Does anyone here have a real Christmas cactus?

alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)December 14, 2005

I was wondering if anyone has the real Christmas cactus? I like the idea of those since they bloom later.

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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi Alicia,

The only person I know who has a real Christmas cactus is my mom. Otherwise, I have not seen a real Christmas cactus for years.

Larry

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 4:44PM
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DianeKaryl(z5ONT)

OK, I'll bite, what do you mean by the term "real" schlumbergera.....bridgesi..is known by the term as well as
the truncata...zygocactus truncatus...the "crab" cactus.

I'm sure there is something hidden in your question?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 4:58PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi Diane,

I think what Alicia is alluding to is a Christmas cactus versus a Thanksgiving cactus. Karen715 found an interesting web site that explains the difference. I will put the link down below.

Larry

Here is a link that might be useful: Holiday cactus

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 5:10PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

I had a real, dead Christmas cactus once, but the neighborhood opossum dragged it away and told me to get real with a 'real' cactus. Being the considerate and consumate marsupial that typifies the species, the opossum brought me several to choose from:

Alicia,

Do you mean Zygocactus? Although it's a genus that has several names (any cactus worth its salt has been renamed at least twice), is the plant you're asking about described in the link below?

Here is a link that might be useful: A Zygocactus by any other name

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 5:12PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Yes, I mean Zygocactus bridgeii or however it's spelled, not the Thanksgiving cactus.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 5:34PM
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DianeKaryl(z5ONT)

Alicia....we live and learn....and thanks Larry for the article. Its quite interesting reading......but I'll stick to the truncata and enjoy it over Christmas.

Have a happy holiday.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 5:42PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

The only problem is that my holiday cactus normally blooms before Christmas, so I would like something that blooms later. Don't tell me to try to manipulate when my cactus blooms, I find I get the most blooms if I just leave it outside in the fall. :) Now, a couple of mine may actually hold off until Christmas this year (we had a very warm fall), but it would be the first time in 12 years!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 5:50PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Alicia,

I shan't try to tell you when to manipulate anything, whether it's cactus blooms or the structure of the universe..... but I'd suggest to you that you could have a clone of a Schlumbergera that flowers 'early', and for you to search out for differnt clones/species/hybrids/cultivars that flower later. As the link shows, they flower in the winter. You could have one that flowers in the early portion of the season. Different clones will flower at different times in the flowering season. Additionally, as you wrote, a particular year's cultural conditions can have an effect on flowering that can be markedly different from previous experience. Have several of them, in different colors, and by giving them different cultural conditions (now I am suggesting manipulation - yes, taking Mother Nature into your own hands!) you can have flowers all holiday season long, whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Festivus, the Winter Solstice (happy Druids!), Ramadan, or a secular Boxing Day.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 6:39PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Usually my cactuses, cacti, whatever blooms between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I try to keep them outside as much as possible. They do not like the dry air inside the house. (They really don't.) I am looking for a late-blooming cactus, which is the Christmas cactus!

I used to have an Easter cactus, it was a beautiful thing, unfortunately deceased now.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 7:00PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Alicia,

Hence my suggestion to get several different ones.

Since these plants are tropical in origin and epiphytic in nature, your statement about them not liking dry air is correct - this is true for all cacti, but particularly so for the 'jungle cacti'.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 7:33PM
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johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)

Festivus!!!! LOL

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 7:55PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Ah yes, Festivus.

Jeffrey, thanks for the suggestion but there's no way I'm getting several different ones (LOL). I have to lug these babies in and out all winter. I've got four already: one neon pink, two red, and one white flushed with lilac. The pink one is looking like a good Christmas present for someone.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 8:34PM
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Fledgeling_(4b SD)

The only specimen i ever saw of schlumbergera that was blooming in Christmas that wasnt from some nursery was a schlumbergera kautskyi in a plant show. Only one I ever saw of that species, i understand it is very rare in the wild and in cultivation. Smaller flowers than the other types. I donÂt know when it usually flowered, but i saw it flowering around Christmas. can anyone confirm the usual timing of this species?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 8:36PM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

This is my Christmas Cactus/Jungle Cactus with the smooth leaves.I don' know the exact age, only that it is over 100 yrs old, maybe 104 or 105, maybe older??? It's 3 1/2 ft wide and heavy, especially after watering, whew!

It doesn't seem to want to grow down-wards like I have seen some of these grow, sometimes the branches lift up-wards a little towards the sky in the summer months and then just outwards and down some sitting in a north window through the winter months.It does not need any sun at all, or even bright indirect light to flower indoors.
It gets about an hour of sun in the summer, the rest of the time it's in bright shade.

This picture taken just before, or right after Christmas a few years back. It stays indoors in a cool place under 60 degrees, if it were in a warmer room, I wouldn't have half the flowers or last half as long.

It's now in bud and should be flowering within a couple weeks, other smaller buds and ones to come will open after Christmas. The last flower shrivels up sometime in early March.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:11AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi GTigerD,

Long time no 'see'. Pls. try your link again as it's telling me "Forbidden, you don't have permission..."

