Schlumberger is a plant widely known as the name Decembrist, Christmas, and thanksgiving. It can be found in almost every home or institution. But few people know that in addition to the usual crimson-pink flowers, Christmas can also come with the unusual yellow Christmas cactus.
This article is devoted to the yellow-flowered varieties of Schlumberger, the peculiarities of caring for them, and will also highlight the issues of breeding varieties with an unusual, exotic color.
Description of yellow Christmas cactus
Yellow Christmas Cactus or Yellow Decembrists are plants belonging to the genus of epiphytic cacti, which were artificially bred. They differ from other zygocacti in unusual shades of flowers: from white-yellow to rich yellow-gold. The average length of the buds reaches from 5.5 to 9 cm, their width varies from 5 to 8 cm.
Yellow-colored zygocactus has long (3–7 cm) and wide (1–4.5 cm) stem segments that form the shoots of a juicy green plant with pronounced notches, which most often have a vertical growth form.
yellow Schlumberger Breeding history
The yellow color of the petals is not typical for the Decembrist in natural conditions. In tropical forests, only pink, red, orange, and white flowers can be found. Their elongated buds are capable of pollinating only long-billed hummingbirds, but they prefer to land on plants of red shades.
Breeders from Australia, Japan, USA, Denmark have been working for more than one year to breed different hybrid varieties of yellow color. What is the reason for this duration?
The first grade of the Decembrist with yellow flowers was “Gold Charm” . It was bred by the American breeder R.L. Kobia in the 80s of the 20th century. The process of breeding the variety dragged on for 15 years. In the beginning, 50,000 plant seeds were selected from varieties with orange flowers, in which the yellow component prevailed over red and pink.
After their sowing, only 1 bush with yellow buds was grown, and even that one was too weak for a full-fledged “offspring”. It was crossed with a sturdy and vigorous white Schlumberger bush, resulting in about 200 seeds. Only 150 bushes emerged from the sown seeds, one of which became the “ancestor” of yellow-flowered zygocactus.
yellow Christmas cactus varieties: photos and features of Decembrists yellow flowers
Golden Cream christmas cactus
This variety was developed by Australian breeders. It is characterized by the uniqueness of the color of the inflorescences: a pale yellow tint smoothly turns into a rich and warm yellow-gold tint. Inside the flower are soft pink stamens.
gold charm christmas cactus
The first variety of zygocactus with yellow flowers capable of growing up to 7-8 cm. The flowers of zygocactus have a unique, very delicate yellow-green color. The shoots of the plant are bright green in color with large segments. Loves watering and feeding.
Christmas Flame, Gold Fantasy
The variety is the result of the Decembrist mutation “Gold Charm”, therefore, in the shape of the bud and shoots, it is similar to its “parent”. The main difference lies in the unusual color of the flowers (length – 7.5-9.5 cm): the released buds have a red-violet color, but subsequently the petals become deep yellow in color with an orange edging. Outwardly, they are similar to the flame of a candle – this justifies the name of the variety, patented in the USA, but in Australia this zygocactus is known as “Gold Fantasy”.
The variety that appeared as a result of crossing “Gold Charm” and “Christmas Flame”. Its flowers are bright yellow in color with a delicate salmon tint at the center. It is characterized by vertical growth. The flower length reaches 6.5-8.5 cm, its width is 6-8 cm.
The variety is a novelty in 2017, bred by Danish breeders. Its distinctive feature is the wavy shape of the petals and their color (pale yellow, almost white, in the center, and rich yellow at the tips). The entire bud is tinted with light pink strokes.
Where to buy Yellow Christmas Cactus?
- The best place to purchase hybrid varieties of zygocactus is specialized stores or farms – nurseries that breed this plant.
- Another option, which is very common these days, is online shopping. But you should use the services of sites with an excellent reputation so as not to get low-quality planting material.
- You can refer to private advertisements and negotiate a purchase with an individual. At the same time, there is a pleasant “cheapness”, but not the fact that you will not become a victim of deception and, under the guise of a unique yellow Schlumberger, you will receive an ordinary “grandmother” Decembrist.
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Is it possible to get a plant with a non-standard color at home?
Theoretically, it is possible to get a yellow Decembrist at home by crossing and selection, but practice shows that such experiments do not end in success.
Such an occupation is effective only in special nurseries, where professionals work and all the necessary conditions for keeping plants are observed.
At home, it is impossible to recreate the natural conditions for the zygocactus, it is highly likely that the flowers will turn out to be pinkish. And the breeding of new varieties is carried out only through seed material, and this is a long, painstaking, and unpredictable process.
Yellow Christmas Cactus Care
All types and varieties of Decembrist require almost the same care. The only difference is the increased support of the plant during flowering. During this period, artificially created varieties are the most vulnerable, therefore they require special attention and care.
A yellow Decembrist that has released buds needs systematic watering: the plant spends a lot of energy on the formation of flowers, and then on maintaining the inflorescences in a normal state.
Watering is carried out as the top layer of the soil dries up: as soon as the earthen “crust” has dried up, it is immediately necessary to water. Otherwise, the yellow Schlumberger can simply shed all the buds. It is better to refuse to irrigate the plant from a spray bottle and to maintain the required air humidity, you can put a cup of water next to the container.
The bright flower should be supported by additional nutrition. During flowering, zygocactus should be fed with phosphorus and potassium fertilizers, but nitrogen-containing fertilizers should not be produced, since they stimulate the development of green mass, and negatively affect the flowers.
Yellow Christmas Cactus Diseases and pests
Zygocactus with yellow flowers are susceptible to the same diseases and they are affected by the same pests as the rest of the Decembrists.
The main cause of diseases of a yellow-flowered plant is improperly organized care of it, as a result of which the leaves of the Decembrist begin to turn red or wither.
Specific causes of redness and wilting of segments can be:
- sunburn (bright sunlight can also “whitewash” the petals in the yellow inflorescence);
- lack or excess of phosphorus and potassium ;
- excessive watering, causing rotting of the root system or its defeat by a fungus;
- hypothermia of the plant.
The main method of dealing with such deviations in the development of the yellow Decembrist is to revise the plant care scheme:
- The plant must be rearranged away from direct sunlight or provide shade.
- The flower needs regular, but not over-watering.
- Fertilizers should be applied strictly according to the instructions on the package, and no more than 1 – 2 times a month.
- Ventilation should not be overused in the room where the plant is located.
- To get rid of the fungus will help the treatment of the Decembrist with Topaz or Maxim.
The yellow Schlumberger, like her “relatives”, is most often affected by:
- spider mite, which causes leaf fall;
- mealybug, which promotes bud falling off;
- scale insect that can cause yellowing and death of the plant.
Of the means of struggle, it is advisable to mention special preparations: “Fitoverm”, “Confidor”, “Tanrek”, with the help of which the leaves are processed.
Yellow Decembrists on the windows light up with bright lights, behind which a blizzard sweeps and frost bursts. Warm yellow color brings coziness, warmth, and joy to the life of the owners of an unusual plant, giving them memories of a sultry summer.