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Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Posted by purpleinopp 8b AL (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 7, 12 at 16:13

She said to expect red flowers around Mother's Day. There's fuzz at the ends of some of the sections, and on some of the main stems. Terribly dessicated, was planted in dusty sand. Hope it plumps back up after a thorough soaking. (I know, let it dry out again now.)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Either Christmas or Easter. Doesn't have those pointed thingies like Thanksgiving.

The pylloclades (my new word) on my Easter Cacts are wider than on yours.

Linda


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Hi...I see little brown like hairs at the end of the segments, and you said red flowers and blooming in the spring...so with all that I would say easter cactus and when it does bloom for you if the flowers look like a aster type flower its for sure a easter cactus...
good luck and good growing....linda


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I would say Easter Cactus, too.

A much, much better mix for these plants is straight Orchid bark (fine grade),
or Orchid bark amended with a *small* amount of Perlite and potting mix.


Josh


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Thanks Josh! Do you mean bark OF orchids or other bark FOR orchids? I used the same basic stuff I use for about everything - mostly aged mulch, composted leaves/grass, bit of bagged top soil which has a lot of sand here. Very much appreciate the advice but I extremely dislike perlite. My other Begonias are growing and flowering profusely.

Planted at that angle to add interest to boring wall:

Just snapped this pic, very windy today!

Guess the search for groundhog day cactus continues...!


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Daggone with clicking submit too soon.

Thanks for the input, stones and emerald - both Lindas?! Cool.

The pylloclades (my new word) on my Easter Cacts are wider than on yours. I like new words too (kinda sounds like pillow cases?) but making fun of my little ones and flaunting your giant 'clades just hurts! Little 'clades need lovin' too! LOL!


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Purple, your plants looks more like a Christmas than Easter Cactus.
Easter cactus has rounder segments.

Easter Cactus

See how leaves are round..yours are not.

Easter Cactus

Leaf segments look rounder to me than TC/CC. Am I seeing things? lol.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Thanks! No experience with either. This plant was still wilty & wrinkly when I took the pics. Just went to look at it, much more turgid & healthy looking but probably wouldn't look different enough to bother taking another pic. Seems there's 2-3 points on the sides of each section, with a few brown hairs coming from those points.

Wondering about the sections that look brown. Are they just old or are they rotting? Didn't notice the dry pecan leaf in the way until after I was finished.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Hi Purple,

Are you leaving the holiday cactus in that pot? I ask 'cause the pot's way too big for the plant & may encourage root rot.

I don't think that mix is going to drain well, if it stays wet very long that could be trouble, even more so if it has sand in it. I heard that you dislike perlite, but that mix needs to be made more fast draining. I use pumice & when I didn't have it I used perlite, you may not like it, but it does the trick.

I don't wish to be a bummer but if left in that mix in that size pot is asking for trouble.

Lovely begonias, nice show, happy growing!


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Thanks for taking the time to offer the tips. That kind of "soil" what I've been using for the past few years, about 10. I wouldn't normally seek sand but it is to the south what clay is to the north, just there. Most of my plants need water every day, they dry out fast and it's HOT as Hades here. For some plants, I have to cut back on the mulch. I don't buy any of that fancy stuff (pumice) or anything that costs more than $1 for a 40-50 lb. bag but I enjoy hearing about it. I fill the pots to the rim and water runs through as fast as it comes out of the hose on full blast.

You're right, the pot's too big. I purposely put this plant leaning to one side of the pot so I could put something more interesting with it. I'm anxious to see the spring flowers, but otherwise, this kind of plain green plant is a serious yawn for me. Just haven't decided what would be a good housemate for it. The candidates are (surprisingly, right?!) Begonia, Callisia fragrans, Tradescantia zebrina (although getting to the point where that's hanging out of a LOT of baskets,) my mystery weed. May end up doing an upright Begonia and one of the danglers also, a 3-way. What do you think? It would be a rare "has a specific front and back" planting for me.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I agree with Toni. I believe this is a Christmas cactus. The pylloclades seem too narrow and long for Easter.

And Karen is right about pot size. Speaking from experience, if one over pots Easter Cactus they wind up on the plant equivalent of Boot Hill. Might help to plant with others; you'll have to let us know. Finding non-succulent companion plants could be a bit difficult. Wonder if epiphyllums would work?