Alicia,

I hate to be a bummer but other than Jeff's idea of getting several plants to have staggered blooms, the only other way is to manipulate this yourself by controlling when it gets its cold &/or dark.

These plants don't know their names, whether Thanksgiving or Xmas cacti, they're not blooming to schedule, they're blooming in reaction to cold/dark & so that's why this needs manipulating to change it.

Just buy one this year that's in bloom for Christmas, enjoy it this year & then start manipulating it for next year.

As example, I have no outdoors in which to put mine 'til frost comes. Mine lives in west windowframe, 1/2 gets direct light & is the blooming side, otehr 1/2 doesn't get direct light & never blooms (I don't turn it).

Mine gets dark 'cause it has no indoor light near it & is directly next to the window. So it gets dark when the days get shorter, the time change occurs, forcing it to have longer nights, & as the outdoors temp drops, the adjacent window gets colder & colder. These 2 things push it into bloom (not a lot, but I enjoy it). Mine usually blooms for New Years & sometimes again in late February.

It's either Jeff's idea of several to stagger blooms or manipulate the conditions yourself. I don 't believe there are other options than these to get your desired results.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 1:09AM
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ooojen(z4MN)

We all need a little redundancy in our lives. Really, we do...so I'll re-state what's been stated. Some Christmas cacti tend to bloom early season; some bloom late season, but none bloom on a precise schedule. I have several, and I can get blooms any time from late summer through early spring. No single plant of mine blooms at precisely the same time every year. Depending on the location and conditions they're getting (and possibly on their whims) they can bloom 3 times a year...or not at all.
If you only want one and don't want to "control" it, the best you can do is get a late season plant and hope it'll do what you want.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 7:50AM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi,

I just wanted to add a little bit of my experience into the mix. Until just two weeks ago I only had one holiday cactus. It is what has been referenced a Thanksgiving cactus. Our Thanksgiving cactus is in a north window and so it never gets any heat from direct sunlight in the wintertime. During the winter it gets quite cold next to the window and the temperature can get down to high 50°s during the night. Most years the blooming period starts before Thanksgiving and stops around Easter with several rest periods in between.

This year, it was a few weeks before Thanksgiving and I noticed that there weren't any buds yet. I then realize that I had been staying up a lot later at night than I have in years past. And of course the light bulbs were also on during that time. I had always thought that it was a combination of cold weather and shorter days that encouraged bud production. So I started turning off the light in the area of the Holiday cactus before Thanksgiving. Now, it could be coincidence, but in just a couple of weeks buds started to form. They should all be open in a week to two weeks. Just in time for Christmas.

So I agree with everyone who has said that just changing some environmental factors can have an effect on when buds will set. If one has more than one holiday cactus, putting one or two in a different room and exposing it to different temperatures and light, he or she may be able to influence when the plant starts producing buds.

Larry

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:03AM
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JMLehrer(z7 LI NY)

They're not all the same. A good general rule is the "crab-claw" types (with pointed segments) of S. truncata heritage bloom earlier, often around turkey day. These types dominate the market these days. The "old-fashioned" plants with more slender segments with scalloped (non-pointed) margins are commonly called S. x bridgesii. These plants bloom later in the season. Note that both types, when grown in moist, cool surroundings can produce successive waves of bloom for many months. I once patronized a nursery in Ithaca, NY with polyhouses that were kept around 50-55. You needed a jacket to browse. His holiday cacti bloomed for many months and were just plain gorgeous. One last thing, the species S. orsichhiana (sp?) and its hybrid, 'Madame Butterfly', bloom even earlier than S. truncata types. These plants have very large segments with pointed margins. Mine often have buds by early October. My S. opuntioides has never bloomed, but my hybrid S. x exotica does flower -- often in summer (with my Rhipsalidopsis)!! Call it an "Independence Day" cactus.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:06AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

LOL, OK, I don't know how to make this more CLEAR, but I am not looking for another Schlembergera truncata, but a S. bridgesii.

And not to be redundant but my cactus REALLY do better when left outside as much as possible.

Billy Rae, your link says forbidden.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:09AM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Alicia,

Well, the experienced CC growers (not me, as I haven't a one) are all aware that these plants do better outside, but, as you can see from their locations, they may not have the option of growing them outside at the times the plants are to flower - to have these outside, at the holiday time of year, would mean death to the plants in lots of areas. All of us would likely grow plants outside if we could, but the weather dictates what can and can't be done. The folks above are quite wise about the ways of these plants - no one is doubting your statement about plants doing better outside.

So if you want a Schlumbergera bridgesii, have you looked for one? You're telling us you don't want this, you don't want to do that.....if the plant that you want is known to you, and you're unable to find it in your area, I'd suggest you ask for it on the exchange pages of at least of the Forums (houseplants, C&S) while offering something fair in return.

I guess I'm asking you, after having read the above, what exactly is missing in the information that's been presented that hasn't been informative and answered your questions?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:36AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Dear Jeffrey,
I would like to know is if anyone has a S. bridgesii and if so where they got it from. The question seems pretty clear to me.

