Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Thanksgiving Cactus



It looks just like the more well-known Christmas cactus but this species blooms at Thanksgiving time. It will be in full bloom this Thanksgiving day!  Nothing like a blooming plant to add to the festivities of the holidays. Well cared-for plants will bloom right on time every year so they should be one of the easiest parts of preparing for a celebration.

This one was made from cuttings from my husband's grandfather's plant so it's pretty old stock and still a beauty to brighten things up!  

Vibrant, showy bursts of flowers pop up all over this holiday succulent. It is available in an array of colors. The Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti have been a houseplant favorite for over 100 years!  It is botanically known as a Zygocactus, and is a member of the Cactaceae family.  It is an epiphyte, which means they naturally grow on trees and is indigenous to South America.

Care Instructions--
  • A few hours of direct morning sun would be ideal. More than a couple hours of afternoon sun would be too much. They are quite happy with very bright indirect light. 
  • Water when the top of the soil feels very dry. In a 6" (15cm)diameter pot, they should get about 1 cup to 1 -1/2 (about 1/4 liter or so) cups of water. 
  • A cool window is ideal. Cooler temperatures and the amount of daylight they get, will cue them to set buds. 
  • Fertilize regularly when not in bloom. Blossom Booster or African violet food may help their blooming if used during the late summer and early fall. Once blooming, do not fertilize again until blooming ceases.
  • Putting them outdoors in a shady spot during the summer months, would be beneficial..
Propagation-- 
  • They are easily propagated by single joints in peat moss.  A potting soil mix that is mostly peat moss or half orchid mix and half peat would serve well as a rooting medium.
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**To see more indoor plants on this blog, click here: The Indoor Garden blog
***To watch short video clips on plant care from my 90's TV series, click below:
  The Indoor Garden TV

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