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Monday, November 8, 2010

Early blooming Cactus....

I have several of these broad leaf Christmas Cacti that always start blooming before Thanksgiving.  As soon as the nights get nippy and the darkness is 12 hours long, they burst with budding!  The one that blooms at Christmas time is a smaller leaf without the pointy corners and is from a plant given to me in the early 60's!  My doctor's sister gave me a clipping from hers that she said was older than my doc.  I have had the plants I started from clippings for 50 yrs. now!

The Cactus on the right with the smaller, rounder leaves is the one that is from the old plant and blooms at Christmas time.
  These cactus do best left outside in partial shade all spring and summer.  Then I move them to cover on the open porch and drape a plastic drop cloth over them at night when temps drop to the 30's.  If you bring them in the house, move them while it is still warm so the temp change will not make them drop their buds.  They need 12 hours of darkness to bloom so I put them in an unused room or guest bdrm or even in the guest bathtub/shower and bring them out when in full bloom.  The blossoms then last for many weeks giving you many days of beauty throughout the seasons!
  Good luck with your plants.

4 comments:

Teen2 said...

Hi Kerrie, we too grow a lot of zygocactus, they are so lovely when in bloom. So worth waiting for and so easy to grow. Ours are coming into bloom now also. :))

Elaine said...

I have a white one in bloom. I leave it out in the shade all summer and brought it in several weeks ago and it already had buds on it then. I live in Michigan. The plants are a favorite of mine.

Ginny said...

50 years!!! I never knew any of this!! Christmas cactus make me sad and here's why. Someone gave one to my mom when she was sick, and she died shortly later. I then gave it to our good friend Mary, who made it bloom and always showed me my mom's Christmas cactus when I came to visit her. Then she died, too. I stayed with both of them while they died. It is a beautiful blooming plant full of hope in the dark of winter, yet it is a plant of death to me, my mom and our best friend. Wow, so sorry to bring you down, but a good blog post evokes strong memories, good or bad. It is the mark of a good writer. I would much rather read this than something that leaves me completly cold!

Donna said...

Kerrie, Your cacti are lovely! I am so negligent that I can't seem to keep anything alive. My mom loved these and she has a great 'green thumb'. I'm so impressed!

xo
Donna @ Comin' Home