The same people post here as on the Exchanges section of this forum.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:43AM
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JMLehrer(z7 LI NY)

They really don't sell S. x bridgesii anymore commercially. The plants are very common, though. You just have to trade when it gets warmer. No doubt folks will send you clades for free. I see plants all the time in old antique stores, conservatories, barber shops, etc. They'll give you segments if you ask.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 10:16AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Jonathon,
Thank you very much. If I ever do see a S. bridgesii in person I will offer a trade!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 10:24AM
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ooojen(z4MN)

Alicia- I think the reason for most people's comments on this thread is that we wanted to be sure you had realistic expectations. It seemed quite important to you that your plant bloom at a particular time. Having a species or hybrid that is supposed to bloom at a particular time doesn't mean that it will bloom just when you want it to. I believe the folks here just didn't want you to get a particular plant for a particular reason, and then be disappointed if it didn't behave the way you'd hoped.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:11PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Jennifer,
Oh yes, I know it's true that if I ever find or am able to trade for some clades of S. x bridgesii that it may not always bloom at Christmas. I just thought I may have a better chance with a S. x bridgesii than a S. truncata :)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:37PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I too have the S. bridgesii form, but I've had it a bit too long to recall where I got it from.

Alicia, you might try checking out yr. local supermarkets around now (close to holiday time) for some. My market doesn't label them, but now you know to look for the more rounded, scalloped edges rather than the jagged pointy ones, so that should help.

Yes, to underscore what I see you DO understand, even tho' mine is the bridgessi form, it blooms consistently for New Years, rarely for Xmas (it must know it lives in a Jewish albeit secular home). ;>)

Karen

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 2:34PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Karen,
The only thing I've seen in the grocery stores are the Thanksgiving types.

I'll keep my eyes open.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 2:48PM
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karen715(z5 IL)

This summer, of all things, I saw a S. xbridgeii at a local Meijer store (combo supermarket/general merchadise store.) I was tempted, but it was out of bloom and I didn't want to end up with a color I don't like. It was the only one, and looked like it had been in the store awhile. So they are rare, but they do turn up occasionally.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 2:48PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

I'm certainly glad y'all were able to answer Alicia's questions.

I tried, and evidently failed, but what can you expect from someone who can't tell a Schlumbergera from a Rhipsalidopsis? And worse still, doesn't even grow them? The sheer effrontery almost makes me gag.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 3:43PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Wellll, I still don't know where to get one, but I knew they were very hard to come by. I already knew what they looked like. Crockett's Indoor Garden describes the difference between S. x bridgesii and S. truncata pretty well, although not as completely as the "Holiday cactus" link above.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 3:53PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi all,

Ok, now I am really confused. I'm not sure if my one holiday cactus is really a Thanksgiving cactus. I had always thought it was because of when it normally bloomed. On closer inspection I see that the leaves are scalloped instead of pointed. That is except for the end of the leaf which seems to have spikes. Is this a cross between a Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus ( as Alicia alluded to) or is it something else?

My holiday cactus is much different than my parents which also have scallops but no points at the end of the leaf. The leaves on my parents cactus are also not as wide and much thicker than the leaves on my cactus. Any ideas?

Larry

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 7:35PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

Larry, I think it is a cross between two different Schlums. CC are scalloped with no points.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 8:35PM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

Ok, let me try this again.....

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 12:46AM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi Greattigerdane,

It still doesn't work. Sorry.

Larry

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 1:02AM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

UGH!
Ok, how about my album whole then? Geez, How about this time?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 1:15AM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

I meant to type "whole album" Geez!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 1:23AM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hey Greattigerdane,

It worked. Nice plants. Your Christmas cactus looks good.

Larry

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 2:45AM
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foxykitten350234(z6)

Greattigerdane, it worked! Lovely plant!

Larry, I'm no expert on these plants, but I wanted to say yours is different from any I have seen and it is beautiful.

alicia, good luck finding a real Christmas cactus. They are hard to come by. I think that is why no one has given you any tips on where to get one. Believe me, if I had one I would be happy to send you cuttings, but alas I only have Thanksgiving cacti and a Easter cactus.

Foxy.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 2:48AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Thanks Foxy. Greattigerdane, thanks for posting the pictures, the cactus is lovely.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 8:14AM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

Thank you!

This plant was passed down from mother to daughter, by then, this plant was already 60 yrs old.(daughter was 87 yrs old when she passed)Then it came my way, I was very honored, but so afraid I'd kill it knowing how old it was and how far it's come. I have had it now for about 16-17 yrs or so and it's really been a nice plant to have without any problems, except, when I accidentally bumped it off a table inside the garage and it fell about four feet onto the concrete floor, I think one or two leaves fell off, otherwise it was fine, the pot however was in a thousand pieces. I tell ya it's like cast iron! I can't say the some of the newer versions though.

I don't know how long these cactus can live for, but the oldest one I read about was 117 yrs old! Amazing!

