This houseplant surprisinglyreminds Cinderella. More precisely, her fairy-tale transformation, when she goes to the ball to the king. In summer, the Decembrist is an inconspicuous flower, its dangling green branches do not have a decorative appeal and look pale against the background of other indoor plants. But, as soon as the time of Christmas and New Year holidays comes, the plant is covered with a scattering of buds, which through time become bright colors of unusual shape. When most houseplants are in the phase of sleep and rest, the flowers of the Decembrist blaze on the windowsill with the juicy shades of summer. It is for this plant that flower growers love with experience, and newcomers tend to buy or grow a Decembrist flower on their own, using cuttings. As soon as the Decembrist and its varieties are called: the cancer cervix, the Barbarian spit, the Christmas cactus, Schlumberger's zigokaktus. The plant has long been known to flower growers and for this reason it is often called ironically a grandmother's flower.
History of the grandmother's flower
Homeland of the zigokaktusa consider wet tropicalforests of South America. Surprising is the fact that even long-cultivated pot plants remember their real homeland and blossom when summer comes there, despite the fact that there may be frosty frost outside the window. The natural color of the Decembrist flowers is white and bright red. Thanks to the work of breeders, every year there are new varieties and hybrids. They even amaze the sophisticated florists with a variety of shades. It is often possible to see bright orange, coral, lilac flowers. Selection selection is carried out in such a way that, with proper care, hybrids can bloom 2-3 times a year. Zigokaktusy refer to forest cacti, they grow with light, muted tree crowns, lack of soil and high humidity. In tropical forests there are no sharp temperature changes, so at home, the plant also does not tolerate them. In order for the Decembrist to feel at home well, he needs to create conditions close to those in which he grows in the natural environment.
Secrets of care
There is a natural question when in the housea Decembrist flower appears: how to take care of this potted plant? Experts do not consider him capricious and whimsical, but despite this, you will have to follow some rules of care for him. It is necessary to know that this plant does not benefit from direct sunlight. Therefore, do not put it on the south or west windowsills with intensive lighting. This will slow down its growth and cause the last segments of shoots to fall. In summer, the Decembrist will move to fresh air with pleasure: to the balcony, to the loggia or even to the garden at the dacha. Only when moving the plant should you carefully consider lighting and, if necessary, arrange shading. The Decembrist prefers a slight penumbra and will feel good near the window behind a transparent curtain. But to the temperature regime it is very tolerant and can grow at a temperature of 2 to 37 ° C, but still the optimum temperature for growing is 18-25 ° C. Watering the plant should be moderate if the soil in the pot does not dry out, that is, the risk of decaying the roots. Especially harmful for the flower is excessive moistening of the soil at low air temperature. Water for irrigation must necessarily be permanent and it is not necessary to water plants with cold water even in summer. In the hot season, the Decembrist will benefit from spraying. In order to wash off the dust from the sheet plates, a warm shower is regularly applied. To do this, you should close the ground with polyethylene, so that water does not get into the pot and wash the leaves. The most pleasant news for everyone who has a zigokaktus at home is that the plant is a long-liver. With good care, he can live at home for 15-20 years, but we must bear in mind that his appearance begins to deteriorate with age. Shoots with time coarsen and cease to actively branch. If you pinch them, you can keep the crown thick enough for a long time. Pinching and shaping the crown is desirable in the spring. Another plant can be rejuvenated to preserve its attractiveness.
How to make the Decembrist blossom?
The biggest disappointment is this roomplant, when refuses to bloom. This problem occurs quite often and in the absence of knowledge can become insurmountable. If the Decembrist does not bloom at all or misses the annual winter flowering, then this may be a sign that he did not feel the flowering time. In order to fix it, the flower is placed in a cool place from the end of September to the end of November and arrange a rest period, while reducing watering. At this moment the plant does not fertilize. Then, the flower is put in a warm and bright place, abundantly watered, thus helping to wake up. After a while buds are formed, and from this moment the plant will require increased attention. First, at this time it can not be rearranged or rotated. The Decembrist in response to such actions can throw off the buds that have formed. Secondly, the land in the pot should not dry out. In addition, it is necessary to maintain high humidity, spraying the plant daily. Sometimes the flowering of the bush is one-sided, that is, the buds appear on one side. It's not difficult to guess that this side was better illuminated. To prevent this from happening, you should turn the plant, but this can be done only until buds appear.
Propagate and rejuvenate the zygocactus bycuttings. To do this, 2-3 extreme segments separate from the shoot. In doing so, do not use a knife or scissors, and holding the branch with one hand, with the other hand gently separate the future stalk. Such a procedure not only does not worsen the condition of the flower, but will also promote abundant flowering, since flowers appear on young shoots. Cuttings must be dried 2-3 days, then they are slightly deepened into moist soil and covered with polyethylene or an ordinary can. Such an impromptu greenhouse is placed in the shade, not forgetting to regularly ventilate it. The air temperature should be 15-20 ° C.
Transplantation of zygocacus
All tips for transplanting the Decembrist and hisclosest relatives are reduced to two main points. It is important that the soil is nutritious, peaty soils are ideal for these purposes. You can make a soil mixture yourself, using peat, sand, sheet earth and small brick chips. Be sure to put a good drainage in the pot, then there will be no problems with stagnation of water and rotting roots. It is desirable that the drainage volume is one third of the pot. Since the root system of the zygocactus is superficial and weak enough, it is better to take the pots shallow, but at the same time wide ones. Transplantation is best done at the end of winter after flowering. Every year, young plants are transplanted, adults - only after 3-4 years.
Sometimes the plant resets extreme segmentsshoots or buds. Most often this is due to improper irrigation regime. On the state of the Decembrist so it can affect, as inadequate hydration, so excessive watering. In addition, the rearrangement of the flower during the formation of buds can also negatively affect its state. Pest damage has the same consequences. Leafy leaves, their pale coloration are most often associated with too bright illumination, irregular irrigation and pest damage. If there are brown spots on the leaves, this is a sign of hitting the scabbard. To get rid of it it is possible by means of special means which are on sale in flower shops. Fungal and bacterial diseases are manifested in the form of spots on the leaves, which eventually fade and fall. Such problems are also eliminated with the help of specialized preparations, but it should be noted that if within a few days the improvement is imperceptible, it is necessary to separate the cuttings from healthy shoots and try to root them, so as not to lose the plant completely. In order for the zygocactus to enjoy generous flowering every year, he does not need much. Attentive attitude and love of plants - these are the main factors of well-being of indoor flowers and the Decembrist - not an exception. We advise you to read: