Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Christmas in April

Yes, it's a bloomin' Christmas Cactus, and it's April 7. This thing has just gone crazy with the additional daylight hours of springtime.

This Christmas Cactus is living in the same pot with a huge Yucca which I cut off a few years ago that grew three 'trunks' from the cut. It's getting so tall I may soon have to cut it off again!

At some point, probably about a 6" piece of Christmas Cactus was accidentally broken from the mother plant, so I simply scratched the surface of the soil in the Yucca pot and stuck it in there, rather than just throw it out. That's right, I stuck it in there... not placed lovingly and tenderly in the pot with a little pat and best wishes for its future. Nothing like that. After all, there were many more 6" pieces where that came from, so I wasn't too worried about its survival.


The mother ship (Christmas Cactus)  Aloe on the left.

I have a great knack for almost totally ignoring my plants and getting great results! I water once a week for the more succulent plants, making sure that the water can drain all the way through (so important) and that the plant won't sit in water (also very important!) I also use Schultz liquid plant food, three droppersful per gallon of tepid water. The Yucca, Azaelea, Aloe, Christmas Cactus, and Jade live near south-facing windows.  If I were starting a plant that could use direct light, however, I would probably ease it gradually, over a period of a week or two, into direct light.  

Only my Spider Plant is set away from the window where it will get more diffused light. And, of course, it's thin leaves means it needs water more often - maybe once every five days. Still, it needs good drainage.

I can't wait to get all of these plants outdoors for the summer, but I know I have to wait until mid June or so to do that. I don't want to lose them to frost! When I set them out, it's under a huge maple tree where they will get protection and lots of diffused light. My plants love being outdoors! And I love it that they get frequent rain showers. It keeps them so pretty and clean. They thrive all summer long, getting ready to be taken indoors in the fall where they are subject to less perfect conditions, including dust from our wood burning stove.

Jade and Spider.

It's amazing how much bigger the living room looks when all the plants are out of there...and how many dead beetles I find.

Do you put your plants outdoors in the summer?


2 comments:

Deborah said...

The plants are beautiful. I can't believe that Christmas Cactus...maybe it has an identity crisis...you know being a Christmas Cactus, yet blooming in April. How old is that plant any way? I believe I have seen it at your house for years. I really like that Jade too. It is nice to be able to get them outside and have them do so well. :)

Judy said...

We've had the original Christmas cactus since at least 1980, maybe before. I bought it at an auction for $15, I think, and it was an old plant then. It has survived one hard freeze. I had to cut it all the way back to the the wood, but it revived. :-)

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