If you give up on this one, let me know ;-)

Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: Holiday Cacti


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Another warning is indeed gravely serious, thanks! Looking at my pics again I notice that none of these had been watered when I took the last "potted up" pics. I still haven't watered them except this plant (since taking the pic.) The first time I water them, most of the sand goes away, eventually out the bottom holes. It does look like a lot in the pics. So if sand can flow through, and I can water as fast as the hose flows, I think it's quite porous.

When I went over to get these plants, she pulled them out of buckets of STINKY water. (I shocked you, she shocked me - LOL!) Phew! I wouldn't normally go about such severe butchering of new acquisitions in what I consider subpar health but I thought getting rid of that nasty stinky soil, rotten roots, and rotten canes was paramount. Let's just hope better conditions restores health to all!

Aren't this plant and the others I mentioned as possible roommates all succulents? I'm probably wrong.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I don't believe the three you mention aren't succulents; I know begonias aren't.

A bucket of stinky water! And isn't it amazing what plants will tolerate?

Linda


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Well good, if it flows through fast that's what's important.

No, sorry the other 2 are not succulents, they're just the opposite, thirsty plants who will wilt when they get thirsty, after 3 or 4 days (not something succulents would do). They're both related to plants called Wandering Jews, Tahitian Bridal Veil, Moses in the Cradle (Rhoeo) that group of plants I think called Commelinacae.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Well go figure. I always thought of them as the same kind of plants, juicy plants that would rather be dry than wet, put simply, plants that I skip when watering if I think they're at all still moist, making sure they're dry each time.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Begonias do like to dry out a bit; don't like constantly wet feet; so IMO you're right to skip them if still moist.

I let mine dry almost to the point of wilting before I refill the reservoirs. I grow them in the 6" Oyama Planters with great success.

Linda


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Hey, Toni!

Toni, look at the hairy nodes on the Easter Cactus.
I think that's what several of us are noting as an Easter Cactus feature....

The *Phylloclades* can be round or elongated on Easter Cactus - sometimes due to the particular clone,
sometimes due to the cultural conditions (how the plant has been grown).

Purple, "orchid bark" is conifer bark used as a medium for growing orchids.


Josh


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Josh:

Thanks for correcting my spelling in such a kind...and sly...way. ;-)

Linda


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Josh,

And thanks for defining cultural conditions in such a kind...and sly...way. :) :) Toni


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

So, the brown fuzzy things are not on Christmas cactus?

Toni, don't think I mentioned how nice looking your plants are.

Why is the one I got leaning over? Did it need more light? It's hanging in AM sun now... Not knowing what it's supposed to look like, it's hard to know if it looks healthy or not.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Purple, it's their nature to hang. They grow in nature in the branches & crotches of trees & hanging is exactly what they do.

I can't tell in the pix, but if the older stems look woody & corkish, that's normal, so pls. don't fret if is appears that way & of course, if not, then nevermind.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Ok, thanks! This plant is very different from what I'm used to. Here's what it looks like this morning.

I think these little pink things at some of the tips are new leaves? It's too late for flowers, right?


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Yes, those small pinkish things are new segments or stems (what leaves are called), likely will green up as it develops. So it's proof the plant's OK & liking its new situation, so congrats to you on a good rescue!

I still have issue w/ the size of this pot, but I recall you said you're waiting for a companion plant. I have no idea what would do well w/ it, personally I wouldn't put anything else w/ it (& I would still pot it down smaller).


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I'm still hem-hawwing about this plant, what to put with it, I mean. I think I've made a decision but was giving this cactus a little time first, to make sure it's growing and didn't get some kind of slow rotting disease or fungus from sitting in that bucket of nasty water. Moved a few days ago from AM sun to PM. That's not too much is it? Is there anything about this plant that looks unhealthy? The darker, reddish parts are new parts that started to grow soon after it was potted, almost exactly a month ago. Took some pics in shade, some in sun.

This thing doesn't look like the other new "leaves." Is this a flower?


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Nevermind about the nasty bucket of water comment, as I read what I said when I started this thread, this wasn't one of the plants in a bucket. But anyway...


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Looks like a flower :-)
My Christmas Cactus gets zero direct sun...just mosaic/dappled sun all day long.

The plant looks fine, although in that size of a container I'd feel better if it were
in a mix of bark, perlite, and a *pinch* of something like pumice or potting soil.