Alicia, if your looking for this kind of cactus, I can give you some cuttings, or maybe a rooted cutting some time when the weather gets warmer if you don't already get something by then.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 12:32PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Billy Rae,
Thank you very much for the offer. I will e-mail you about setting up a trade for the spring.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 2:56PM
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Creeping_Fig(z6 PA)

Alicia,

Your question seemed clear enough to me. There is a genetic basis to flowering time which goes beyond cultural care. (although manipulation of this is often possible) Part of the reason why taxonomists originally classified Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera), and Thanksgiving cactus, Zygocactus, into two separate genera was because of their different flowering times. Although they have since both been re-classified into the same genus, Schlumbergera.

Unfortunately, most of the plants available on the market today are complex hybrids. I agree with your post that it would be very interesting to have a Schlumbergera bridgesii species, although I am not sure where you could get one of those, as I have never really looked into it. Trades may be your best bet, if not perhaps there is a plant society that deals with this type of plant? They may have a list of suppliers.

CF

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 8:38PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

I'm a little busy today, so I haven't had a chance to look, but Bob Smoley Plant World has a huge list of T-cactus types. I would be surprised if he doesn't have some of the Xmas types. From him you would probably get a small rooted plant or cuttings, which are easy to root. But, "easy" is a relative term. If you are experienced at rooting epi-cacti then its easy. I would root cuttings in long fiber sphagnum moss, which is the easiest and surest way.

By growing all your holiday cacti in the same manner, it sounds like a good methodology to get them to bloom at their best known seasons. Lucky for us on the coastal regions of California, that we can grow them all outdoors all year long.

The easter cactus types are, to me, the most interesting. There is a small number and they are not that popular these days. One thing that makes them different from the zygocactus types is that they are much hardier. When we had our "big freeze" back in 1990, all the zygos were killed but these guys were undamaged. It got down to about 18 degrees that year. My point being, that Alicia could grow these outdoors for a longer time than the others. But, I am sure they would still need to come in--and they would bloom in spring or early summer. Being ever the collector I would grow them all.

JMleher (Jonathan) gave a great description of the difference in the zygos. I have a small opuntiodes too, and it does flower. I let my plant go down hill and am now bringing it back. It is a thorny little devil--its name is well earned as it really looks like an opuntia. The species kautskyi is new to me. Oh boy, another species to look for :).

Jon

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 12:46PM
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Bergit(nordic costal)

GreatTigerDane !
I had a look at your pictures, that was a lovely true CC.
The other pictures were nice as well, I loved that pedestall of yours.

I grow both the true CC and Thanksgiving Cactus. The plants are so different ( the total impression of the mature plants when not in bloom ), that I would never replace the true CC with another Thanksgiving Cactus.

Here in Norway we call the TC "November Cactus". I have several and they bloom from the end of October and thru November. In December the true CC take over, it blooms now and still have buds in different sizes, so it will bloom at least the rest of this year.

My Thanksgiving Cactuses and the true CC are treated the same and are "located together" the whole time, so the blooming of the true CC a month and more later is this plants nature.

Alicia, I hope you get this trade arranged, it is really a plant worth growing. Best of luck !!!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 6:22AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Creeping fig,
Thank you for your reply.

Jon,
I love the Easter cactus too. I'll have to get another one day. I did root my white holiday cactus from a cutting, so I'm hopeful about rooting a CC too.

Bergit,
Thank you!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:24AM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Alicia,

This came in the email tide of today. Perhaps it will help you:

Posted on Thu, Dec. 15, 2005 from the Grand Forks Herald.

Christmas cactuses reward gardeners who treat them right

By Darrel Koehler

Christmas cactuses have been a holiday favorite since the Victorian era. These beautiful plants, which often become family heirlooms, are originally from the rain forests of South America.
They come from the jungle - so give them rich, porous soil with plenty of leaf mold and sand. Feed frequently with a liquid fertilizer, as often as every seven to 10 days during growth and flowering. In nature, these cactuses live in trees like some orchids.
Besides the traditional Christmas cactuses that you may have inherited from your mother or grandmother (the Prairie Gardener has one originally from Philadelphia), you will find a bewildering array of hybrids in a multitude of colors at garden or discount centers. Besides the traditional cactus, there also is the crab cactus. It has long, sharply toothed joints, with two large teeth at the end of the last joint on each branch. The crab cactus has short-tubed scarlet flowers with spreading, pointed petals. Crab cactus comes in many other colors including white, pink, salmon and orange.
While you will probably have them in bloom for Christmas if you purchase budding ones now, it may be a different story next year. Christmas cactuses are independent when it comes to blooming, and the Prairie Gardener has had them bloom any time between Halloween and Groundhog Day. Complicating the problem is that there are other cactuses that are bred to bloom around Thanksgiving or Easter, but that's another column.
Unlike many houseplants, these cactuses like to be left alone. Once potted, they will thrive for a long time. You can use potting mixes formulated for cactuses and succulents to which some humus has been added. The pot should be well drained so the plant won't suffer root rot. It thrives in bright, indirect light during the winter and prefers a cool temperature, around 60 degrees. To maintain a humidity level of 50 to 60 percent, place a vase or container of water near the plant. Keep it away from drafty doors and windows and heat sources.
Cactus tips
If Christmas cactus buds start dropping, it could be due to cold, lack of humidity, insufficient or excessive sunlight or over-watering. The rule of thumb is "less is more"; water the cactus only when it's bone-dry, especially when in dormancy.
If you want your cactus to re-bloom after the holiday season, give it a month's rest. Place it in a room at about 50 degrees F. and water minimally. In spring, place it in a bright room and begin to water it. After frost danger, take it outdoors and place in a shady or semi-shady location.
In September, bring it back indoors, reduce watering and cover it for 12 hours each night until buds start to appear. Once buds develop, uncover and begin to water more frequently. Prune your cactus after it blooms to encourage a healthier, more expansive plant. The pruned tips can be easily rooted and given as gifts later.
Occasionally, a Christmas cactus will fail to thrive. Often the cause is too much water or lack of drainage, resulting in root rot, or too much summer sun. The Prairie Gardener recently struggled with such a plant without success. While this is rare, it might be a good idea to start a second plant if you really have one you cherish. Then if you lose one, you will still have the other as insurance. Christmas cactuses are difficult to pot when they become large. They actually seem to do better when confined to a smaller pot. Many houseplants seem to bloom better when under some stress.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 5:33PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Thanks for the article Jeffrey. It's a good overview.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 5:53PM
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acsagapeplants(HotArizona)

