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Holiday cacti

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by Cricket on October 31, 2005 06:29 AM
Does anyone else have holiday cacti that are already blooming? Or do my northern latitude and shorter days mean that I am leading the pack? [Smile]

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by plants 'n pots on October 31, 2005 06:34 AM
Wow, Cricket - that's really nice!

I have a rather large Thanksgiving cactus, and it hasn't even set buds yet.
Wonder if this weird weather year will make a difference with it also...

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by Cricket on October 31, 2005 06:43 AM
Actually, Lynne, the red is is rather early this year. More typical for this time of year is the one on the left just setting buds. Interesting that all three plants receiving the same light stagger their buds. Genetics must be a factor.
by Jiffymouse on October 31, 2005 07:02 AM
looks good cricket! and yes, genetics plays a big part, and i really like to see when they do bloom by themselves instead of being "forced"
by plants 'n pots on October 31, 2005 07:16 AM
I agree, Jiffy - so often the forced plants bloom out before we really get to enjoy them, and the buds are just as pretty as the blooms I find.

Here's a picture of mine taken 2 days ago, pre-buds... can't wait!
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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by Cricket on October 31, 2005 07:20 AM
Nice cactus, Lynne! Can't wait to see it in full bloom. [flower]
by MissJamie on October 31, 2005 07:47 AM
wow that is beautiful cricket! I can't believe how big yours is lynne! what did you do to make it get that big??! mine's pretty small. I have 2 of them one is red and one is pink. I can't wait to see if they bloom! they are soooo easy to take care of....I hardly ever water mine! what do you have to do to make them bloom good?

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by Cricket on October 31, 2005 10:17 AM
Thanks! [flower]

Jaime, Holiday cacti do best in bright indirect light. To set buds they need cooler night time temperatures (55-65F) and uninterrupted dark nights for 6-8 weeks. Gradually reduce watering, letting the soil dry out but not to the point of wilt. Some people force their cacti to set buds by placing in a dark room at night, returning them to bright light during the day. (I don't do this because it isn't important for my plants to bloom on a certain date, my home is kept cool and at this time of year the days here in Canada are short.) Once buds begin to emerge, don't move the plant until they are established or the buds will drop. For the few weeks the plant is blooming, it is OK to display the cactus anywhere but be mindful that cooler temperatures will prolong blooms. After the flowers are finished, return the plant to its bright location. Like most flowering plants, holiday cacti bloom most prolifically when potbound.
by plants 'n pots on October 31, 2005 10:35 AM
Wondeful instructions Cricket!!!

I just wanted to add that when you said don't move the plant once it sets buds, that means don't even turn the plant in its spot - this will also cause the buds to drop - I know this from experience unfortunately!

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by Cricket on October 31, 2005 11:27 AM
Thanks for adding the bit about not rotating the plant, Lynne! [kissies]
by plants 'n pots on October 31, 2005 11:34 AM
quote:
rotating the plant
yep - THAT'S the word, Cricket!!! [Big Grin] [Embarrassed] [dunno] [perplexed]
I never was very good at vocabulary - thanks! [kissies]

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by plants 'n pots on October 31, 2005 10:23 PM
Apparently, I spoke a little too soon last night...

this morning I found 6 teeny tiny buds greeting the day [thumb]

[clappy] Yea! [clappy]

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by neko nomad on November 06, 2005 05:21 AM
Real neat stuff on Christmas cactus here I didn't know about ! It gives such dazzling colors, doesn't it? great pictures, by the way.

But I do know they'll stay with you for a long time. I've had mine for twenty six tears; it was given to me as a rooted cutting the fall of 1979 and has faithfully bloomed every year. Honestly I don't pay it much mind. It gets rainwater which I've collected and stored in two barrels in the garage. It's fed fish emulsion fertilizer every so often, but sparingly.
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by plants 'n pots on November 06, 2005 06:06 AM
Very nice, neko!

Do you take it outside during the summer?
I have not taken mine out - maybe I'll try one of the babies out there next year.

Have you shared many cuttings of yours?
I love to spread my plants around -
it's so much fun to think where these plants live around the country!

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by neko nomad on November 06, 2005 06:56 AM
Forgot to add that it's as old as the maple tree behind it in the picture. How's that for a juxtaposition ? Anyway -- Old Timer(its name) spent the summer on the spot shown, a shady location,and taken indoors a couple of weeks ago when the frost warning was given. I took it outside to pose it for its picture.

