|Schlumbergera 'Thor Carmen' has purple bud which open brilliant carmine red, a new variety, it is beginning to show up for sale at some online retailers, and on Ebay.|
My collection grows each year, as we introduce four or five new varieties each winter. I am partial to the yellow, brownish bronze and peach varieties, as well as pure white, but I am becoming more interested in bicolored forms, those which white petals, but edged in pink or purple.
|Yellow Christmas Cactus are always a favorite, they balance out a windowsill collection, and today, there are many improved yellow forms.|
|Schlumbergera x 'Aspen', a new fringed white-flowered Christmas cactus that has petals which look like shredded snowflakes. It's hot, hot, hot right now, with cuttings selling for $25 on Ebay.Difficult to find as it sells out quickly, it is currently available via mailorder from Logee's.|
Many of these Christmas cactus are difficult to find, as mass market growers are still growing older forms, but you can find them available from specialist nurseries online, and from collectors on Ebay. Like any newer introduction, it often takes time for many to catch on. If a new plant can be micro-propagated, as in a test tube, then new varieties can come to market quickly, but most of these newer varieties are still rather uncommon, and thus, their prices remain high. The variety 'Aspen' was selling for nearly $100 five years ago, and although last year it was available from a couple of growers, it quickly sold out. I purchased my plant for $25 dollars last spring, and Logee's Greenhouses in CT. is currently selling it for $19. They also have a newer red-form of this popular fringed variety, also on my wish list.
I am trying to collect as many cultivars as possible, so if any of you have a favorite, please let me know. I am aware of curious mutant forms, old species, bronze and brownish flowered forms and the new fringed types. Any suggestions are welcome. Most of these newer varieties are some you will never find at a supermarket or greenhouse, which makes them even more interesting, not unlike African Violets, where the finest varieties are available only from collectors and small, specialist nurseries and not from commercial growers. This is true with many plants, daylilies to orchids. Take note.
While actively growing in the late spring and early summer, Schumbergera are active feeders, responding to water soluable fertilizer well, which keeps the plants a rich, bright green. The plants summer outdoors under a tree, where they do not get any direct sun, but in the winter, they live on a high bench in the greenhouse where they get full sun.
|Schumbergera 'Christmas Fantasy', another new variety with those amazing yellow tints.|