The Decembrist belongs to the cactus family, but does not have thorns. It got its name in honor of the month when lush flowering begins. While other indoor plants rest in winter, it pleases the owners with beautiful and bright inflorescences. In this article we will tell you how to care for a Decembrist flower at home and what conditions it needs.

All about the care and cultivation of the Decembrist

soil and pot
Conditions of detention
– Lighting
— Air temperature and humidity
Care rules
— Cropping
— Watering
— top dressing
– Transplant
Flowering and colors
Diseases and diagnostics
Reproduction methods
– Growing from seeds
— cuttings

Which soil and pot to choose

In a different way, the plant is also called Rozhdestvennik, Schlumberger and Zygocactus — the care and conditions for them are identical.

The plant needs a complex composition of soil, which is close in composition to the soil of tropical forests — its natural habitat. The planting substrate should consist of peat, a mixture for cacti, a small amount of ground sphagnum and ground expanded clay, sand and leaf humus. You can purchase all the ingredients separately and make the mixture yourself, but for convenience, ready-made formulations are sold. Many flower growers additionally add moss, tree bark and humus. A drainage layer must be placed at the bottom.

A deep pot for a cactus is not suitable, because the root system is poorly developed, and excess moisture will accumulate and stagnate at the bottom. The material of the container does not matter, it can be plastic, ceramic and enameled pots.


What conditions need to be created


He needs enough light. The Decembrist feels good on the north and west windows. If you keep it on the east or south windowsill, you will have to create a small shadow or fence off the pot with a curtain — for soft diffused light. The plant can not be constantly kept in the shade, otherwise it may not bloom..

In summer, during the hot period, the flower must be protected from direct sunlight, but in autumn and winter it should be constantly on the windowsill. At this time, even the bright sun will not be fatal for the flower. It should not be additionally illuminated with a phytolamp, because by the time of flowering, a natural cycle of reducing solar activity should go through.

From time to time it needs to be turned over in different directions to the light so that the bush does not form “one-sidedly”. But during the flowering period, this is not recommended, otherwise it can drop all the buds from stress.


Temperature and humidity

The Decembrist is not picky about the temperature regime and feels comfortable in the usual range of 18-26 degrees. A week before the start of flowering, it can gradually create cooler conditions up to 16 degrees. During the set of buds, protect it from drafts and sudden changes in temperature.

Humidity should be moderate, approximately 50-60%. In hot periods, it must be regularly sprayed with water, and in winter, during the operation of heating devices — 1-2 times a month.

The cactus does not tolerate stuffiness, so the room in which it stands must be regularly ventilated. For this reason it should not be placed in the kitchen. The constant operation of the oven and hob will harm the plant.

Decembrist flower care at home


Pruning and crown shaping is necessary at the end of each flowering season. If this is not done, next year the plant may not bloom so magnificently or not reproduce flowers at all. Also, regular haircuts prolong his life, and if you treat this carefully, the Decembrist will live for about 20 years.

Before starting the process, it is important to make sure that flowering is fully completed and no new buds have appeared. Interestingly, experienced breeders do not recommend trimming the crown with sharp blades or special scissors. They argue that it is better to just gently “unscrew” and pinch off excess processes with your fingers.


Water the soil should be when the top layer is completely dry. If you pour water into the soil that has not yet dried out, there will be an excess of moisture, which will provoke rotting of the roots. Like many cacti, the plant tolerates a lack of moisture better than its abundance. If waterlogging does occur, it is worth abandoning watering for several days and carefully transplanting into a new substrate. This can be signaled by a barely perceptible smell of rot.

Watering frequency depends on the season.

  • October November. 1 time in 7-10 days, from the second half of November, you need to water every other day and spray the crown.
  • End of November-December. Usually flowering occurs at this time, so it is necessary to water as the soil dries.
  • March-August. Continue to water, based on the condition of the soil, and also spray from a spray bottle in the heat.

It is best to collect rainwater in a bottle and water it with it. When this is not possible, ordinary settled water at room temperature will do. After transplanting, the plant is watered only on the third day, so that it has time to get used to the new pot.


top dressing

The introduction of fertilizers and nutrients into care also depends on the season.

  • In spring and summer, nitrogen fertilizing should be used once a month to build green mass. When active leaf growth begins, increase the regularity up to two times.
  • In the last week of October, you need to introduce a phosphorus-potassium preparation for more lush flowering.
  • During budding, you can spray or water the flower with a composition with boric acid. To do this, it is diluted in water in a ratio of 1 g per 1 liter. The soil is watered with the finished mixture or the crown is sprayed to stimulate the appearance of new buds and shoots.
  • In the first week of flowering, wood ash is also used. You can take it both in dry form and dilute it in water in the ratio of 4 tablespoons per 2 liters of water. Infuse the mixture for 4 hours, then add to the soil.


