AS GOOD AS IT GETS: THE FULL BLOOM OF THE CHRISTMAS CACTUS – Marilyn Armstrong

As Good As It Gets – FOTD – 12/10/2018

I’ve been following the progress of this lovely Christmas Cactus since its first bud last month and now, it has come, I think, to the end of its peak.

I watered it yesterday. The water quickly made the flowers limp as I knew it would. But the segments of the cactus were beginning to curl inward, a sign that the plant was thinking about dying too. So, there comes a moment when you either water it, or it could up and die.

I picked watering rather than death. This has been an extremely healthy plant and I’d like to give it another year to bloom a few more times. One of these days, I’ll be forced to put it in a new pot, but I shudder at the thought. These guys — as Mrs. Angloswiss discovered — have a knack for self-destructing when you try to pot them. The segments just separate. It’s what they are supposed to do, but it is very unnerving when it happens.

IF you are going to put them in a new pot, let them dry out completely first and don’t do it when they have any buds on them.

Since I didn’t want to lose it, I realized I was going to lose the last of the buds, but I watered it.

It felt like dried sand, so I don’t think it was too early. If I’m lucky, it will bloom again in a few weeks. This is, after all, the season for blooming cactus.

So these are the full blooming cactus. They are not macros, but they are shot very close, but not using the macro lens. I wanted to show more of the entire plant this time. I hope you have enjoyed the journey.

I certainly have had fun showing the process of budding, and blooming.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

31 thoughts on “AS GOOD AS IT GETS: THE FULL BLOOM OF THE CHRISTMAS CACTUS – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I love this type of plant! A student gave me a small one as a Christmas gift one holiday, and I had it for almost 15 years, during which time I repotted and separated, ending up with multiple strong plants. Sadly, moving across country was the end of that line. I’m starting over with a new one, this year. Occasionally, I do water it a bit even when in bloom. This doesn’t seem to disturb the flowering unless it’s quite far along in the bloom process. I’ve enjoyed your recent photos, both of plants AND birds!

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    1. The watering thing is always dicey. At some point, you have to water them because the segments start to look depleted. But how much? I usually — at that point — give them a full watering, recognizing that this will pretty much end the flowering, but it keeps the plant healthy for another season and in the end, that’s the important part. I’m finding it hard to locate healthy greenhouses around here. They all seem to have plants with diseases, caterpillars, or other insects, so I wait for other people to give me cuttings from THEIR healthy plants. It was easier when we lived closer to Boston. There was a lot better selection. Prices were higher, but the quality was far better.

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  2. I had been enjoying your photos and learning from you. I have one that has no buds and maybe next year.
    But a friend gave me one FULL of buds and several opened and flowered and now are wilting with “a million” more buds to open.
    Do I pinch off the wilted dying blooms or let them fall on their own.
    Thanks for all of your advice. 🌹

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    1. It’s nice when all the flowers bloom together, although that also means they all fade together. Still, it’s a lovely show and the best this cactus has had in a few years. Last year, I got a lot of flowers, but one at a time.

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    1. Whenever I think I can’t fit anything more in, I do. It’s amazing. But to be fair, my son took the really huge plant that had hit the ceiling and was beginning to bend down because it had nowhere to go. When they get THAT big, it’s usually time to move them to the next largest location.

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        1. I had that plant for a very long time. It was small when I got it, but it kept growing and one day, I realized it had outgrown the roof. Dracaena get VERY tall and in the wild, they are really trees.

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