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Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Christmas Cactus

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Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Jun 27, 2012 6:24 AM CST
My neighbor asked me to care for her plants while she is on a 2 week business trip. They are 3 inpatient plants and a Xmas Cactus that she inherited from her landlord. The landlord said his Mother put it outside every June, and it did well..under the eaves of the house.
Should I find shade for it along with the inpatients? I guess the Xmas Cactus doesn't need to be watered as often as the other 3 plants(impatients)?
[Last edited by Pippi21 - Jun 27, 2012 6:25 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #278350 (1)
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator
Garden Sages Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Florida
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Dutchlady1
Jun 27, 2012 6:35 AM CST

Moderator

The Christmas Cactus should only need a few drops of water now and then.
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Jun 27, 2012 10:39 AM CST
I felt all the plants she left for me to tend too and I noticed the CC soil is wet, so don't know if she watered it yesterday before she called me or not. The CC belonged to a tenant who was living there for 5 yrs. and every June, she would move her CC outside under the shade of the eaves of the house and leave it all summer and bring it back inside late Sept. or early Oct. I think she is keeping it too moist so I don't think I will water that one but maybe once a week but will still keep an eye on the soil.
I tried to start a cutting from it one year and failed; while it is in my possession, maybe I'll try again..I think I put the cutting in water. This time I will try it in potting mix outside in the shade. I've always wanted one of them. It just blooms its head off in her sunroom but don't remember when.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator
Garden Sages Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Florida
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Dutchlady1
Jun 27, 2012 10:51 AM CST

Moderator

Being a Christmas Cactus, it would bloom around that time. Or it could be an Easter Cactus or Thanksgiving Cactus Smiling - you get the drift..... nodding
Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
If a door closes look for a window!
Heucheras Plant and/or Seed Trader Hostas Hummingbirder Region: Georgia Cactus and Succulents
Sedums Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tropicals
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jojoe
Jul 4, 2012 8:27 PM CST
I have a good many CC's i let my plants dry out a little before i water again, not dusty dry but i do let them go a little dry.Then i water them good from the bottom i set them in a pot of water until the top begins to look a little wet or the plant is noticeably heavier than it was when i put it into the pot of water.I don't drowned them.The sun will burn them i don't put mine outside unless it's a very well established plant and has slowly gotten used to the sun.

This is the first time i have given advice and not been asking for it.I hope the CC does good.It is a christmas cactus and not an easter cactus right?They are totally 2 different plants, but care pretty close.

GOOD LUCK Group hug Thumb of 2012-07-05/jojoe/a433e0
Thumb of 2012-07-05/jojoe/8cc72f
A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Jul 5, 2012 2:51 AM CST
Thank You. I guess everybody calls it Christmas Cactus..kind of like generic name. Have no idea what season it blooms..I remember it blooming for my former neighbor but don't recall when. Her son would know but he is out of the country and I can find out at end of month. He told the renter his Mother always put it outside in June but kept it under the eaves of the house.

How do I take a cutting from it to start a plant for myself? I tried it once in water when the former neighbor was alive but it was not successful. I'd like to try starting a cutting in potting mix this time. Do I use potting mix or cactus mix?
Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
If a door closes look for a window!
Heucheras Plant and/or Seed Trader Hostas Hummingbirder Region: Georgia Cactus and Succulents
Sedums Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tropicals
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jojoe
Jul 5, 2012 7:55 AM CST
I took a lot of cuttings from mine this winter.The best (but not only) time to get cuttings is after the plant finishes blooming,it's a good time to prune the plant so you get plenty of cuttings,depending on how much you prune.

I can tell you how i do it,but everyone has their own way.Almost every piece i cut rooted,so i figure when something works.....

When you remove the stem,i take 2 or 3 sections.just twist the section where they come together until it pops off.Get as many pieces you want, take them to a cool,dry place so they can callous over.I only let them sit for a day or two.The longer they sit they will become soft & thin etc..

