Christmas cactus blooms (Thanksgiving cactus really)

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)December 6, 2009

Hi everyone,

Just for fun I thought I'd share a couple of pics of one of my several "Christmas cacti" (Thanksgiving cacti really, Schlumbergera truncata hybrids) in bloom.

I really like them, as do the hummingbirds, LOL. I've had several of them for quite a few years and find them really easy to keep happy. I just leave them outside in a shady spot,or a spot with just morning sun, and water them when dry. I DO bring them indoors for July and August, otherwise they get a bit stressed and drop leaf segments, but they're back outside by Labor Day and that's where they stay. Most of mine are unlabeled, but this one (miraculously, LOL) still has the variety name, 'Dark Marle':

Are you growing them inside/outside? We'd love to hear more about yours.

I also have one true Christmas cactus (S. bridgesii) that I started from a single segment, though the plant is still pretty modest in size. No signs of buds on it yet, but maybe early in the new year.

I hope you'll take a look and enjoy, and share about yours if you're growing them. I think they're certainly a better long-term plant that you-know-whats (poinsettias, LOL).

Take care,


Here is a link that might be useful: Schlumbergera 'Dark Marle' bloom up close and personal. :)

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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Here's the whole plant, just prior to blooming. I did put the you-know-what (tennis ball) in the pic to show size.

Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: Whole TC plant, just prior to blooming.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 5:19PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Here's the same plant which has been opening a new bloom every day or so. Love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thanksgiving cactus in bloom on my patio.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 3:33PM
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Here is my beautiful Yellow Crab Claw Cactus (Better known as a Thanksgiving Cactus. It bloomed for the first time for me! I have had it for about 4 years now. I was thrilled that the blooms didn't drop on me. It, unfortunately was just sold to me as Yellow. It looks a lot like Gold Charm but since I don't own Gold Charm I can't make a comparison. Maybe one day!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:43PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Beautiful blooms, you two! Mine is showing no signs of buds yet, so I'm going out to have a talk with it. ;o)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:19PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hiya Cyirra and all,

Congrats on the blooms! They're really, really lovely! I don't have any of the yellow/gold types so it's really fun to see yours. What conditions are you growing yours in?

I still have the one in these older pics ('Dark Marie')--it's in my den right now and is budding up nicely (and making a couple of early blooms each week too). Here's a pic of one of the early blooms from this week, it will make its larger flush in a month or three.

I've gone a bit overboard with Christmas cacti over the last couple of years, but they're so durable, and they love it here (indoors) and they bloom regularly for me (although often not until mid to late winter) so why not, right??

Here's a pic of a small rescue plant I got two years ago as an utterly wilted MESS with only five segments. Some bright light and occasional water have helped it revive.

Happy gardening indoors and out everyone, and tomato, please post pics of yours when they bloom!


    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Thanks! I bought four different colored cacti on ebay. They have moved around with me quite a bit. This is the first year I have gotten them to not only bud but open as well. They are currently in the laundry room in the basement. There they get a decent amount of light as well as the cold breeze from not so great windows. They seem to love it there which is a little disappointing because I can't really ever see them!

I have recently acquired more of them so I can see and compare the different blooms! I love having plants but I tend to kill them. These are the only type I can manage to keep alive, I really don't know how but they keep on going for me!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:54PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Well that's great you found something that works for you! I think Thanksgiving cactus are some of the best houseplants around (those and ZZ's especially). Keep us posted on all of yours and definitely share some pics everyone when you have blooms. They're so festive and fun. Happy houseplanting, hah!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 1:10PM
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I have been looking for more information on getting my Christmas cactus to bloom, now that I finally have kept it alive for about a year! My grandmother had a huge Christmas cactus when I was a little girl that bloomed every year big beautiful red blooms, magically overnight or so it seemed!
There seems to be a plethra of info about how to get them to bloom, but growing things in Arizona is different than anywhere else! Any help would be wonderful!!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2014 at 2:22PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Lynn, I just keep mine close to south facing windows and water them when they're dry. They almost all bloom nicely for me, although always later than folks up north/ in cold winter areas.

I DO try to not have them right under a light that stays on late in winter (say, my reading lamp or lamp by my bedside) but other than that, I just let them do their thing.

I've still got a couple of dozen varieties of them, and if mature plants don't bloom for 3 years I toss them, hah, but that's pretty rare. Nearly all of mine bloom each year, often a few flowers at a time. I've got one blooming now, one with buds, and a few others just budding up. The biggest flower show on mine is usually late January/February. I bet if you just leave yours as is and make sure it's not under a bright night time light, you'll get flowers too.

Keep us posted. Your plant looks happy and healthy and I love the talavera pot.

Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2014 at 10:18PM
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