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A Small Christmas Cactus Miracle: GBBD, December 2010

December 16, 2010

Christmas Cactus (photo credit: Jean Potuchek About ten years ago, I treated myself to a Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) houseplant. For several years, it bloomed prolifically each year – although never at Christmas. The first year, it bloomed in late November. And each year after that, it bloomed a little earlier, until it was blooming in time for Halloween. Whenever it bloomed, though, I considered it a treat; the extravagance of its flowers always made me smile.

Then, four years ago, the Christmas cactus suffered a near-death experience. The person who was supposed to be watering my plants while I was away during the summer didn’t come for several weeks; and the combination of the lack of water and summer heat was too much for this plant. By the time I returned home, it’s foliage was dry and withered. I tried to save it, but one by one, its branches fell off. In desperation, I stuck one or two that looked like they might still have some life in them into the soil to see if they would root – and they did!

This year, for the first time since that experience of neglect, my Christmas cactus is blooming. It’s a very small plant at this point, and it only formed two buds. But those buds started to open in early December, just in time to give my bedroom plant window a festive feel for the holidays. So for this bloom day, I once again have Christmas cactus flowers to make me smile. Happy holidays, everyone!

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Visit her blog to see what’s in bloom this month in gardens (and homes) around the world.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2010 1:50 am

    Congratulations on the flower and happy holidays to you! My mother had one of these that never did anything but sulk in its pot. It was neglected for sure, but I guess it wasn’t the proper kind of neglect…

  2. December 16, 2010 6:58 am

    Jean that was a wonderful story ! .. I am guilty of mismanagement ? when I had these pretty plants .. I might just have to go pick one up at the height of this season’s madness to start all over again .. you have been an inspiration for me !
    Joy : )

  3. December 16, 2010 8:26 am

    It’s a great story. I’m so happy it’s blooming this year. Mine bloomed for Remembrance Day and Easter all in one year (two years ago) and hasn’t bloomed for Christmas again. 😉

  4. December 16, 2010 12:57 pm

    Happy bloom day! Those Christmas cactus are amazing, mine is blooming the second time this year.

  5. December 16, 2010 4:27 pm

    Hi Jean. I have stuck accidentally broken branches from my cactus in the
    soil before rather than tossing them. I was always surprised to see them start
    rooting and growing. I am glad you were able to save a piece from your older
    cactus.
    Wishing you a Wonderful Christmas!

  6. December 16, 2010 9:43 pm

    Happy Bloom Day and a nice ending to your cactus story for both you and you cactus.

  7. December 17, 2010 10:38 am

    I’m glad to hear about your Christmas cacti’s resuscitation — very smart to root the healthy looking bits!

  8. December 17, 2010 11:53 pm

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. jim and pat

  9. December 21, 2010 4:04 am

    Season’s Greetings Jean. I’d hoped to make it to your neck of the woods this year, but somehow 2010 just disappeared. Never mind, it’s on my Wish List for 2011. Happy holidays.

  10. December 21, 2010 1:29 pm

    I’m glad your cactus survived! My grandmother had a giant old Christmas cactus that was grown from a start from her mother-in-law’s plant – a true antique, I’m sure. But Grandma is too old to take care of plants anymore, and it was dumped into the trash a few years ago. On that depressing note (sorry), have a great holiday! May your cactus bloom for many years!

  11. December 21, 2010 3:26 pm

    The will to survive is strong and oh what a bonus Jean ~ the new plant knows the season 🙂 Wishing you all the very best at this time of year and happy gardening in 2011 xxx

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