I root mine in a mixture of half peat & half vermiculite.Now this is just my preference.After the pieces have calloused over i put them in the mix,i like to put them a whole section deep including the top of the bottom section.This gives you a double chance of them rooting,they will root from the bottom and the place where the 2 bottom sections meet.I ONLY MIST.After they are in the soil i put them in a clear bag,i use them bags you get in the produce department at the grocery store,sometimes the bags are clear with a tint of green.Just as long as they can get sun light.I use different things depending on what i have and what works even a stick if it will keep the bag from touching the cuttings because after you mist them,put them in a window or some kind of indirect light.The bag makes like a little green house effect so the bag will stay wet & if the cutting touch the wet plastic they will rot where they are touching.I root mine on my bedroom dresser that sits in front of a window that gets morning sun & i have even turned on a lamp over them on cloudy days.or to keep them warm but i rooted my last batch in the winter.It's important to only mist the soil if the bag begins to dry out you know there isn't any water in the soil.Be very careful not to over mist they rot easy.I also root mine in the drain tray of an old pot,they seem to do better with the least amount of soil.Some people root them in the pot they are going to keep them in.It was trial and error for me.
Here's a link to some info on rooting CC's

http://gardenhacker.blogspot.com/2007/10/rooting-christmas-c...


Thumb of 2012-07-05/jojoe/83c0d7

GOOD LUCK!!!!

p.s. if you ever want some cuttings i have a beautiful bright pink CC called 'polka dancer' I would gladly send you some cuttings as a Trade or not. Flowers are to be shared.
A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Jul 5, 2012 6:16 PM CST
I've been following Mr. Brown Thumb's blogspot/website for a few years. Love 'em..I have learned a lot from him. He's the one that taught me how to harvest seeds out of a lot of plants.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)
JBsPlants/JBsBirdsandmore
Charter ATP Member Farmer Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America
Region: New Jersey Tropicals Container Gardener Birds Dog Lover The WITWIT Badge
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JB
Aug 1, 2012 1:43 PM CST
This weather is really crappy but the Christmas/Holiday Cactus starter plants are really looking great.

Believe it or not, they get watered almost daily in this heat...I watch them carefully and only water when I think they can take it without getting root rot. They seem to be thriving and of course they get fed during this growing time.

I lost my two favorites early in the Spring during a storm. They blew off the deck and were beyond repair when I finally was able to go out and get them. I just ordered new ones to replace them and thank God they had them. They are Malindi and Madeline. Unfortunately I had none of their cuttings taken when they left me. I do not take cuttings until after they stop blooming and they bloomed until early Spring this year. I was amazed. Did you know you "twist" off what you want to use as cuttings, you never "cut" them? Learned that long time ago.

I have some of the starter plants for sale in my Cubits store and on eBay. It will be first come first serve for sure this year.
Storm stopped so I can go back to the greenhouse. Have a good day.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Dragonflies Keeps Goats Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Garden Sages Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Aug 2, 2012 12:32 PM CST
You should definitely check out JB's store on cubits. She has some lovely plants!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
If a door closes look for a window!
Heucheras Plant and/or Seed Trader Hostas Hummingbirder Region: Georgia Cactus and Succulents
Sedums Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tropicals
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jojoe
Aug 4, 2012 6:23 AM CST
I agree
A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Aug 4, 2012 8:10 AM CST
When you mentioned you do half peat and half vermitculite, do you meant spagnum peat moss? I get confused over the mention of peat and peat moss and spagnum peat moss; thinking that I may have purchased the wrong product. When I think of just peat, I think of a product from the boggs along the riverbank..spagnum peat moss, I think of the moss off the trees in the South..

I have perlite, vermitculite and spagnum peat moss here...do I have the correct products? I also have MG potting mix, seed starting mix..
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Dragonflies Keeps Goats Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Garden Sages Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Aug 4, 2012 9:53 AM CST
Do NOT, repeat NOT use MG potting mix for starting cuttings! Unless they've changed it drastically since I last bought it, that stuff is awfully heavy and soggy and your cuttings are very likely to rot.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Pegi Putnam
Norwalk, Ca. zone 10b
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: California Region: United States of America Plumerias
Container Gardener Garden Art Vegetable Grower
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Samigal
Aug 4, 2012 10:23 AM CST
I'm glad I found this thread. I too have a CC and another one which I don't remember when it is supposed to bloom. I need to see if I can start some cuttings. Can I put them under a grow light? Shrug!
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)
JBsPlants/JBsBirdsandmore
Charter ATP Member Farmer Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America
Region: New Jersey Tropicals Container Gardener Birds Dog Lover The WITWIT Badge
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JB
Aug 4, 2012 4:46 PM CST
Wolfie, what kind are you buying....they have several different types. I purchase the large 2 cu ft. bags and mine is so dry....I will check out what it says on my bags. It even has some stuff in it that looks like wood bark. I have better luck with that than with the professional stuff I was buying to save money last year.