I received this labeled as Zygocactus with yellow flowers. Is this considered a real "Christmas Cactus"?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 2:21PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

You have a crab or Thanksgiving cactus, not S. bridgesii -- the pointed hooks on the leaves are characteristic. Yellow-flowered forms of holiday cactus are not very common in stores, so you've got something that's rather rare.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 2:35PM
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seaecho1(SW CA)

Just found a "Harmony" Schlumbergera the other day, and it has between 25-30 buds! Anyone else here have Harmony? I just love the Raspberry colored blooms with a white splash on each one. They almost look flourescent! Now I'm thinking about a salmon. . . Thanks all you enablers! LOL

Randi

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 4:41PM
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Ginge(Mo.)

Interesting thread , I have a very old CC . My friend Rue gave it to me before she passed away , her mother gave the plant to her , before she passed away , The flowers are not big . It is in bud with a few open , I will post a picture on the gallery when more open .It is also a very big plant . Gin

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 8:45PM
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birdsnblooms

Billy, your plants are gorgeous..They're really exceptional. What do you feed your plants? Steroids? LOL Just continue caring for the CC like you've been and it should do you well..Toni

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 9:22PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Can I digress the thread for a minute pls?

ACsAgape,

Who are you pls? OMG I only looked at the 1st page of yr. album & my jaw is on the floor. Do you post at Hoya forum? Your Hoyas are magically wonderful! Can I come be a Hoya in your collection? Holy Moly they're great!!

Just had to come back in & look at the rest of your collection, magnificent, thanks so much for providing this link. Nice yellow CC too BTW.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 12:14AM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

Karen- that is Awanda, who occasionally posts on the Hoya forum. She has the most magnificent GH filled with Hoyas. Makes ya wanna scream!!!!!!!!!!!

Awanda, it looks as though you have the 'Gold Charm' var. of Schlumbergera truncata(or whichever the Thanksgiving Cactus is!) It's very nice, BTW.

Toni- If Billy Rae is feeding her's steroids, I need to do the same! LOL Geez, that CC looks grand!

Alas, I believe all mine to be Thanksgiving Cacti. Although, there is one that does not have the crab claw like serrations. The leaves are more rounded, but I think it may just be a sclum t. hybrid. It would be too much like right for me to have a real Christmas Cactus. LOL

GH

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 7:32PM
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Lovie_n(z4 WI)

Yes, I have a real christmas cactus. The plant was originally my grandmothers. It has been passed down to me from my mother. I have no real idea how old the plant is, but mom said grandma had it as long as she can remember. My mom is 74 yrs old. I have had this christmas cactus for over 20 yrs. The plant blooms from late Nov. until the middle of May. There are tons of flowers on the cactus now, and even more "Baby Buds" on it so I know it will be blooming for several months. If you are interested in seeing pictures, please email me and I will send them to you. We can go from there. I have started plants off mine for family and friends and had no problems. My email is loviegene@charter.net. Thanks, Lovie_n

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 3:16PM
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marguerite_gw

Greattigerdane, thank you for the look at your 'whole' album, brilliant!:-)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 4:04PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I just realized I have a REAL Christmas cactus! I got it from my church, I help there with the plants, and when we turned it, a piece broke off. It is huge and heavy, and it takes two people to move it. It sits near a south window, and it blooms pretty much right at Christmas, and never before. I started several from that one piece, gave some away, sold some, and have a whole hanging basket full. Our church, Fountain Square United Methodist Church, has had this same cactus for 75 years. It has the scalloped leaves with no points, and it's a bright magenta color with no white on it at all. It's been there all along, I never realized it was rare. I've been propagating off my pieces and selling them at the farmers market for $1. :)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 3:01PM
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adaorand(UpstateNY)

Hi, Alicia. I just this past weekend got starts from a real Christmas Cactus. My old neighborhood had a garage sale at the rec center, and there were 2 very, very large CCs sitting beside the fireplace. By large, I mean 12" pots filled with thick, old woody stems that spanned a good 2 1/2 to 3 feet across! I have no idea of their ages. I was told that one of the residents had taken them over to be housed while she was in Florida and they were left there, with the summers spent out by the pool. At any rate, they were loaded with blooms and one had been bumped into, leaving several broken stems on the floor. I grabbed them in a hurry (house cleaning LOL!). By the time they were into pots to root, I had a couple dozen segments to work with! Yes, these are the CCs with the rounded segments, not the T'giving cactus with pointed segments.