Josh


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Thanks for the input. So you think it may be too much sun? This new spot will put it in sun around 2 pm until about 7. It's not a different amount, but it's PM vs. AM, as far as where it's been since I got it a month ago. I'll keep checking it for sunburn. Just assuming since it's a cactus it would like tons of sun.

Thanks for the caveat about the soil. It's about 90% mulch (shredded, not bark) with a little top soil which is very sandy around here, no matter which store's bag I get. I just don't see the point of perlite and can't stand the appearance of those white bits in the soil. It's in dirt but won't get dirty, doesn't decompose, freaky stuff I'd just rather stay away from. When I repot plants, the discarded soil goes on flower and veggie beds, so the perlite is just really not welcome. I went peat and perlite -free about 10 years ago and have had no difficulties with potted plants due to soil issues since. (Just stuff like not enough light in an apartment and overestimating the heat retention of a shed.)

Hopefully that's a "happy flower" and not a "stress flower." I think there's one on another stem too but it's still too small to tell if it's that or just another leaf section. Both seem to start out a reddish color. Maybe it knows it needs to wow me if it wants to maintain its' place on the front porch. There's only room for about 3 more hanging plants... everyone's been told to bring their A game.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Hi Purple,

I think that bloom may already be burnt & may no longer open (sorry).

"Just assuming since it's a cactus it would like tons of sun."

What you said above, is unfortunately, not at all true & might burn them.

In nature, these plants grow in the crotches of trees & their branches (making them epiphytic, not terrestrial).

These are jungle cacti (not arid land) which means as they grow in the jungle in high humidity; they want dappled light as if through a canopy of other leaves or behind blinds which are open. They don't want direct sun, nor are they likely to get it in natural circumstances.

Of course, one is always free to do as one likes, but I think I myself explained to you why perlite is used & its importance in speeding up draining & lightening mixes.

Sand is an especially poor choice to use w/ these plants, they have fine root hairs where the sand is likely to get in & suffocate the roots.

If the new growth is red, it's the plant reacting to the (over) abundance of light. That's not so damaging, but the segments & blooms may start to shrivel up from burn & dehydration.

I use AV mix lightened w/ perlite (I grow indoors only).


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Thanks, PG. Jungle vs. desert, makes sense.

I understand that perlite helps with drainage (and am not denying that for those who want to use it) but I can run my hose at full blast on any of my potted plants and the water goes out just as fast. No further drainage is necessary. I meant it doesn't seem to serve any purpose for the health of the plant. Sorry if it sounded like I haven't been paying attention.

If this plant likes humidity, it must be in heaven. Air you can wear!

Haven't found any top soil without sand in it, not really a choice. I've tried all of the stores around here (there are four including WM and a L's an hour away.) If I do, I'll stock up.

Well that's 2 votes for too much sun. I'm sure y'all are right and I appreciate it. I'll see what I can rig up back at the east end of the porch if this flower doesn't do right.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

No I didn't think you weren't listening, just recognizing stubborn (I can be as well).

Topsoil is just too heavy & dense for these plants, isn't topsoil just for outdoors & also veg or flower beds?

Part of the perlite's job is to provide lightness which helps keep the mix aerated (not just drainage), plants need air in their mix & roots, not just water.

I'd quit the topsoil, try African violet mix & then add your mulch, instead of perlite, am guessing that would work better as what you've got is too heavy.

Before I learned otherwise, I used to use C&S mix for these & discovered it's too heavy & (in this case), too lean.


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RE: TC or CC? read more info over at C&S

PS: I forgot to mention, we're here at Houseplants. If you pls. flip over to Cactus & Succulent forum, you'll find more to read on the care & culture of these than you'll know what to do with.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

...just recognizing stubborn... I know, you're not the first to tell me this. Just clinically curious about exploring alternatives, especially in the face of adversity and/or controversy. I guess it's a cheap thrill, my honey says I'm easily amused. This isn't one of them but there have been instances of me asking for advice so I know how to go against it.

Your soil advice is noted, thanks! I do believe there's a lot of air in the pot(s.) Wouldn't that be necessary for about 2 gallons of water per minute to flow through? Not being snarky, really asking. (I haven't really measured but just know it takes me 2-3 minutes to fill a 5-gallon bucket.) That's why I've been filling the pots more close to the brim the past few years, there's no longer a need to save room for standing water at the top, and nothing moves or floats around.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

No Purple,

I have no idea

"wouldn't that be necessary for about 2 gallons of water per minute to flow through? Not being snarky, really asking."