It doesn't grow anymore, just replaces leaves which it drops now and then. I'm not sure as to whether it can spare any cuttings anymore.
by Jiffymouse on November 07, 2005 12:16 AM
i've found that when you take cuttings from one, it will grow well and kinda "rejuvenate" as it were. mine are not blooming yet, but they are happier since i wacked them back hard a few weeks ago to share with the neighbor!
by Bill on November 08, 2005 01:17 AM
Moving to the House Plant forum...

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by neko nomad on November 08, 2005 06:35 AM
Yeah, but bear in mind a senior plant like Oldtimer does't grow anymore; it just stays alive.
Its terminal growth has become like leaves on a tree, withering andfalling off, to be replaced with fresh ones. It's attraction is not so much asthetic as much as matured dignity. At best its leaves are thin, and I doubt if any would root if it was trimmed off.

I do, however, share cuttings from its offspring, which are now blooming in a blaze of glory.

In the past I would pollinate it, first with pollen from a different plant, and then with pollen from its offspring. I quit doing that when the house began running out of space. Interestingly, none from any of the following generations bore the same color of flowers.
It bears small purple fruit, like a miniature cactus pear, which is filled with small black seeds.
by plants 'n pots on November 08, 2005 10:09 AM
interesting... I've never seen one of these go to fruit -
would you have a picture of that?

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by neko nomad on November 08, 2005 11:16 PM
Took a photo just this morning. Click the thumbnail. That's Nekochan behind the plant.  -
by plants 'n pots on November 08, 2005 11:25 PM
Cute kitty, and interesting fruit!

How is it that your plant produces these?
My flower buds just fall off when they are finished flowering and nothing else grows in that spot...

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by neko nomad on November 09, 2005 01:39 AM
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You need to pollinate the flower yourself.

Take a flower from a different plant - not a clone - and brush its pollen onto the red pistil as shown. Check to make sure the tip of the pistil shows pollen dust on it.

The blossom wiil hang on even after it shrivels and dries out, but its ovary will swell and become the fruit - I think it's called a drupe )- and redden as it ripens.
by plants 'n pots on November 09, 2005 02:10 AM
FASCINATING! [clappy] [thumb]

Thanks for the terrific photo and directions!

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by neko nomad on November 09, 2005 02:41 AM
You're most welcome, Ms. P&P.

You can do the same with flowering bulbs in your just as easily, with daffodils and tulips being the simplest.
Am looking forward to being able to demonstrate that, also.
by margaret e. pell on November 11, 2005 09:13 AM
AND... you can cross polinate them and grow them from seed very easily. They're also self fertile. I have a pot of babies that germinated in 2003. One has budded this year and I can't wait to see what color it is. One parent was white, the other red or hot pink (I put both in the same pot, silly me!) It still has a while to go, but the yellow one will be beautiful for Thanksgiving.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by TomR on November 12, 2005 08:41 PM
I have a white one in bloom right now and an orange one about to bloom. I love Christmas and thanksgiving cactus!

Tom

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by Cricket on November 13, 2005 07:53 AM
I have a third cactus just beginning to open - bright fuchsia - but for now...

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Tom, I'd love to see your white one in bloom!
by comfrey on January 20, 2006 08:26 AM
My mother has a Thanksgiving cactus that belonged to her grandmother, And it is an "Old Timer". I don't have a picture of it, but it is huge and she says it does not bloom anymore and appears to be dyeing. My question is how do I take a cutting and get a new plant started before this one finally gives up, or will is just sit there and do nothing???? Since this cactus has survived three generations now, I would like to try and save it, at least by starting a new one from it.

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by Marian on January 20, 2006 08:36 AM
I cross pollinate my jungle cactus and have started lots of seedlings from them . I am presently waiting for the seed capsule to mature from a cross with a xmas cactus and an easter cactus . It is rare that those two bloom at the same time , at least for me .
I just spread the still fresh seed on the top of potting soil and cover the container with clear plastic until they germinate . I keep them where they get light but no direct sun .

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by cinta on January 20, 2006 10:29 AM
I just brought a varigated CC. It is a lime green and yellow edge. Is this a new variety? I usually see the dark green leaves.

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by Kareena on January 24, 2006 09:19 AM
Can you eat the fruit?

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