Speaking of Thanksgiving Cactus, I bought six at a Walmart markdown, have them in an east window and sitting above a tray of water. Many of the segments have roots up to 1/2" long already. They really love the humidity. Also, a friend has one in her kitchen that has been blooming fot 3 months now.

AdaO

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 3:46AM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

AdaO,
Good deal! I hope your new starts do well for you!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 2:03PM
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robrimmeli_earthlink_net

I've had a "real" Christmas cactus for 25 years now. It was originally my grandfather's, and he gave it to my mother on the occassion of her wedding in 1936. By that point, the plant was of unknown age. All I can verify is that it is now 80 years old. When my mother died, I moved from NY to California (in 1979). By then the plant was 48 inches across, and had to be shipped by air in a specially built crate to protect it. It has survived numerous moves in all these years, and now hangs in a north facing window and blooms for months. This is a Schlumbergera bridgesii, not a Zygocactus, which is so often misnamed as "Christmas Cactus". The S. bridgesii has no "claws" on the leaves, and the flowers come in only one color (bright fuschia) and are perfectly symmetrical (Zygocactus flowers come in many colors, and are not symmetrical). On a related subject, while travelling in England a few years ago I came upon an antique shop that had a similar cactus growing in an antique pot (the pot was for sale, not the plant). I recognized it immediately as a relative of the familiar Easter Cactus (Rhipsalidopsis), and begged the shopkeeper for a sample of the plant. She allowed me to take two small "snips", which I carefully nurtured for the duration of the two week vacation in southern England, and then brought home with me. It turned out to be Rhipsalidopsis rosea, which I've never seen for sale in the US, except very rarely on a web site if one can find it. The two "snips" have now developed into numerous plants, the largest of which is about 10" across, and blooms in springtime with gorgeous light pink flowers.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 12:32PM
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annaj_2007

I am the third generation to have our family 80 year old Christmas Cactus. We grew up on a farm and the neighbor women exchanged indoor plants. My grandmother was given the plant at Christmas time in 1926. She had the plant for several years and then it was passed on to my mother and now I've been fortunate enough to have had it for the past 20years. It measures 4 feet across and the frawns are 3 feet long. I have had it transplanted twice by a horticulturist. This past Christmas, as in Christmas' past, the entire plant was in bloom, truly spectacular.From what I have read the cacti that are long lived came from South America. The cacti now are hybrids and do not have longevity as those from South America.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 8:54AM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

I have the species Bridgesii as well. It was a gift from a DF in PA this past Fall. I don't know how old it is, but it was passed down to him from his mother. I'm 36 and he's at least 10 years older than I. It bloomed after Christmas(I believe) and was the most beautiful magenta color. Here is a pic of the bloom:

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 10:54AM
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webkat5(Z6a MO)

Am I wrong or is the species name bridgesii not right?

According to the link presented above, Christmas Cactus are actually Schlumbergera x buckleyi....

Here is a quote from that link about the names:

"The name Schlumbergera bridgesii, still seen occasionally, was mistakenly published for it very early, and only in 1964 was the plant's proper history and correct designation traced and reestablished by Will Tjaden, a member of the Epiphytic Plant Study Group in England."

Your thoughts??

Also, they can still be found in select nurseries....I just found a small one in one of our locals.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 11:51AM
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nightbloomincereus 7A noVA(7a Northern VA)

Greattigerdane has, had? two varieties I am familiar with. The white one with darker veining was one grandfather loved, but never moved from its grocery store pot. When he bought it I'll never learn and alas it died on me. His had slightly longer points.
The huge red one was a pass along plant given to my mother as a young girl from a family friend from ?Pasedena?
However it may have been started in 1910, 1900 since it was quite old when she was given it. That plant still lives and has given rise to many other pots of the same. I still have the clone I made of it nearly 16 years ago. The single stem is thick and tough and it also has bloomed reliably for years.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 8:51AM
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rjm710

For those interested, below is a link to a great article that clearly defines the differences between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter Cactus. The overwhelming majority that are bought in stores nowadays are Thanksgiving Cactus.
Good growing! Merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 2:54PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

I just happened upon this thread again. That's funny, so the Thanksgiving cactus is a species while the Christmas cactus is a hybrid.

Greattigerdane very generously shared cuttings of her beautiful cactus with me. Here it is, blooming this winter. Sorry the focus isn't better.