I have no idea if a garden hose introduces air; haven't handled one in 50 yrs. so you got me.

But I have said several times that your mix doesn't look good, aerated or not, looks dry to me. Frankly, the original mix looks better from here than the current stuff (to me anyway).


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I was asking if it would be necessary for air to be in the pots for water to flow through that quickly, sorry that wasn't clearer.

I have been keeping this plant dry, very. Am I confusing this with desert cactus again?


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I understood your question, just have no idea of the answer & it's not as clearly a 'yes' to me as it is to you.

At the very least, pls. give yours a pebble tray & water heavily to overflow (into it).

Yes, you are, though they do like to dry out btwn waterings. I don't water mine but every 7-10 days, maybe a bit more often in summer like now (high 90s in NYC).

Tropical Jungle/forest is quite humid, depending on the seasons there are rains every day, sometimes twice a day or more (I grew up exactly where these plants originated, Rio de Janiero, Brazil). But then also periods of no rain.

Again, lots of info. at C&S to clarify.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Purple, how's the flower doing? Still around?

2-gallons of water??? How big is your plant? Toni


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Thanks again, PG.

Heythere, Toni. I just noticed the flower 2 days ago, it doesn't look any different today. When it looks different, I'll put another pic.

Two gallons is the approx rate of flow I think is coming out of my hose. The point was that I can put it full-blast on any of my plants and it flows right through.

...but I do fill a 5-gallon bucket (with a tiny hole in the bottom) every day to drip on one of my EE's in the ground. I think tree roots get most of the water though.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Could be water running down the sides of the container, rather than thoroughly saturating
the mix and then draining. Try watering much, much more slowly, trickling the water onto the mix.

I grow mine in bark (or nearly pure bark), and so I am able to water them as copiously as I want,
since the bark is truly fast-draining - much like their native habitat, which Pirate Girl described.


Josh


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Thanks for the input, greenman. Yes, that's what it's in, mulch. Less than 10% of what is in the pot is not mulch. They're extremely heavier after I water.

Here's a picture I just took of the baby pool where I do repotting. It looks better unpotted (and not dry,) and even more so in person. The left side is not really mixed up yet because I haven't gotten around to using yet yet. The camera picks up the light hitting every speck of sand too well, there's really hardly any there. My plants have been growing well this way for many years and it's dirt cheap (oh no she di'int make a really awful pun! Hahaha!) Everything gets repotted often and I throw the old pot contents into flower and veggie beds.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I am experimenting this year. My Thanksgiving cactus' died so I bought another and changed it's soil to ORCHID MIX. So far so good. SUPERB drainage of coarse. NO WAY it could be over watered.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Segmented jungle cacti with brownish/red hairs at the ends are usually Rhipsalis gaertneri or one of its hybrids. commonly called Sunrise/Easter cactus. Schlumbergeras (Xmas) are virtually naked.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I had a true Christmas cactus and an Easter cactus on a west facing porch (so it had a roof over it) in the summer with no ill effects. I live in the north, so the days are longer and drier in the summer, but the heat is a little less intense maybe. It took a lot of care to get it acclimated after being in the house, so I haven't done it since. A thanksgiving cactus would hate it though. I have had my Easter cactus bloom in July, but never my Christmas cactus, so my vote is that you have an Easter cactus. The bloom looks like the ones on my Easter cactus, but red rather than pink. I don't think it looks shriveled, but has the more separate looking ovary (I think) structure with the ridges that the petals grow out of that with a Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus looks more a part of the flower. If you pollinated the flower you would get a ridgy seed capsule, while with a Christmas cactus you would get a smooth one. I think it looks like you are doing fine, your soil sounds like it drains okay, and I think that Easter cacti are a bit persnickety, and if it were me I would keep it in it's own pot for a while so you can more easily meet its needs. It's good to think about growth rates, and a lot of potential partners would just overgrow the poor thing, especially with your nice care.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Thanks for the inputs! And thanks for the kind compliments, aseed.

I have put this plant back at the east end of the porch since there was a controversy about too much sun. The flower is bigger, but no development significant enough yet to warrant another pic.

