Saturday, January 08, 2011

Christmas Cactus

Last January I pruned the roots and trimmed my old Christmas cactus. (See post “Root Pruning” from January 27, 2010.)    I don’t prune the roots often because Christmas cactus doesn’t mind being root bound.

This plant could be Schlumbergera russelliana - that's my best guess. It is the granddaughter or great-granddaughter of the original plant I got 50 years ago. The flowers are brilliant red and it is usually blooms at Christmas. I have never seen one exactly like it at the garden centers.

After trimming last year, I took four cuttings and put them in a small vase of water. I planted them in potting soil about a month later. All four cuttings ended up in a single 4” plastic pot (because I was too lazy to plant four separate pots). Maybe you can see the tiny buds on the baby plants in the picture below.

I’ll transplant each one to individual clay pots one of these days. These plants seem to do better in a clay pot. (Plastic pots may keep the plant too wet.) Also Christmas Cacti tend to get top heavy. The weight of the clay pot keeps them from toppling over.

I will give three away.  I'm looking for takers.

I’ll keep one to start a new generation.

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