This plant is also from cuttings from Greattigerdane:

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 12:01PM
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treelover3

For those of you that have the old fashioned Christmas cactus, look straight into your plant's flowers. The true Christmas cactus will have peloric flowers - that is, you can cut the flower in half on any axis and both halves of the flower will mirror each other - the flower is circular.

Thanksgiving cacti can only be cut in half on one axis and still have each half of the flower mirror the other half. There has also been some mixing/hybridization between the Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus over the years so that many of the supposedly true Christmas cacti now have non-peloric flowers.

Anyone that has a plant that is around 100 years old should have the true Christmas cactus.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 1:17PM
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yanoosheck

Today's beauty

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 10:20AM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi yanoosheck

Nice Thanksgiving cactus.

Larry

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 11:20PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

That's a beautiful Thanksgiving Cactus! Love the color...thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:25PM
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Ron4310

The true "Christmas Cactus" is Schlumbergera x buckleyi

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:08PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Wow! This thread is over 6 years old...amazing!!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Julia (1meanmop)

Now that I know the difference I would like to find starts of the true christmas and easter varities.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 12:55AM
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farmerann(7b)

I like to know the difference between plants of one cultivar and another. I once had access from 2 different sources for CC. I have been looking on line for Schlumbergera bridgesii also. I hope you find one. Everyone has given factual info, but if you want the true CC as I do, just keep searching. Farmerann

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:37PM
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tommyr_gw

I find it VERY sad that REAL Christmas cactus are hard to find in the normal market. Seems retailers thing people are stupid and just market thanksgiving as "holiday". Makes me sick.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Grantgarden2 Zone 5a/b

WOW i am lucky there is a local florist by me that sell big clumps of them as cuttings for only 5 to 7 dollars and in the bunch there is around 10 branches with at least 15 segments. She had shown me the mother plant when it was blooming so i could be real sure if it was a true christmas cactus.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 5:18PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hello there,

Are you sure Grant, it's not about the bloom that distinguishes the plants, or the time of blooming, but the actual shape of the leaf segments (jagged segments rather than rounded edges).

If so, you are lucky indeed!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:27PM
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farmerann(7b)

grantgarden2, what color is it? Can you get cuttings to send me and for how mugh? farmerann

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:28PM
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farmerann(7b)

growhappy, you have the real thing. Could I get cuttings and for how much? farmerann

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:36PM
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farmerann(7b)

I am trying to edit this post because it is a duplicate. farmerann

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:37PM
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farmerann(7b)

Jeffery Harris, what is that wide leaf cactus? I've never seen one like it. Where could I get seeds or a cutting, or maybe a plant? farmerann Today, 12/13/12, I saw one like it at Lowe's, labeled Coral Cactus. farmerann

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:41PM
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HiddenWalrus

My great gradnmother has at least five hybrid holiday cactuses, some 20 years old and never been repotted. All bloom without any manipulation between October and December and sometimes again in April. Most are at least somewhat serrated, making me think they are mostly "thanksgiving" in type, but one odd one grows both scalloped and unscalloped leaves on the same plant, sometimes on the same stems alternately, and it blooms off and on all fall and into winter.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 3:20AM
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farmerann(7b)

HW, that sounds interesting. Both kind of leaf segments on the same plant. I am still looking for cuttings of CC with scalloped leaves. Can anyone help? farmerann

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:46PM
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farmerann(7b)

1meanmop, how did you get such a user name? I am looking for cuttings of the true CC. If you find any, let me know. Thanks, farmerann

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 5:34PM
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fieldofflowers(3 or 4a)

Old thread is old. Google brought me here.

I have a Schlumbergera x buckleyi (I suspect the 'Buckleyi') variety. It's got the magenta flowers that fade into a white tube.
I believe this is one of the original, true kinds, right?I looked up S. bridgesii and google comes up with Thanksgiving type cacti. I'm confused. I thought the buckleyi one is it. Am I mislabeling mine or did it go through a name change?

I got it as a cutting from my grandma. She got hers from a lady she called old and my grandma is at least 87 years old now. According to my grandma the lady had huge ones she grew outside and she generously gave my grandma cuttings.

Where my memory fails me is how long I've had this one. Is there a way to tell how old one is by just looking at it? I'm trying to figure out if this is the one I got when I was ten or if I got it later. I remember my parents moving and most of my plants died in the move. But the Christmas cactus might have survived. it was a small cutting at the time. If I got it later, it would have to be at least 17 years old.

As far as my grandmas CC's go, unfortunately she doesn't let hers get very big. She takes cuttings and sells/donates the larger ones to her church.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 3:25AM
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fieldofflowers(3 or 4a)

2nd pic. (a few years older.) The site only allows me to upload one image per post.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 3:26AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I do! I think they are ugly unless they are in bloom which explains why I almost threw mine out a few times and totally ignore it until it's time to bring it in...Yes, I almost let the frost get to it but at the last minute, at about 34 degrees felt bad....

So now it sits on the floor looking all junky trying to figure out a place for it...

Yours are beautiful..

