General Discussion:

Christmas Cactus

Messages posted to thread:

Margie01-Dec-00 04:56 PM EST   
Bill02-Dec-00 01:50 AM EST   
Jo02-Dec-00 10:04 AM EST   
Brian @ Prairie & Parkland Planta03-Dec-00 07:32 PM EST   
Phil Myre04-Dec-00 04:32 PM EST   
Sharon05-Dec-00 10:21 PM EST   
Linda06-Dec-00 12:10 AM EST   
Audrey Cornford14-Jan-01 11:28 AM EST   
glen15-Jan-01 11:27 AM EST   
Susan16-Jan-01 09:26 AM EST   
carolincalgary16-Jan-01 05:30 PM EST   
Marg Chapman19-Jan-01 01:51 AM EST   

Subject: Christmas Cactus
From: Margie
Date: 01-Dec-00 04:56 PM EST

Folks, if any of you have been given or purchased a Christmas Cactus, and are wondering how to make it bloom each year, here is a tip that I have found useful. Someone said they need to be in complete darkness for xxx hours per day, for a couple of months before Christmas (the number of hours is not important to my story!). This person suggested that dining rooms were probably the right place in most homes -- unless you are holding fancy dinners every night, chances are you dining room meets these light conditions. Anyway, I tried it last year and my little cactus did start blooming in early December. I ignored it for the past year, and noticed that it had buds a few weeks ago, and now it is blooming again. So, the dining room seems to work for me. Hope some of you out there can use this tip!

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Bill
Date: 02-Dec-00 01:50 AM EST

A further note about Christmas Cactus. I remember reading somewhere that once buds have set on your plant it is best not to move it. Apparently as the buds turn back towards a light source they will snap off the plant. I would be interested in hearing if this has happened to anyone or if anyone has heard of this before.

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Jo
Date: 02-Dec-00 10:04 AM EST

I would like to know if you can tell me how much and how often to water my cactus. I water most of my other plants once a week.

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Brian @ Prairie & Parkland Planta
Date: 03-Dec-00 07:32 PM EST

Please join the discussion underway in the Question & Answers section. Thanks.

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Phil Myre
Date: 04-Dec-00 04:32 PM EST

Hi I might as well join the crowed we have two Christmas cactus and they are about two or three years and no flowers yet I have them in a east window they are of good growth and healthy ??? one is a bright red one and one that I got from my sister in Calgary and its a pink double one so like everyone else I am wishing for blooms and I do not care when as long as they bloom I also though of threatening them :-) Phil

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Sharon
Date: 05-Dec-00 10:21 PM EST

In answer to Bill re the movement of the cactus with buds on it- I have experienced both drop off of buds when moving the plant from one end of the window sill to the other as well as no dropping of any buds when moving from one apartment to another in the dead of winter. Both situations were experienced with the same plant. So who knows what the answer is.

After about 8 months of strictly leaf growth, I'm watching for clues of bud development. I keep noticing what I think are buds forming and it turns out to be a leaf extension. So I've now moved the plant right onto the window sill hoping the added light will be an inspiration. I may have a problem in the watering department. I tend to water everything once a week whether they like it or not. I can't seem to remember which gets what so I just give them all the same thing and hope for the best. But I will try to stress the Christmas cactus a bit by not watering so vigorously if anyone think's that will trick it into blooming.

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Linda
Date: 06-Dec-00 12:10 AM EST

Christmas cactus set buds when days are short. Put them in a window that doesn't receive artificial light.

Plants drop buds if they are stressed. This often occurs with a change of temperature. Strange as it might sound different parts of the window can vary depending on heating vents etc.

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Audrey Cornford
Date: 14-Jan-01 11:28 AM EST

my plant is very bushy and looks like it needs cutting back or/a nd splitting up. I would also like to know what kind of soil I should be using? Sincerely Audrey

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: glen
Date: 15-Jan-01 11:27 AM EST

I find that a basement windowsill works well to get the plant to bloom. Also any room which is not used often (where lights aren't turned on at night.) In my apartment, I had a cactus in the front room right on the windowsill. Despite getting light at night, it did bloom. I think this was because it received natural sun during the day and the plant was able to sense the days were getting shorter. The only real worry about moving the plant is if you are buying one from the store. The trauma of moving the plant (that is, the plant shaking it as it drives in the car) as well as chill from the cold may force it to drop it's buds. Right after christmas you often see the cactus on sale in stores. Good time to buy one and get it to bloom next year. A mature plant looks much more striking in bloom than the small ones you buy at the store. By the way, my plants seem to bloom before christmas and then about February.

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Susan
Date: 16-Jan-01 09:26 AM EST

My Christmas cactus was a sorry looking tiny thing on sale at a garden center in about February last year. I bought it cheaop (about $2!) and re-potted it in ordinary potting soil. I put it on the kitchen windowsill (faces south-east) and water it once a week. I had a nice blooming in November and it's starting to bloom again now...

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: carolincalgary
Date: 16-Jan-01 05:30 PM EST

my most successful xmas cactus hangs in my kitchen in an east window on one side and a north window into my back porch on the other. I turn it 3-4 times a year.It usually blooms about twice each winter.Occasionally it blooms half and half

Subject: RE: Christmas Cactus
From: Marg Chapman
Date: 19-Jan-01 01:51 AM EST

re: Christmas cactii! Ihave several - 3 different colors,and various ages(sizes) of plant. They NEVER bloom at Christmas but usually bloom 3 times each winter. I believe this is because as soon as the danger of frost is past, I stick them outside amongst other plants where they don't get really hot sun. They stay there until end of Oct/early Nov. (on B.C.'s west coast) or until night temps are down to about 3-5o C. By now they usually have good-sized buds. Then I bring them in and put them in a room with 2 large windows (oneEast, one South).Once they finish this biggest bunch of blooms, I put them in a spare bedroom where it doesn't get as much heat, but still mod. daylight. I water very sparingly with liquid miracle-Gro houseplant food (no more that 1/4 c) every 7-10 days, or less if I forget or go away. I don't know for sure but I think they do best when they are quite cool at night. I never put mine in the dark other than normal night-time.

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