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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Family Heirloom

When I was 18 years old, I fell in love with Peter.  His mother Carrie was truly a wonderful woman; and after Peter was out of the picture I stayed in communication with his mother for many years. She gave me a start from her large Christmas Cactus plant. It grew into a huge plant that always sat in my parent's living room. 35 years ago, my husband and I moved into our house in Racine; my mother brought  me a slip from that original plant sitting in the living room. It likes our house, and it has become a monster of a plant. The new pot I put it in last summer is so heavy we can't move it without wheels!
My special Christmas Cactus in full bloom 2010

Just look at how gorgeous the plant is today. I learned that using 10-10-10 fertilizer is what it needs, along with a much larger pot and soil especially for cactus. The bag of fertilizer I purchased will last me the rest of my life!

What a show this plant is putting on for me and my family! I'm guessing it will be blooming through Valentine"s Day. This plant, like my creativity, needs to be fed and nurtured from time to time. I see a Christmas Cactus quilt in my future.

Happy New Year to all of you.

Ann

7 comments:

mgmartin said...

I have a Christmas cactus just like that. It was my grandfathers when I was a child. I have passed on plants that were started by this cactus to my children. It got too big and now is in 3 pots. Thanks for the hint on the fertilizer.

Linda said...

Hi Ann--I would like to start a plant--what kind of light do you have your plant in and how often do you water your cactus-- do you put it outside in the summer????--your plant is so beautiful......

annieQ said...

I have done lots of research on this plant. It likes a cool room when it comes back inside for the winter. It begins to set its buds when the days get short in Sep-Nov. So keep it in a room without lights in the evening. My living room lamp has been on a timer to turn on each evening--I disabled that through Nov. No lamp. Sprinkle the fertilizer on the soil, at the beginning of the summer. As for watering, I water liberally when it is outside for the summer. I only water it once a week while inside. Better to under water than over!
Ann

Janet Stone said...

Beautiful plant! I've had one for about 3 years and it blooms beautifully every Thanksgiving! It must appreciate the low light in the living room and the lack of water I give it. I'm going to try the fertilizer and see if I can get it to bloom for Christmas!

annieQ said...

Janet,
There are many different types of this cactus. You might have a Thanksgiving Cactus!

annieQ said...

Since some of you are interested in this, here is the link to the site that helped me so much
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extnews/hortiscope/houseplnts/xmascctus.htm

Vicki said...

Beautiful plant. I have a small heirloom Christmas cactus that needs a little TLC so I'll check out that site. Mine was started from a plant my grandmother had for years. My mom and sister have plants started from it, too.