A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Cactus

This is the cactus that was chewed by a rodent. It was so pretty...I loved it.
These are the newer ones. They will grow...this was the first time they bloomed...at the same time.

What Do You Know About Christmas Cactus?

Christmas cactus is a tropical plant. They are quite different from the cacti that grow in the desert and they make wonderful house plants. A Christmas cactus has beautiful blooms and is a wonderful gift for the holidays.

Christmas cactus is native to South American rainforests and is plentiful in Brazil. The genus name for the plant is Schlumbergera which originates from the name of a 19th century Frenchman who collected cactus.
His name was Fredric Schlumberger. The gorgeous tropical plant is called a Christmas cactus, although it isn’t really a cactus, because it looks a lot like a cactus and it blooms around Christmas time.

Christmas cactus has flat stems that look like leafs. The stems of the Christmas cactus sport unique flowers, usually a deep red color, though the blooms can be various bright colors such as fuchsia and orange. Some Christmas cactus have white blooms.

Christmas cactus require light to grow and should be kept away from heat sources such as the fireplace or heater vents since it is not tolerant to droughts as most true cacti are.

A Christmas cactus should be watered when the top of the soil feels dry. Over watering of Christmas cacti should be avoided.

They can be kept outside in a shady area during the summer but should not be exposed extensively to direct sunlight.

Hummingbirds pollinate the Christmas cactus in its natural habitat.

Around October, the Christmas cactus should be placed in the dark and moved back into indirect sunlight around the end of November. With proper care, Christmas cactus will bloom in time for the holiday.

The above is from the Internet. My cactus stays outside behind a trellis with clematis growing on it. I leave it alone all summer. It gets an occasional squirt of water...when I water clematis and some water goes in it's direction. As soon as the night temps get cool but before frost. I bring it in and put it in the basement by my shelf with grow lights. It sits there until I see a bud forming. I water it and bring it upstairs. As soon as the plant hits the heat of the house..it pops.

Leaving it outside can be dangerous though. My very old cactus, given to me by a friend, was chewed to pieces by some rodent. I was sick...but that's what happens sometimes. I really watch mine now. I first fell in love with this plant when I watched the Walton's Christmas Show. and Olivia, played by Patricia Neal went to the basement and brought up her cactus. It was a bit of beauty that Christmas on Walton's Mountain.



Britt-Arnhild said...

My grandmother always used to have a pink Christmas cactus.

When to decorate for Christmas? We NEVER do it untill Christmas is here, still one month ahead. before that, from next week-end, we'll celebrate Advent.

Balisha said...

Hi Britt,
We celebrate Advent in our Church. We don't do any Christmas decorating there until the minute before Christmas. Lately we have done the outside Church decorating early, but we don't turn on the lights until Christmas.
In our homes...lately we seem to be decorating so much earlier that we used to. I think it is the influence of our stores, TV advertisements etc. Everyone is in such a hurry and they try to hurry Christmas too. We have an advent wreath and we always had an advent calendar for our children to follow. I will look forward to how you celebrate it in your home.

Judy said...

My mother always had a Christmas cactus. Hers was pin, too. I did not know how to take care of them. Thanks for the info. Great post.

OhioMom said...

What a pretty spot of color for the holiday. Great info, thanks :)

Balisha said...

Hi Judy and Ohiomom,
I love the colors of these plants too. I have been looking at, what they call a spring cactus. vibrant color and star shaped flowers.

perennialgardener said...

I've had these plants in the past, unfortunately because of my dogs & cat I can't have any indoor plants anymore. They are so pretty.