My beloved schlumbergera (xmas cactus) is in bloom, and somehow this year the plant produced both red and pink blooms, prooving that it is not only a hybrid, but a hybrid of a hybrid! I bought this plant last year from a local nursery, full of buds but a little worse for the wear. And after a year of pampering by yours truly, it is blooming so gloriously that most people would assume that it is artificial!
Mind you, when I say "pampering" that really wasn't the case, as this plant is really quite hardy. I did put him outside in a shady spot for the summer, but even that may not be necessary. It loves to be potbound, any pieces that break off will re-root in soil, and of course looks stunning as a hanging plant as well. I would love to buy some more, but will have to wait until after Rosh HaShana, as during shemittah year we don't buy plants. But for those of you outside of Israel, run don't walk and find one of these just in the budding stage so that you can enjoy seeing the buds develop. If you can only find one with blooms, snatch that up too, there's always next year to enjoy the whole process! And by then of course your plant will be even bigger!
Raising schlumbergera is so very easy and the return is huge, so go for it! I think I need at least three or so of these plants blooming in my living room come December/January, and if you have several plants in different colors, you can easily cross-polinate to produce plants with multi color flowers! Enjoy!