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How to Grow Christmas and Thanksgiving Cactuses
by Monica Resinger
I love Christmas and Thanksgiving cactuses. These plants are so easy to take
care of. The flowers are gorgeous, come in an array of colors and come right
when we need them -- usually when it's cold and flowerless outdoors. A
houseplant that flowers and doesn't take much to take care of it is a big plus
book! They can be grown in hanging baskets or regular pots.
My Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus bloom every year now. They didn't always
before. The main difference has been that my plants have become root-bound.
The other difference is temperature -- they like it cool so I moved mine to a
cooler area of the house. If they get too warm, the buds will fall off. I'd say
68* or under is what they prefer. A south-facing window with filtered light
also helps and only an occasional feeding when they are actively growing.
I think where people go wrong with these is in giving them too much
attention. Too much water will cause them to die. Let the plant dry between
to the point where the leaves start to shrivel. This is all I do to my cactuses
and they bloom reliably every year. Sometimes they even give me a second
These plants can last you a lifetime! My grandma has a plant that has been in
the family for over 60 years! Two of my three plants are plants made from
taking cuttings from hers. Let me tell you how to do that.
It's very easy to propagate Christmas and Thanksgiving Cactuses. All you need
is a small pot of moist potting soil, a Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus to
take a cutting from and rooting hormone is helpful but not necessary. Simply
clip off a four-segment piece; dip the cut end into rooting hormone if desired,
then push the cut end into the soil about an inch or so. From there, the only
thing you have to do is be sure the soil stays moist. It will stay moist
longer if you prop a see through plastic bag over it. To do this you can insert
popsicle stick into the soil, then drape the plastic over that. Rooted and
growing cuttings of these make wonderful gifts to friends and family. Put them
a pretty pot and attach a bow and card then they're ready to give!
There's a difference between Thanksgiving Cactus and Christmas Cactus.
Christmas cactus segments are scalloped and Thanksgiving cactus segments are
Well, that is what I know about growing Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus. I
hope it will help you in growing yours!
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