Suzy11December 4, 2013

Do Christmas cactuses like to be watered deeply until the water comes out the bottom and letting it soak in water a few minutes and then you spits it or do they like to be just watered lightly from the top and spitsted? I have another question. When in the house in the winter time do they need circleization(keep air moving)? For circleization I spits my citrus twice a day, my Rosebush every other day, what about the cactus? Also how often do I fertilize?

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

By spits, do you mean spritz?

Some of this is a little technical, but the info about how these plants grow naturally should help you get a feel for what they like. These kinds of plants are from jungles, although they are called cacti, and don't like to grow in very dry or sandy conditions like a desert cactus would.

This article reads a little more smoothly, and is more about the flowers.

If you add a pic to this discussion, folks should be able to tell you what kind you have. Is something causing you to be concerned your plant isn't doing well?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 12:29PM
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Watering is at the top of the list of what causes problems to house plants. More damage is done by the simple act of giving too much loving care by giving water to house plants.

How much, when, how, where, ....are the usual questions that owners deal with.....so they give water thinking the plant needs it.

I like to put the question to the owner: What about yourself....do you like water---do you need water---do you drink water constantly and what happens when you do.

The bathroom visits come sometimes at the wrong time....but when nature calls.......
Plants have to depend on their owners to know when and how much plants need it.

When a plant is given water---its temperature and its source can have a lot to do with its health.
The temperature--plants don't like it too cold---as straight from the tap. They don't like it from a tap on a softening system--the salts in such a system can cause it misery.
When we water we like to see drainage out the bottom to tell us the plant is getting rid of some of the build-up of salts that is in the soil. If we let the water sit in the saucer below for extended times, the drainage is then taken back up....with the accompanying salts. So its better if we let the drainage sit for only a short time...ten dump it.
We are satisfied that the plant, having drained, the water got to the roots. Sometimes we're fooled into this idea since sometimes, the soil dries out---shrinks from the edges and when we water, the water goes straight down the sides and out the drainage holes.
(just a note---pots should have drainage holes and something between the holes and the soil so that water build-up doesn't do damage to the roots)
We water "when the plants need it"....not as by a schedule by how the owner puts a clock on it.
Plants, like ourselves, need water when we feel we need it.
Plants use water according to outside and internal conditions. During summer, weather constitutes how a plant might use its water reserve. During winter--not nearly as much.
The sun---is the one lone source of life to us....and to plants. Too much...we burn, too little we look for it.
Plants do the same...too much, they dry out and reach out.
Too little, they dry out and reach out for more.

Yes, plants dry out when given too much because their roots, having taken up all they can use, can stop taking up more....their roots dry out and die.
The lower leaves are usually the first sign of problems.

Different plants, because they are from different regions of the globe, have characteristics all their own. Some can take lots of water---and need lots. Others, not so much....even can survive on what would starve others.
Cactus is of the family of plants that survive on little...but they do need water---when they need it.

Turning a plant a quarter turn every other day to the sun helps the plant obtain equal parts of sunlight for all of its parts.
Testing a plant's soil by using the finger--poke it into the soil up to the first knuckle---if its damp...let it go another couple days. If its dry, water to drainage--dump the excess.
Usually, most plant like to be allowed to dry down between waterings......but information on the specific plant should be learned.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 6:39PM
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no plant is fine thanks. I even think that maybe it grew a little. Just wondered how I should water and fertilize so that it stays healthy. I did miss spell. Sorry

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:07PM
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ok, that solves the watering problem. Thanks goren. I just bought the cactus two days ago.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:22PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

"Cactus is of the family of plants that survive on little...but they do need water---when they need it."

Pardon me, but I wish to point out to someone new to these plants that these are tropical, jungle cacti, which DO want a fair amount of water, unlike the dry, arid land cacti referred to above.

It rains a lot at certain times of the year where these plants are from, I grew up there, definitely tropical.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 10:28PM
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Okay thank you. Do you know if they like to stay moist or do you water them when they get a little dry?
Sorry If i aam technical. I worry too much. I haven't had houseplants in years. A few months ago I had a tree die of thirst so I worry

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

"Different plants, because they are from different regions of the globe, have characteristics all their own."

Very true. Epiphytic jungle cacti, as PG said, are from tropical rain forests, not deserts.

"The holiday cacti are epiphytic plants native to a small region in the Organ Mountains (22 south latitude) north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in South America. Rainfall varies from 17" per month in December to March to 3" per month in the dry season."
- http://www.ag.auburn.edu/hort/landscape/Hcactus.htm

"These Schlumbergera species grow as epiphytes among tree branches in shady rain forests, and their pendulous stems make them a great choice for hanging baskets."
- http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/indoor/flowering/hgic1554.html

I don't let these dry out like I do true cacti and other succulents like Kalanchoe, jade, Sedum, thanks to PG setting me straight about my EC about 2 years ago. Thanks again, PG!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 11:01AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No, they don't like to stay moist, & that can risk rot.

Best to let them mostly dry out btwn waterings & then water well at each watering (til it comes out the bottom).

Pls. don't apologize for being technical, it's not a problem.

But pls DO try not to worry; read here & everywhere you can. Also, watch your plant's behavior & bit by bit you'll learn more & become more comfortable.

Hiya Purple (waving), Kind of you to say; as always, you are most welcome!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Thank you both very much for the great info. The only time you Spritz is at Wotring time right?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 3:18PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

If you mean by that spray or mist, you don't even need to do that, they'll be just fine w/out it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Suzy, since you have the best interests of your plants in mind I recommend you visit your local 'used' book store....where you can find pretty well anything on every subject under the sun....at a reduced price....and they usually have oodles of books on gardening, including house plants.
Sometimes the exhibiting of our plants can be a problem where the only place they can get decent sun is in a room with a floor that mustn't be spilled water on---hardwood usually.
For these plants its recommended that you use a sleeve pot...i.e. a pot in a pot, that catches the drainage.
These are usually colorful pots---ones that you want to be seen with your plant in. But watch out, drainage, left too long, can build up and can reach the roots that often trail out...down into the water.
But they make for wonderful ways to water....and forget it until its that time to dump.

Where getting sufficient sun at this time of year can be a problem its recommended that plants be raised....as on a desk, table, or pedestal....or raised to hang from something sturdy enough to hold it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Okay great info. thank you very much :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:57PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Suzy - it's generally not a good idea to compare plants to people. Their systems are quite different than ours, and the use of anthropomorphization is much more likely to lead you astray than provide enlightenment. Plants are reactive organisms, responding to their environments in predictable ways. For example, when you over-water them they don't "drink too much". An over-watered plant lacks an adequate amount of oxygen in the root zone. As a result of that fact, we can predict impaired root function, which means it will be very difficult for the plant to take up water and nutrients until the condition is resolved, even though the plant might languish in a sea of plenty.

If you have interest, you might take a look at the link I left below. It provides an outline that can help you avoid the pitfalls that most commonly befall growers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click me to see!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 4:00PM
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