RANT ALERT: These plants are NOT prickly, don't really want to be dry all the time, doesn't like sand, and can get overwhelmed by too much sun - so why in the (insert desired expletive) are they called cactus? What is THAT?!?? Decorum prevents me from saying what I'd like to do to "that guy!"


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Re-looking at what I wrote about the seed capsules, I was clumsy with what I wrote. Both the Christmas and the Easter cactus have ridgy seed capsules, it is the Thanksgiving cacti that have the smooth ones. But their ridginess is slightly different one from the other. The Easter ones are ridgier, if you can imagine that, and, as I said, look less like a part of the flower than the Christmas cacti ones. They are almost like a five-pointed star in cross section when the flower isn't pollinated. The Christmas cacti ones that were pollinated and made seed capsules on my plant look like obese stars in cross section, with five irregular points.

Well, about the cacti designation. My guess it is because the seeds are similar between cacti. Just think of it as an example of the greatness of nature how each genera tries to expand to prosper in as many niches in nature as it can. The people doing the naming have to work with what they have, not some ideal out there. More power to the cacti and good luck to the botanists!


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

They are called cacti because they are true cactus plants. The stems are succulent, the roots very weak and fibrous. Although they store water in the stems and many have no spines, some do make spines. The hairs on the ends of the Rhipsalis gaertneri (Easter Cactus) are modified spines. Related species, (Hatioras, for instance) also can have modified spines. Sometimes when you make a cutting (intentionally or otherwise), the new growth can be quite spiny. Some, like Disocactus and Rhipsalis, have spines on the adult forms. Schlumbergera opuntioides also has hairs that look very spiny. All in all, these are true cacti, but their culture is very different.

Peperomias are another genera (not cacti though) that have species that are desert or jungle dwellers. Some cannot go very long without water before wilting, and then there are the succulent ones (many from the Peruvian desert) that need to be carefully watered or else they rot, usually at ground level.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Ok I believe you, letting "that guy" off the hook. I sincerely appreciate the info & the effort. Thank goodness for this forum. This plant probably would have baked to death without y'all. It's back to morning sun and I let it get rained on a little last night. Something is starting to separate from the flower thing. I think it'll look different enough to put another pic 2moro.

Thanks again everyone!


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

This has popped open today, like a firework ...so it's apparently a July 19th cactus:


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Cool yet surprising, that bloom pegs it as Easter cactus (congrats, too), yet the segments did look more like CC to me too.

Anyway, the bloom makes it beyond question, so this bud made it but the other dried out or got burned (it seems), sorry.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Yes, I think you are right. The other little bud's not progressing like the open one. Lesson learned, thanks to you and other kind souls. All it takes is one bloom to 'wow' me though, so it's a keeper. That's probably it until next spring, I think?

Is Easter cactus more rare than the other holidays? I've rarely ever even looked in that section - cactus - (when I lived where there were stores that had whole sections of different house plants.)


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Nice bloom, purple! I think EC's are less available than Thanksgiving cacti, but more available than true Christmas cacti. The true Christmas cacti lose out because they bloom later (closer to Christmas) than the Thanksgiving cacti. So all the folks rushing out to get their holiday cactus early are driving the growers to provide these early plants. I saw at Wally World, but did not buy, around Mother's Day, a large collection of Easter cacti, all colors. So I think they are around. I think though for sheer numbers of hybrids, the Thanksgiving cacti win.

Begonias are another genus that has both dry culture members, and wet culture members. So the Cacti and Succulent forum sometimes discuss Begonias and purple has a lot of Begonias on her porch that apparently like the warm humid climes there. Go figure.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Purple, another clue. Rhipsalis (and Hatiora) flowers are radially symmetrical. That is, you can draw a line anywhere through the center and the 2 halves will be the same. Schlumbergera flowers are bilaterally symmetrical. You draw a line vertically through the center, and the 2 halves are the same. If you draw the line any place but vertical, the 1/2s will differ.


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

Purple, I've enjoyed reading this thread and wanted to add my $.02 worth. The first thing I noticed is that the stems appear to be flacid.....wilty. That could be caused by over OR under watering.....whichever might cause the roots from being able to access water. In this case, I wonder if the water you're applying is evacuating before soaking the whole soil volume. One thing about these plants (all plants) is that though they need to dry out somewhat between drenchings, the potting soil must be completely saturated on watering day. This is true for all plants, even those cacti that are native to extremely arid regions.

