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Old 03-31-2015, 08:57 PM   #1
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Christmas/Easter Cactus

My Christmas Cactus from this past Christmas has decided to become an Easter Cactus. Two of the flowers have opened up beautifully and another one is about to open. It's blooming because it's still small enough to sit on the kitchen window sill, and when I pull the blind down in the evening it has perfect conditions...cold and dark. Once it gets bigger it will have to be moved to a table in the dining room and those conditions will not longer exist. One year I tried to duplicate those conditions by putting one in a dark corner of the garage. I forgot about it and it died.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:16 PM   #2
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Next time Carol, put it in the garage, but up front where you will see it or put a note up front reminding yourself to check on it. They are so well worth the effort.
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Old 04-01-2015, 02:26 AM   #3
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I have a giant old one that belonged to my mother and it has not blossomed since I moved to my current apartment with steam heat!

It used to be covered with blossoms every year around Thanksgiving, I miss seeing them!

My mother started it from a cutting that a friend gave her in the 1970's. I have continued to take cuttings from the plant and created new plants for family members and for some of my mother's old friends. I like the idea of that old plant spreading slowly around the world. My family thinks I'm nuts, not sure how they figured that out!
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
I have a giant old one that belonged to my mother and it has not blossomed since I moved to my current apartment with steam heat!

It used to be covered with blossoms every year around Thanksgiving, I miss seeing them!

My mother started it from a cutting that a friend gave her in the 1970's. I have continued to take cuttings from the plant and created new plants for family members and for some of my mother's old friends. I like the idea of that old plant spreading slowly around the world. My family thinks I'm nuts, not sure how they figured that out!
I think that is a lovely tradition. Don't ever stop. My sister used to do that. Her kitchen looked like a jungle. She called all her plants, "her babies." She started out naming them, but then it got to be to many. She would even talk to them. Every year when her Christmas cactus bloomed, she would call every one she knew and give them the good news. Then the next time I would be at her house, I would yell at the cactus and tell it that it was the ugliest plant in the world. My sister would chase me around the table with her broom. Then she would go over and talk softly to it and say how lovely and pretty it was.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
I have a giant old one that belonged to my mother and it has not blossomed since I moved to my current apartment with steam heat!

It used to be covered with blossoms every year around Thanksgiving, I miss seeing them!

My mother started it from a cutting that a friend gave her in the 1970's. I have continued to take cuttings from the plant and created new plants for family members and for some of my mother's old friends. I like the idea of that old plant spreading slowly around the world. My family thinks I'm nuts, not sure how they figured that out!
The bleeding heart in my perennial flower bed is from my grandma's garden. My mom and I dug up my grandma's bleeding heart after she died, brought it home, planted it. My mom moved it to Canada (and back again) (shhhh...). When I visited my parents in Ontario (from Ottawa), I brought some shoots / roots home...planted them at the little cabin, dug it up when we moved, planted it here. Several of my friends have bleeding heart plants from my grandma's plant from when I had to divide it. I am very protective of that plant!
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:56 AM   #6
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Addie, my reasoning for putting it back in a corner was that it needs the periods of darkness along with the cold. Next time I will just put a note on the calendar to remind me to water it.

I also love the tradition of giving cuttings to family members. Didn't work for me, though. I gave my step-daughter a piece of my day-lily. They planted it on the side of the house. The next spring, when it hadn't grown up out of the ground yet, they decided to put in a cement driveway and that was the end of that plant. Similar with my step-son. He planted some pieces of my day-lily and they were blooming beautifully in his yard. Then he moved. I guess he could have dug them up, or even a piece of them, but the house they bought is beautifully landscaped and there's really no place to plant them. Actually, some of my tiger lilies are from pieces I dug up from the family cabin. Things like that mean a lot to me, but not to these two. Neither of these two are the type to take care of house plants.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
Addie, my reasoning for putting it back in a corner was that it needs the periods of darkness along with the cold. Next time I will just put a note on the calendar to remind me to water it.

I also love the tradition of giving cuttings to family members. Didn't work for me, though. I gave my step-daughter a piece of my day-lily. They planted it on the side of the house. The next spring, when it hadn't grown up out of the ground yet, they decided to put in a cement driveway and that was the end of that plant. Similar with my step-son. He planted some pieces of my day-lily and they were blooming beautifully in his yard. Then he moved. I guess he could have dug them up, or even a piece of them, but the house they bought is beautifully landscaped and there's really no place to plant them. Actually, some of my tiger lilies are from pieces I dug up from the family cabin. Things like that mean a lot to me, but not to these two. Neither of these two are the type to take care of house plants.
I think it is the most loving thing to have something like a plant that is healthy and alive and has a family history. Some folks are just not into plants. Hopefully as they get into middle age or past it, they will understand the importance of having a living history that is part of the past. I put something like that gesture the same as passing along a very expensive old piece of furniture or the family silver.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:48 PM   #8
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My beloved Jamaican cleaning lady from many years ago gave me all her plants after her husband died and she had to move in with her sister in another state. The enormous Christmas cactus she gave me thrives on neglect, and selectively blooms at either Halloween or Christmas, sometimes with a repeat for Easter. I used to put it outside in the shade garden during the summer, now I don't bother doing that anymore.

I let it dry out, maybe water once a week or two. I don't fertilize it. It's in a plant stand in the living room, and gets filtered light.
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