Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Christmas Cactus

As mentioned the other day, a Christmas Cactus was on my to-acquire list. For some reason, I have not seen them for sale any where in the last few years.

And last weekend, I was up at Mom's and hers (which she's had for a long time) were just covered in blooms - one plant red, and one plant pink. I was so jealous!

But then on the way home, I stopped by a Super store near her place, and look what I found!
A huge 8" pot with a mix of white and pink flowers
Just look at those blooms.
It's actually six separate plants, so I'm thinking I might break it up once it stops blooming. I'm very optimistic about this plant... I've heard stories of them living for generations (I believe Samantha has a piece of one that belonged to her grandmother).. and Mom's told me the secret to get them to bloom year after year...

She puts her oustide (not in direct sun) for the summer. As soon as the weather turns cold, she brings it inside and it immediately starts to bud.

I've even had outside confirmation for this. As I was standing in line, waiting to pay for it, another shopper came up to check it out. I told her about Mom's and how I had to have my own because hers was covered in flower and she said, "Does she put it outside for the summer?"

I nodded and said, "and brings it in as soon as it gets cold..."

And she finished with.. "and then it blooms." And she thanked me and headed off to get one of her own.


Judy S. said...

I love them, too. One of mine is very old, so old that the stems are almost woody. Another like your newest has red and white plants in the same pot and was sent as a Christmas gift a while back. The red and white combo reminds me of candy canes!

kathy b said...

oh I had one that i did the same did best with a friend. My neighbor 's and mine would spend the summer on my north porch and they bloomed like crazy after we brought them back in when the weather indicated. Good Luck!

Araignee said...

That's just what my mom did with hers and it was spectacular.

Rachelle said...

My gran had one for many years, I've no idea what happened to it, didn't see it when she moved down here so I suspect it was binned as it was a big move to a much smaller place.

Samantha said...

Mine died, but yes, it was a piece of my grandmother's ... and it was old. I never put mine outside in the summer (neither did Nana) and we got blooms twice a year. I do know other people who have great success with the method your mom uses, but from what I understand it has to do with the amount of daylight (or lack thereof) the plant gets and temperature (cool promotes blooms, so being outside in the heat and then brought inside to a cooler temperature would definitely make it bloom). There are different types of crab cacti; the one I had was from the Truncata group and had peach coloured flowers. Plants are fascinating. :)

WildflowerWool said...

I love Christmas Cactus too. I remember seeing a huge one in the sunporch of my mom's friend. It was covered in blooms every year. It's still my goal to have such a beautiful plant. I have four smaller plants on my kitchen counter that I should pot together. Good luck with yours.

Lorraine said...

Just a word of warning if your kitties are at all curious- Clawed was at the vets a few weeks ago having sampled some Christmas cactus.

I have a very old one and now have to find another place for it.