Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New Christmas Cactus!

Jane doesn't know it yet, but she's becoming a team member on this blog, come January. She has too many great ideas to keep quiet any longer!

The Christmas tree didn't cheer me up. And, the parties have been a bore. But, a special little package from Jackson & Perkins really brightened my day. I knew it was from her before I opened it. (Soul sisters.)

Keep Christmas Cactus happy by ignoring the word 'cactus.' They prefer cool temperatures and moist soil for longest blooms. But, they cannot sit in water. Drain their saucers and wait until top soil is dry to water again.

These beauties are breathtaking for awhile but they look pretty ragged as the flowers tire out. That's a good time to cut back their sectioned leaves for stronger flowering. Propagate these leaves in moist vermiculite and they should bloom the following year.

* Schlumbergera truncata, the Christmas Cactus, feels right at home in high altitudes. It was originally a forest cactus at high (4,000+) elevations in Brazil.

* Cool nights, around 50 degrees F, get them on a blooming schedule for a bright Christmas show.

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