I can still remember the first time my Christmas cactus bloomed in my sun-room. It seemed to be one of those novelty plants you buy someone as a gift or bring home to enjoy during the Holidays and then dumb in the compost pile come Spring. Little did I know that if you take care of the plant it will bloom again and again! In this post, we learn about How to Tell the Thanksgiving Cactus Apart From The Christmas Cactus
Thanksgiving V.S. Christmas Cactus | Interview with Houseplant Guru
Video on my YOuTube at: https://youtu.be/8q7NSTBok34
What’s with The Name?
Would the REAL Schlumbergera bridgesii please stand up... Did you know that most of these plants labeled Christmas cactus are impostors? At the store most ‘Christmas’ Cactusare actually the Thanksgiving Cactus. It is true….my friend Lisa Eldred Steinkopf who is the Author of Houseplants – the Complete Guide first broke the news to me on my Creative Living with Bren Haas show. She shared that the Christmas cactus isn’t really the original cactus but that the plant has been hybridized. The new plant was being called her grandmothers Schlumbergera bridgesii cactus. The true Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) blooms later in the year than the Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata). Lisa also shares on her blog the best way to tell the plants apart.
How to tell the Thanksgiving Cactus from at Christmas Cactus
The easiest way to tell them apart, though, is the shape of their stem segments or phylloclades (cladodes). The Latin for the leaf is phyllo- and for the branch is -clade. They both have these flattened stem segments, but the Thanksgiving cactus has segments with small pointed appendages, whereas the Christmas cactus has rounded edges. By the way, they really are cactus. Epiphytic cactus, as they grow in Brazilian rainforests in trees, but cactus none the less. read more at HouseplantGuru.blogpost.com
Segments From The Plants
Images by Lisa Eldred Steinkopf
How to Water the Christmas Cactus
Lisa recommends during the interview that the Thanksgiving/ Christmas Cactus is watered once a week. I like to do the finger in soil test after watering making sure the top of the soil is very wet. The cactus plants did not like to be completely dry. Or it will look sad and dry like mine did in the video presentation above. Use a watering can and pour the water directly into the soil around the plant. Lisa also recommended taking the saucer of the container and filling it with pebbles that you will fill with water providing a microclimate for the plant indoors. I hope you will Tweet Lisa and ask her if anyone else in her household ever takes showers with her plants!
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