Mike

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 7:46AM
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grimesel

There is a music store near where I live that has a true Christmas cactus in the window. It's a monster! I asked if I could get a few clippings and he obliged but told me that year was the first time it bloomed in twenty some years. I plopped them in a cup of water an forgot about them. Not only did they root but they bloomed in the water! They are now happily growing in soil.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 8:15AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

FofF...that is a nice true CC you have, looks quite healthy, I'm sorry I can't help you guessing its age. By the looks of some of the very woody piece that at the soil line, I would say its quite old. Please post when it blooms...

Grimesel, what a nice find getting some cuttings from a nearby store, good luck!

Hey Mike, I bet once it blooms you will be glad you didn't leave it out to freeze,lol...if you ever get the urge to toss it, send it to me haha...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:25AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

As Nancy says, almost impossible to guess the age. Too many factors go into the rate of growth and the speed at which the stems begin to lignify (become woody). The fact that it has woody stems does speak to a certain maturity. My own Christmas Cactus (34 years old) is fairly large, but nowhere near what it would be if I didn't prune it to keep it shapely and self-supporting of its weight. Of course, I wouldn't have anywhere to winter it if I let it grow too large!

Mike, I recommend that you start pruning your Christmas Cactus so that it has a nice presentation even when it isn't in flower. Here's mine, as of this morning, and I've noticed some of the first tiny buds beginning to set :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 1:33PM
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chloeasha

CC are the best! I wish more people liked to talk about Schlums or collected the x buckleyi hybrids. We could all trade bits then.

I actually like the form of the non-blooming plant-- a lot. It sort or reminds me of an arching weeping willow, and maybe that's why I have less love for the truncatas, which have a more angular form to me. But I really love them all.

I wish there was a group for Schlumbergeras. There is a yahoo group, but it seems dead.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 2:13PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Yours is SO Nice Josh...beautiful and healthy! I finally have a small pot (from a nice member here), I'm hoping it will bloom in the next couple of months...no signs of any buds on any of my TC's either...still very warm here :o(

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 2:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Julianna, are you on facebook?
I just saw a Schlumbergera Group recommended this morning....

Nancy, thank you :-) You always get great flower-set and color on your Holiday Cacti collection!

I took two pics of my CC this morning. This is the other, showing a bit more of the plant's width.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 2:55PM
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chloeasha

Josh,

I am and I searched for one before. I hate how fb search can be so hit and miss. I'll take another look! Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 3:32PM
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chloeasha

Josh,

did a search and this time it popped right up. I joined a few other cacti and succulent groups and perhaps that is what made it easier this time. Another schlum/epi group came up that was linked to a few I am already on-- so it seems like it's all about association. Thank you!

Julianna

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 3:35PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Josh! Beautiful and you do know that my special CC is still treated well, right?
As for the one I have had for years, it's abused..
Yours is an exception to beauty for sure..LOVE it!

Nancy, if I ever decide too, you bet..lol

Very nice guys and gals and hoping you are all well..

MIke

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:25PM
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parodise(Germany)

I thought I'd revive this thread as there is a wealth of useful and interesting info on TC ad CC. Read today on another forum there's a white-flowered variety of Schlumbergera x buckleyi. Does anyone here grow one, by any chance?

Lena

    Bookmark   November 22, 2014 at 7:29PM
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Grantgarden2 Zone 5a/b

Parodise, I know a friend who has a family heirloom, whose true christmas cactus blooms white, but it has a pink throat and some blushing on the petals. May I ask what forum you are talking about, and could you post a link to the discussion? I would like to know more.
Grant

    Bookmark   November 23, 2014 at 11:49PM
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parodise(Germany)

Grant, thanks for the reply. I saw it mentioned on one of the FB forums and can't remember for the life of me which one it was. Today, quite serendipitously, I happened onto a potential source of white Sh. bridgesii on the Internet. I'm not sure, though, if it's a real white CC. According to your description and, in particular, the mention of a pink throat and blushing on the petals, it might be it. I will post a couple of pics from the Internet. Tell me what you think of them, please. I also wrote the owner today asking to post some pictures of the plant in bloom.

Lena

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 7:06PM
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parodise(Germany)

A close-up of the buds. Pictures are not my own and have been posted as reference only.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 7:07PM
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Grantgarden2 Zone 5a/b

It looks like It has potential of having white blooms, it may be the cultivar 'sanne'. Please email me, I cannot find your email on your page. I would like to know where you found the source and the pictures.
Grant

    Bookmark   November 24, 2014 at 7:26PM
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parodise(Germany)

Grant, do you have any more info/pics on "sanne"? I googled it and basically found nothing. Are there any other cultivars of bridgesii that you know of?

Lena

    Bookmark   November 25, 2014 at 7:02AM
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parodise(Germany)

I was also wondering if truncata and bridgesii cross-pollinate easily? Anybody ever tried that? I cross-pollinated my White large-flowered truncata and "Samba Brasil". Both seem to have set at least 5 fruits each. I don't think all of them will make it, but it will be interesting to watch them develop.

Lena

    Bookmark   November 25, 2014 at 7:03AM
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