Christmas Cactus - Just love these little guys

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)December 6, 2011

So how does your Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus look? I have a peach one in full-bloom and a red one and a pink one getting ready to bust out. I just love these simple little plants. Easy to grow. Reliable bloomers. So easy to abuse when not blooming and then throw some TLC at them around, oh, October! Easy to bring some flowers indoors when not much else is in bloom.

Carol

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corar4gw(JAX9A)

-------and I have two white ones that are blooming like crazy. Had 6 - 8 different colors at one time but some bug or something wiped them out. I'm disinclined to start over again. cora

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 4:38AM
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tinael01(10A)

Mine look great but no blooms. What 's the secret?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 8:21AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I grow mine in my screened-in porch which faces due West year-round. I don't move them or make any adjustment for daylight. I just get very lucky that they bloom on-schedule each year.

Also, the screened-in porch may be the reason I haven't had any pest problems? Cora, I didn't even know Christmas cactus had any enemies until your post! I'm so sorry about yours.

Carol

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 8:27AM
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marcia_m(5 and 9)

I had a big one that I had a neighbor watch for me over the Christmas holidays last year. She overwatered and it rotted :( But I knew I could start new plants from its cuttings, so I wasn't angry. The cuttings aren't growing very fast, so no flowers this year. The big box stores have lots of cute ones for sale that are flowering now.
Marcia

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 10:01AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

"...which faces due west year-round" Haha! I had to laugh at myself. Of course it faces west year-round! Did I think I rotated my house? LOL!

I meant that I keep them on the porch year-round. But I do bring them in to the kitchen table when they start to bloom. When finished, they go back to porch.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 10:26AM
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dirtygardener73(9a)

Mine is in full bloom too. I need to take a pic but it's not nearly as pretty as last year, so I'm not too enthusiastic about it. The squirrels really did a number on it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:47PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Carried these from NY. They seem to love Florida weather.

The plant on the left is still in bud, not blooming yet. It is a peachy color

Jane

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 9:52PM
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oukay

I, too, had some mystery plague wipe mine out a few years ago. They were in various areas - house, lanai, outside. The stems would start looking waterlogged (even when bone dry soil) then the leaves/stems would start falling off. One of them was 20 years old - sigh. I have started over again, but cautiously.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 7:37PM
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saldut

I read where they have different bloom-times, some are 'Thanksgiving Cactus' and some are 'Christmas Cactus' !! I had abt. 9-10 of them and half look terrible now, wilted and pieces dropping off, and the other half are great.. can't figure out if too much water or not enough ! sally

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 4:57PM
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shuffles_gw

There is also an Easter cactus.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 11:55AM
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meg_w

My grandmother told me that in order to bloom they needed a certain number of hours of darkness with no interuptions. She used to pull the shades at night to keep the street lights from shining in the window on her plants. Don't know if that is what made the difference but, she always had great blooms.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 3:37PM
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corar4gw(JAX9A)

Meg, your grandmother was right. Christmas cactus and Poinsettia both need prolonged darkness to start the blooming process. Cooler weather helps, too.
cora

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 6:09PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

I've grown them indoors and this year outside and they don't require any light restrictions. They bloom every year at this time. I do think cooler temps start them budding. I never controlled light at all.

Living room:

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 1:19AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

A nice website on Schlumbergera and Rhipsalidopsis:

Here is a link that might be useful: RECOGNITION and CULTURE of the HOLIDAY CACTI

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 8:24AM
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marcia_m(5 and 9)

I have what I believe is a plant of the true "Christmas Cactus" variety, Schlumbergera x buckleyi, as described on the link above. I got a cutting from a hundred year old plant that was willed to the historical society in PA where I volunteer. It spent all spring, summer and fall outside under one of our small live oak trees and I think it got too much sun, or maybe it needs some fertilizer, the stems are such a light green. Its buds are just forming now, so I'll miss the blooms as we'll be back in PA for the holidays. I brought it inside yesterday because I'm afraid we'll have a frost when we're away and not here to cover it.
Marcia

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 9:44AM
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