Sunday, 19 October 2008

Christmas Cactus

This Christmas Cactus is just about to flower , a little early!
This cactus was considerably bigger before we moved . The branches being rather brittle, it got knocked around broken in half. It summered outside on the front porch over July, August, and September; rebounding beautifully. Up close and personal!
Just wish it would flower closer to Christmas.
Maybe I will try an Easter Cactus , do you think it would flower at Christmas!:_)


Rosanne said...

It looks so good!

Hootin' Anni said...

I love these plants!!! I have two sitting outside...but for now, they're not doing too well. Your's will be gorgeous soon!!! The buds look 'hot pink', pretty, pretty!!!

Patsi said...

Funny !!
Never had much success with any house plants. :(

Jessica said...

I think that my christmas cactus is actually a Columbus Day Cactus...or maybe, a Halloween cactus. Al three of them are blooming like CRAZY!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sooo jealous... I have never been able to get these plants to flower! Very nice...


kml said...

She is blooming beautifully. Mine flowers in the fall and in the spring. It must have some genes from each of the plants - Easter and Christmas.

Anonymous said...

For those who struggle to get the Christmas Cactus to bloom, here is the secret. First, when watering....water the soil to the point water comes out of the bottom of the pot; allow the plant to enjoy the water. Do not water the Christmas Cactus again until the soil is completely dry (may want to get a moisture gauge; bought at any plant store). Keep the plant in temperatures above 40 F degrees, but under 85ish F, they are a tropical plant, so they like humidity, but don't over do it. I live in a dry climate (Southern California) and mine thrives indoors. Recently lived in (Oregon) and the plant flowered as good as ever (kept inside). Okay here is the true secret! About fall time (mid-October) feed the Christmas Cactus with Cactus food (Schultz Cactus Plus or Miracle Grow; I prefer Schultz). Follow the package instructions for feeding. Thoroughly water/feed; when water comes out of the bottom of the pot, you are good. Make sure all the soil is moist. Next, here is the trick to getting the Christmas Cactus to become a flowering spectacle...Put the Christmas cactus some where that it gets 12 hours of complete darkness (zero light or close to it) and 12 hours of filtered sunlight. When the soil dries out give the Christmas Cactus some water; again, when water comes out of bottom of pot you are good. When the plant goes into dormancy, slow the watering down, water as needed, soaking the soil and allowing it to dry and repeat. I can go about every 2-3 weeks between waterings, might differ with climate.

I mentioned the Christmas Cactus is a tropical plant. From researching, it is my understand the Christmas Cactus grows and lives in the rain forest high up in trees where ever it can find a place on the trunk of a tree to take root under the canopy of the rain forest; hence filtered light and loves moisture, but rain forests go through cycles of extreme wet and dry. Also, imagine a rain forest at night. There are no street lamps to light the way, in other words complete darkness. During the day the Christmas Cactus would get filtered light through cloud cover and the canopy of the rain forest.

I hope this helps many people to keep the Christmas Cactus alive and thriving throughout the year. It is not a plant that is bought conveniently at a store and thrown out after the season. Flowering or not, the Christmas cactus is a very beautiful plant to enjoy no matter the season.

Merry Christmas! Mele Kalikimaka! (Hawaiian Style).