Have you ever seen "Medicine Man ", a movie starring that gorgeous specimen of manhood Sean Connery? It takes place in the rainforest of Brazil. There are scenes of my lovely Sean ziplining through the forest canopy, sharing the scenes with huge epiphytic cacti and other plants. Really neat movie. Plus, it stars Sean Connery.

I get that it's difficult to understand how those prickly, barrel shaped desert cacti have ANYTHING to do those graceful rainforest plants. Here's what I "think " is a good analogy, but don't laugh at me toooooo hard if it really stinks.

Take your dog into consideration for a moment. It's a mammal. So are you and the pesky squirrels in your yard. Big differences amongst those three mammals yet they share essential similarities. Still with me?

Now, think of those incredible bottlenose dolphins familiar to anyone living in coastal areas. Superficially, they seem to have so little in common with your dog, but those porpoises are just another type of mammal. They live in a different environment, for sure, but the similarities are much more important than the differences.

You just need to try to provide the kind of environment your dolphin needs. :-)

Dorie


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RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

The flower closed up shop last night. Is it a 1-day entity or will it open back up for a few days? Just checked & can't tell, it's about halfway open/closed.

Dzit and Aseed, thanks!

Rhizo, so you're saying it needs salt water, right? LOL j/k. Thanks for the input! This plant is apparently less foreign to me than I thought when it was given to me.

This pot gets a lot heavier after I water it but so many people have expressed concerns about the appearance of the soil. I wish I had taken more pictures when I was repotting this because I really don't remember how thoroughly (or not) I removed all of the rock-hard dusty sand. I do remember soaking it for about an hour first because it (soil) was so hard. I think I will repot it this weekend with more humusy airy mulch, less sand/soil. It does feel kind of limp but I have no tactile memory-basis for comparison.

Medicine man - is that the movie where he's trying to find something before the trees are cut down, a cure for cancer or something? If so, I remember seeing that once (back in the 80's?) Thanks for bringing the "plant stars" of the movie to our attention. Watching it again with my eye on the plants (can you forgive me for not noticing anything but Sean?!) sounds like a cool idea.

Speaking of dolphins, we rented a pontoon for the day in Destin a couple weeks ago and saw MANY dolphins. A group (pod?) of them followed our boat for a few minutes several different times, leaping an playing. One of those cool things that makes everyone from age 7-68 (our group's age span) say, "Wow!"

Thanks again everyone!!!!!


 o
RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

This plant has been repotted and everyone who said the soil didn't look right was right. Not only had I done a poor job of removing the old stuff around the root ball, I found an inner layer of dessicated, rock-hard peat that I never got to the first time. And I think I must have let a lot of the sand it was originally in fall into the new mix because it had way more sand than any mix I've concocted, even if I had just used nothing but the sandy "top soil" bag (which I've never done, always mix it with mulch and compost.)

Thanks again to everyone for insisting it didn't look right. I was so stuck on what I *thought* I did with this plant that I couldn't see that I had done something else, although I'm still not sure how or why. Like those times you put your keys in the 'frige or your phone in the medicine cabinet. I don't really know how it got like that, and don't remember much about doing it. Wish there was an Ambien around here to blame...


 o
RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

I have had Christmas cactus for years, and here is what I have learned through research and trials:

It is a forest cactus, which means they LOVE moisture. (I have both of mine potted in moisture retaining soil.) I have them on plant stands near my sliding glass door where they receive southern exposure. (Not direct sunlight, but they receive plenty of light.) They are full of blooms at least three times a year, if not more. I use to take them outside (as directed through my houseplant guide) and leave them in the shady area of my yard through the summer and then bring them indoors before the freeze hit. I would then get a load of blooms ONCE around the holiday season.

My neighbor has a nice window sill facing east in her kitchen, and that is where her cactus resides. She also receives plenty of blooms at least three times a year. She was the one who inspired me to try leaving my plants near a bright window indoors rather than taking them back and forth from the yard.

Do I feed them? Not as often as I should. Maybe if I do, they would bloom even more. Who knows? I should give it a try.


 o
RE: Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus? Groundhog day cactus?

You can find interesting information about the Christmas cactus at this link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christmas cactus


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