocactus with white flowers. It is valued for its large white flowers with a bright red pistil and longer flowering. The plant reaches a height of 40 cm. The shape of the inflorescences vaguely resembles cyclamen.

Lavender Christmas Cactus (Madame Butterfly)

White flowers with a wide-spreading purple-crimson border around the edge of the petals. This hybrid is a cross between the Schlumbergera orssichiana and the White Christmas zygocactus cultivar. As a result, the hybrid produced flowers and shoot segments larger than those of the parents. The shape of the petals is highly elongated, wavy. Blooms a month earlier – in early December.

madame butterfly

Mallisa

Has a compact size. Stems drooping, dark green, shiny. The length of the shoots reaches 15-20 cm. At the same time, the plant has large (up to 5-6 cm) multi-tiered flowers with silk rounded pure white petals. The flower tubes are also white. The pistil is long, pink, extending beyond the calyx. It is famous for its very long flowering, lasting up to 4 months.

mallisa

Angel Dance

Unique pure white color not only of the petals and flower tube, but also of the pistil with stamens. Shoots are dark green, above which snow-white butterflies of flowers soar. The color is stable, does not change and does not turn pink from the cold.

angel dance

Pasadena

A two-tone hybrid with stunning fancy flowers. The petals are white with bright red strokes that turn into a solid color at the edges.

pasadena

Christmas Flame

A large bush, the shoots of which reach 40-50 cm in length. Shoot segments are light green, shiny. The petals are long, strong, star-shaped. The middle of the petal is white, the edges are crimson.

Check detailed guide on Can You Propagate Christmas Cactus.

White Christmas Cactus (Zygocactus) hybrids with variegated coloration

Selection does not stand still, and scientists are interested in getting hybrids and varieties not only with various colors of inflorescences but also leaves. Plants with light blotches on the leaves are called variegated.

Kristen Aurea Variegata

Traffic light plant! The segments are colored green, yellow, and red. The flowers are white and pink.

Variegated with white flowers

A variety from Australia. Pure white flowers against variegated shoots. The main background is green with yellow splashes.

variegated with white flowers

Madame Butterfly variegata

Hybrid from Madame Butterfly. The variegation is very pronounced and manifests itself in a marble creamy yellow color throughout the shoot.

madame butterfly variegata

White Bell Variegated

Shoot segments are dark green, at the joints there are large white and yellowish spots. The flowers are pure white with a pink pistil hanging down.

white bell variegated

Where to Buy White Christmas Cactus?

  • Popular christmas cactus (zygocactus) hybrids can be purchased at the city’s flower shops.
  • Hybrids with variegated leaves are available from collectors.

In hypermarkets such as AUCHAN, IKEA, OBI it will be cheaper. If a florist is looking for a certain variety or a rare, for example, variegated variety, then it is more expedient to purchase planting material from collectors, in stores at botanical gardens and nurseries. You can not only buy a Schlumberger from plant collectors but also exchange planting material. The largest internet site for collectors’ addresses is the Plant Collectors Data Bank (CDBD). You can purchase from many other online stores i.e amazon, Walmart, etc.

Features of caring for White Christmas Cactus

The cultivation technique of white zygocactus varieties does not differ significantly from varieties and hybrids with a different color. White zygocactus more than other varieties needs a bright, sunny place.

The main care of the Christmas Cactus is not difficult and consists in watering with soft, settled water at room temperature, regular feeding every 2 weeks with complex mineral fertilizer. During the budding period, the plant can be fed with a weak mullein infusion.

Important! Temperature + 17-20 promotes the laying of flower buds only if a short daylight hours are observed!

At an air temperature of 10-15, the laying of future flowers occurs regardless of the length of daylight hours.

During the dormant period, immediately after flowering, watering is reduced, the zygocactus is kept in a cool room.

It propagates easily in a vegetative way – in parts of the stem of 3-4 segments, which are rooted in boxes of sand. Before rooting, the cuttings are dried.

See also Christmas Cactus Color Varieties.

White Christmas Cactus pests and Diseases

Pests

  1. Shield. On the shoots, numerous oval yellowish shields are visible, when pressed, liquid is released. The plant is lethargic, the shoots are sticky to the touch. With a strong infection, the place under the plant is all in a sticky liquid secreted by the scale insects.
  2. Mealybug. Excessive watering and high air humidity contribute to the appearance. On the segments of the shoots, white cotton balls are visible, sticky when pressed.
  3. Spider mite. Appears when the air in the room is too dry. The insect itself is very small, only a cobweb is visible, entangling the shoots. The plant looks depressed, lethargic, shedding buds. Small red spots appear on the segments.

Control measures: Washing the plant with warm soapy water (laundry or green soap) will help to cope with the scale insect and mealybug. Reduce watering and carry out treatment with Actellik, Aktara or Confidor. For spider mites, Fitoverm or Neoron and an increase in air humidity are suitable.

White Christmas Cactus Diseases

Infectious:

  • Fusarium – the pathogen enters the soil with excessive moisture. The roots rot, the plant withers. Cope with the treatment of the soil with the drug “Maxim” and the reduction of irrigation.
  • Late blight – a dark spot forms at the base of the shoots, which grows and discolours the stem. The affected area of ​​the stem is removed. Schlumberger is rarely watered, air humidity is reduced.

Non-communicable diseases:

  • Sluggish leaves . Reasons: dry air from batteries in winter; direct sunlight; root rot with excessive watering and lack of drainage.
  • Reddening leaves . Shoot tips turn red before flowering and new leaves grow. Other factors: excessive watering; too bright light; excess of phosphorus in fertilizers.

The Christmas tree is undemanding to the conditions of maintenance and care, it is rarely damaged by diseases. White Schlumberger hybrids do not differ much in departure from other varietal varieties, which are currently in great variety. White zygocactus will decorate any windowsill on the eve of Christmas.