Pegie, you do not need to put them under a grow light. Just put them in a good soil and water them but do not over water....I keep mine in the greenhouse under the shade cloth and they get watered with the rest of the plants but I never water too much at a time. This heat makes it difficult to say how much you should water. I touch the top of the medium and if it is dry and looks dry, I water. I use a bit of root powder and just let them go. I really make them wet when I first put them in medium. After the first day or so when they begin to look dry I begin their watering with the rest of the plants. I have hundreds growing now and some are getting too much light but I can not put another shade cloth on. They will get pale leaves but that will go away in the winter months.

When you take off a piece of Christmas/Holiday cactus, remember, do not use a knife etc. twist it until it comes off. Then, most people let them callus for a few days before planting.
On the other hand, some people I know, including me depending on which species I am cutting stick them in water and they will even root in water. I do not recommend you do this. I do it when I have so many I am not sure when I can get them in medium. It works better for me...it may not be the best way but I always say, if it works for me if is my way......that does not make it right. Green Grin!
My Cubits has a forum for each species I propagate and I have started to put bits of info I have picked up over the years under the specific species if anyone wants to take a look I would love to share it with you.
As I said before, the above info works for me, that does not mean it will work for you but it is worth giving it a try. Have fun. Big Grin
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Dragonflies Keeps Goats Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Garden Sages Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Aug 4, 2012 5:39 PM CST
JB, I was referring to the big green bags that are labeled "Miracle Gro Potting Mix," which is what most big box stores have on the shelves. They do make some very good soils for containers; I generally get Whitney's Potting soil, which is also made by Scotts. But I've had abysmal luck with their sort of generic potting mix and I've heard the same from a lot of other people. I've used it in a pinch, but always mixed it with the dreadful potting soil from our local hardware store that doesn't retain ANY water! Hilarious! They sort of cancel one another out. Green Grin!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Pegi Putnam
Norwalk, Ca. zone 10b
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: California Region: United States of America Plumerias
Container Gardener Garden Art Vegetable Grower
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Samigal
Aug 4, 2012 6:45 PM CST
Thanks JB, I am now going to experiment with my CC. BTW, are you the one who has a Christmas Tree Farm? You use to post a lot on DG and then I lost tract of you. Glad to see you again. Hurray!
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)
JBsPlants/JBsBirdsandmore
Charter ATP Member Farmer Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America
Region: New Jersey Tropicals Container Gardener Birds Dog Lover The WITWIT Badge
Image
JB
Aug 5, 2012 8:58 AM CST
Woofie, Honestly !!!!!!That is just amazing. I must look at those bags and see what I am using. But, if if it is working......last year I remember going to Agway and getting some MG bags of soil that was pure black and wet as if it was in the rain when you opened it up. That may have been the same. But as I said, my bags are dry as a bone. I believe you Honey, I am going to do some checking and looking at the contents also.

Pegi, Yea, that is me....DG has all but died for me. I have had a problem with one of the administrators and I try not to post very much. I hate being talked to like I was a child and so many younger people seem to think older people are just stupid or getting senile. I think it is sad, but then when people have attitudes they are not going to change. Best thing to do is stay clear of the problem and then it will not be yours. Words of wisdom I just made up. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing You feel free to ask questions any time. Also please join my cubits so I do not loose you again. Group hug
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Dragonflies Keeps Goats Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Garden Sages Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Aug 5, 2012 9:45 AM CST
Hey, JB, having problems with DG admins is sort of a badge of honor! Hilarious! You are in very good company!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Pegi Putnam
Norwalk, Ca. zone 10b
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: California Region: United States of America Plumerias
Container Gardener Garden Art Vegetable Grower
Image
Samigal
Aug 5, 2012 9:52 AM CST
JB, love your words of wisdom! I'll jump over to cubits and join you. I do like the California Gardening at DG so I go over there to check things out. Great group of people and I've met a lot of them at round-ups. Be joining you shortly. Group hug

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