My Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) had just barely started to open on Thanksgiving day, but it is in full bloom right now. It will have passed its moment of glory by Bloom Day, so I continue to give thanks in the here and now.
I’ve had people tell me their Thanksgiving cactus or Christmas cactus never bloom at the proper season, but that is usually because they have misidentified their plant. The Thanksgiving cactus ‘leaf segments’ have little points on each segment. This has sometimes caused them to be called crab cactus. the ‘leaf segments of the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) are more rounded.
I have never had an Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri) which is a whole different family, but very similar in every other aspect except bloom time. All of them are very easy to propogate. A single leaf segment can be stuck in a pot of damp sandy soil, kept in bright light but out of the sun for a couple of weeks and you’ll be able to see new growth. I’ve knocked a leaf off the plant and had it fall and root right in the original pot. It is important not to overwater these succelents at any point in their life cycle.
Once you’ve got a ‘holiday cactus’ you’ll be able to keep it going for decades, and give away many little plants to admiring friends.
Today is December 3 which means there are just about 60 hours left before the drawing closes on my celebratory Giveaway, Nan Ondra’s helpful new book The Perennial Care Manual, and lots of CowPots to get you off to a good start in the spring. The drawing will be on December 6, the second anniversary of this blog.