Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Cactus

The orange tinted cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is actually a Thanksgiving cactus. A gift from a friend two years ago, this orange/red flowered plant is the second to bloom each year.

My 3-cactus collection spends the summer on our deck out of direct sun. I bring them in at the end of summer. They spend most of the year in a cool, unused (no artificial light) room in a sunny, south-facing window.

Since they are out of sight I sometimes forget to water, but they don’t seem to mind - as long as I get there before they totally expire. I fertilize every other week in the summer. They may get a weak fish emulsion fertilizer a few times in the winter. Did I mention that I sometimes forget about them?

The white cactus (Zygocactus) bloomed in early November.

The red Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) has set buds and will be in full bloom by Christmas.

I bring each plant into the dining room as they start to bloom. The three plants provide 2 or 3 months of flowers during the winter.
Of all the house plants, the Christmas Cactus must be the easiest flowering house plant to grow.

More information from Clemson University Extension.

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