Every year I think I'll muster up the discipline to 'manage' Edna's glorious holiday blooms. You know the drill... make her suffer a bit by strictly managing hours of sunlight and total darkness so she'll look like the Christmas Cactus perennials you see in the stores.
But, I just can't bring myself to pick on the old gal like that. She should not have to compete with those young whipper snappers.
Edna was a cutting off of my Mother's Christmas Cactus ~ she gave that cutting to me back when I was in college. Mom started her cactus from a cutting off my Grandma's cactus. Suffice to say Edna is pretty damn old.
Throughout my life, E has been a constant companion. When I was 19, I tossed her into the back of my VW bug and took her to Memphis, where I was doing my student teaching. When we drove home for Christmas, she rode shotgun* all the way, in full bloom.
Edna is particularly happy in Utah where she gifts me, every Christmas, with hundreds of bright, fuchsia flowers. Timing-wise, some years she's spot on. Other years, she jumps the gun. When you get to be this old, you should be allowed to call the shots.
Once I see her laden with buds, I give her a weekly dose of fertilizer. It's hard work producing this many blooms.
- Weekly watering is best. She's called a cactus but she doesn't love dry soil.
- Indirect light and cool temperatures generally encourages her to bloom.
- Be nice to your cactus and she could very well accompany you to the old folks home. They live for hundreds of years.