Stressed Schlumbergera (Thanksgiving Cactus)

greendale(6B)November 28, 2012

I was excited when the Thanksgiving Cactus flowers open - it grow from a cutting within one year - I think it started around Feb this year and it was sitting there doing nothing, but then it rooted. It spend summer outside but then eaten by some critters. It still has hole on the leaves. But to my surprise - it is flowering. After checking other flowering TC pictures on the forum, mine looks a little bit stressed. It is not perky to say - the leave is a little bit shrink - not that juicy. I am a little paranoid about the theory - the plant is flowering under stress environment because it want pass its gene before its death. Is that what going on here?

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I've never bought into that theory, which seems to apply almost exclusively to annuals logically, and to a very few longer-lived plants that do die after flowering. Otherwise, a plant must be healthy to flower, IME.

But seeing the surface of your pot, I wonder if you're confusing this plant with desert-type cactus that need much more dry conditions, a mistaken assumption I also had about the Easter cactus my neighbor gave me this summer. Is your plant in just gravel or is that just a surface dressing?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 12:49PM
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The gravel is just a surface dressing. the "soil" is Al's gritty mix (Turface, Grit and Fir Bark). You think I kept it too dry?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Uh, we're the blind leading the blind here... If you've been treating it like a real cactus, then yes, I'd say too dry. The kind folks here fixed my identical mistaken assumption connected to the word "cactus" when it comes to these holiday cactus plants. I'm sure someone who is actually qualified to give more details will be along soon.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 2:28PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

that person is me. schlumbergera Truncata Group catus are epiphytic cactus plants that grow on trees. therefore, they need great deals of wter. they hate to dry out i water them like a spider plant, only letting them dry out allitle bit especially during the dormant period that is after flowering. they are so strong they will flower in spite of poor conditions(no offense). just water more often and post back in a week to say if it looks more plump

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 2:45PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Well I'm not that sure of all that, TG; you forgot a key word here. That word would be TROPICAL, these are jungle cacti & the word jungle or tropical indicates that they want humidity (rather than desert or arid land cacti which don't).

Also, they don't hate to dry out, in fact they MUST dry out btwn waterings or they'll rot.

It's great you grew this from a cutting to blooms in one year, excellent, congratulations.

(Ignoring that theory completely,) I will tell you this is blooming right on schedule, when it's supposed to, so there's nothing wrong w/ that.

I'll point out that it's thirsty, the leaves are a bit wrinkly, so I'd water it some now or on a sunny morning soon (I'd water on the outer edge of the pot, away from the foliage). When it has finished blooming, then don't water it for several weeks (while it rests) & then resume watering when you see new growth starting.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Thanks all. I was more suspecting it is cold the room temp is basically from 64 in the morning then gradually drop to around 57 when everybody get back home. I watered it roughly once every week - had the impression to reduce water when in winter. I will try to increase the frequency of watering.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Just an update. Yes, it is because too dry. I water it more frequently and it is perked up now.
Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Looks good! I wish mine would perk up some, not sure what I am doing/not doing for it, but it sure is droopy, but it's been thru a lot too. I am glad to see yours doing much better~~ :)


    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:15PM
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