Christmas Cactus question

shenue(z7 MD)April 29, 2014

Has anyone else found that their Christmas/Holiday cacti have had strange blooming times this year. Mine usually starts setting blooms in October and ends by late February. This year my cactus started its usual blooming in October, but as of today, 4-29-14, it is still going strong. It has never done this. It's hard to see in the picture....it is still producing new little buds that are developing. So strange. I started this plant from one segment 40 years ago (yes, I said 40 years). :-) Even this little guy, in the picture below, that I started from a 1 segment cutting about 18 months ago, has two new little buds developing on it. So, its first blooming is starting at the end of April. Well, this is a first for me. I thought maybe it might have had something to do with the severe winter we've had this year in Md. But, I don't know how that would have anything to do with an indoor cactus blooming time.

EDIT: Hmmm can't figure out how to post more than one picture a post. I will post the picture of the old Granddaddy plant below.

This post was edited by shenue on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 10:22

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shenue(z7 MD)

Here is the picture of the 'old guy'. :-)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:24AM
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Sundewd(9B)

Yes, mine has also developed buds recently! I don't understand why because I thought they required a lengthy dark period and cool nights to flower. Neither has happened here.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:03AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

You have a Thanksgiving Cactus there, and yes these Holiday Cacti will all bloom outside of their 'typical' bloom-frame. My Christmas Cactus bloomed from December to April this season, due I think to the amount of sunlight this Winter. They don't require lengthy dark periods, contrary to many uninformed websites that parrot that advice.

Josh

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:52AM
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shenue(z7 MD)

I just thought it strange. Like I said, I've had this 40 years...and this long blooming is a first. It is a Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus. Beautiful blooms for both holidays. And now going into May and it shows no signs of slowing. It is loaded with buds in all stages....tiny buds just starting to form to fully open blooms. It will be blooming for a long time to come too, if all these buds develop and bloom.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:48PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hi, Shenue, your plant is Schlumbergera truncata, the Thanksgiving Cactus without question. The shape and angle of the flower, as well as the points on the margins of the phylloclades (leaf segments), are key identifiers. I have a 35 year-old Christmas Cactus that has gone through periods of heavy bloom and lighter bloom throughout the years, and the variables are many: root-health, vitality, Summer growth, nutrition, light exposure, and cold exposure will all influence the profundity and longevity of the blooming period.

Josh

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 1:03PM
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donna_c

What lovely blooms on your old guy!

My Christmas Cacti also rebloomed in late March/early April this year, but my Thanksgiving Cactus didn't. I was surprised but happy to see out-of-season flowers. My plants didn't bloom as heavily the second time, however.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 2:08PM
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LatinLady(6 New York City)

Hello, everyone!

I did some research a few years ago in order to really understand and know the difference..like a 5 year old...between Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter Cactus.

Most people believe they are all one and the same with different blooming periods. Many vendors sell them all as if they were the same plant...and call everything "Christmas Cactus."

The attached photo clearly explains the difference and was taken from:
http://www.mattslandscape.com/schlumbergera_growing/

In simple to understand layman's terms:
Thanksgiving Cactus
- Leaf / Pad edges have soft points
- Flower is asymmetrical, pendulous but with a bend so bloom points sideways

Christmas Cactus
- Leaf / Pad edges are scalloped w/no points
- Flower is symmetrical, pendulous and points downward

Easter Cactus
- Leaf / Pads are concave & round (lightly scalloped)
- Flowers stand upright and are completely different from above two; Zinnia-like

I hope this is useful.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:06PM
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shenue(z7 MD)

So much great information! Thanks to you all. I really appreciate it so very much!

Linda

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:02PM
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