Decembrist care at home includes a flower transplant. Young plants are transplanted annually in late February or early March. — immediately after flowering. Older specimens are transplanted every 4-5 years. If it was not possible to transplant in the spring, the next time it can be done in the fall long before flowering begins.

However, there are situations that signal that the plant urgently needs a bigger pot. When the roots go beyond the drainage holes, this means that the flower has “grown” from this container and it is necessary to promptly transplant it into a new one. But if you transplant in late spring or summer, it may not bloom in winter.

Immediately after the purchase, the plant must be transplanted, completely ridding the root system of the store soil. In the future, this can already be done by transshipment. After transplanting for the first time, it can be watered only on the third day.

Flowering period and colors

The flowering period begins in late November-early December and ends by January or February. At this time, the flower should not be disturbed once again, rearranged to another place, and even washed from dust.

Buds come in different shades depending on the species and variety. Here is a list of the most popular indoor Decembrist flower colors (photo below).

  • Red. The most common color of Schlumberger petals. The most popular representatives with this color are Rousselina, Gertner.
  • White. The second most popular shade, in the mass of small inflorescences look very gentle and airy. It can be found in Aspen and White varieties.
  • Pink. It was bred as a result of selection, so it cannot be found in nature. It occurs in the varieties Madama Butterfly and Zygocactus Truncated.
  • Yellow. In such tones, the buds of the Golden Sharm variety bloom.
  • Orange. It is also a selection product, the Santa Cruz variety has such a fiery color.

Plant breeders allocate 5 main reasons why flowering may not occur.

  • Lack of light.
  • Too high air temperature — overheating.
  • Very large and deep pot.
  • Lack of fertilizer.
  • Diseases and pests.

Diseases and diagnostics

Despite the fact that the Decembrist is an unpretentious indoor plant, many novice flower growers make mistakes in care. From this, first of all, decorativeness will begin to suffer, and if measures are not taken in time, the zygocactus may die altogether. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the following signals.

  • Leaves wither and wrinkle. This indicates too dry and hot air, as well as a lack of moisture. Another reason may be too bright sunlight.
  • The leaves are thinning out. Lack of nutrients or parasites in the soil.
  • The leaves turn yellow. Schlumbergera does not get enough moisture.
  • The leaves have fallen. There was a sharp temperature drop, the specimen did not receive enough nutrients, or a transplant was carried out at the wrong time.
  • The roots are starting to rot. This means that the soil is waterlogged.

At home, it is also subject to attacks by three types of pests..

  • Spider mite. It appears as light dots on the leaves, and after a while they begin to fall off.
  • Mealybug. A characteristic feature is sticky white mucus that resembles flour.
  • Shchitovka. The leaves begin to quickly turn yellow and dry out.

If these signs are noticed in time, the plant can be completely cured. For this, ready-made preparations from specialized stores are suitable.


Even a novice florist can handle the reproduction of a Decembrist flower at home. There are two ways to do this — growing from seeds and cuttings. Let’s talk about each of them in more detail.

Growing from seed

Seeds are planted in early spring in March or April. They are lightly pressed with fingers into moist soil with sand. Next, the container must be covered with polyethylene or glass to create a greenhouse effect, leaving some space for ventilation.

Young seedlings need to be sprayed with water from a spray bottle. The first shoots will appear in a week, and when each has two leaves, you can start planting.


It is most convenient to propagate by cuttings in the spring, when flowering comes to an end and it is time to do pruning. The cut area should be absolutely healthy and have 2-4 segments. Experienced growers are advised to take a cutting, in which a thin aerial root is visible between the leaves. By the way, for this it is not necessary to cut it off with special scissors, you can simply carefully separate it with your fingers.

Next, place it in a cool place in the shade and dry for 2-3 days. After that, it can be placed both in the finished substrate in a small container, and simply in water.

  • When germinating in water, it is necessary to lower the stalk only halfway. If it evaporates, it must be topped up to the same level. When a yellow tint of the liquid appears, the process should be promptly placed in clean water.
  • When growing in a substrate, the cup or container must be covered with a film or jar. Once a day, they should be removed briefly to allow the plant to “breathe”. Watering — after drying the topsoil. If new stems have appeared, then the stalk has taken root and it’s time to transplant into the main pot.