Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Cactus

Our Christmas cactus is in full bloom for the holidays

My 9 year old son collected house plants for a while but rarely watered them, so most of them were dead when he finally turned them over to me this September. I didn't think that this Christmas cactus would make it, let alone bloom this year. It was very withered and hadn't been watered consistently for months.

That's all that I did with it and these other rescue plants. Repot, water every two weeks (every week for the croton) with plant food and place in a sunny location. There's another shelf below this with more cacti and jades.

This next set of plants is the result of two years worth of careful watering. They were all part of a single plant that had been in my wife's family for decades but was starved for sun, water and attention. The core and roots were rotten and all that was marginally alive where the bits on the ends. After a bit of research one afternoon, I decided to chop off the salvageable pieces and see if any of them would grow. To my surprise, they have and now I've run out of room! The leftmost plant in the first photo was the largest surviving piece of the original plant. It seems to have been permanently stunted and has grown a few new leaves over two years, but not much. Subtract those leaves and it looks much like it did when I performed the surgery on it. The last photo is all that's left of the original plant. Only in the past few weeks has it been moved to a sunnier location, so what green that was left has been dormant the entire time.

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