Worsleya cold tolerance

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:52:12 PST
Over the years we've had several discussions which touch on the cold tolerance of Worsleya. From those discussions and from reading elsewhere, I came to the conclusion that it would be safe to leave my Worsleya out during light overnight freezes.
Earlier this year  I was given a huge Christmas cactus (a member of the Schlumbergera Buckleyi Group). It's now loaded with buds and blooms. When I moved it inside in anticipation of the first overnight freeze, a branch or two broke off. I forgot to bring those branches in, and the following morning found them, frozen hard. Keep in mind that the temperature was below freezing for only about two hours.After a while inside they defrosted and showed no cold damage. They kept their flower buds and are now developing normally. 
In reading the wikipedia entry for Schlumbergera,  I found this passage which is worth quoting for those who might have doubts about the tolerance of these "tropical" plants for brief sub-freezing temperatures:"Because of their height and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the coastal mountains produce high altitude moist forests – warm moist air is forced upwards into higher, colder locations where it condenses. Schlumbergera species grow in habitats which are generally relatively cool, shaded and of high humidity. David Hunt describes collecting specimens in conditions of cloud, drizzle and overnight temperatures down to −4 °C (25 °F)."
This is in the same part of Brazil where Worsleya grows. 

Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7

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