We Get ID Questions

An interesting mystery:<br /><br />Q: Hi! <br />
Bumped into your website today, and saw that you answer cactus/succulent questions, so I figured maybe you could help me ID this plant. It’s a seedling that is growing in the pot with my haworthia. It was already in the pot when I bought the haworthia a year ago, so all I know is that it’s over a year old. When I got it, the seedling was, I think, less than half an inch tall. It had two small round leaves at the very bottom (would those be cotelydons?), and one of them is still there, but the other fell off. No other leaves or spines though. Now it’s a bit under two inches tall, and it did most of the growing in the summer. I don’t know how to describe the plant, besides that it’s flat, so I attached two pictures. I also dug it out a while back, to see what kind of roots it has, and it pretty much has just one root that goes straight down, about half an inch long. Not much in terms of small rootage. It seems to do fine with the same light and watering that the haworthia gets, but then I have no idea what it is and what it’s supposed to look like… For all I know it was supposed to be 10′ tall by now, and all covered in deadly spines or huge pink flowers. Or deadly pink flowers. Or something.<br />
Do you know what it could be?<br />
Thanks in advance!<br />
-Lena<br /><br /><img width="324" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/plant_id_1.jpg" /><br /><br />A: Lena,<br />
I love cool mysteries! But I have to say I am not sure if I can help you. My best wild guess is perhaps it is a Pedilanthus of some sort, perhaps one of the Pedilanthus tithymaloides sub species. Perhaps it will get some sort of leaf or bloom in the spring and we can try again.<br />
<br />
Hap<br /><br />

We Get Questions

Q: Hello- Do you carry a form of cactus called a “forever flower” it has small pink flowers oval leaves and grows tall and skinny. If you are familiar I would like to know the full scientific name and where they are from. If you can help out with these info. that would be great.

thanks for your time.

Kendra

A: Kendra,

I am not familiar with “Forever Flower” as a common name, however from

your description I am guessing you are talking about Euphorbia milli, a

very cool succulent native to Madagascar. It is in the family

Euphorbiaceae, so it is not a cactus, but a similar looking succulent.

There are a number of hybrid clones that come in a rainbow of bloom

colors and sizes. They are wonderful plants as they bloom almost

non-stop year round. We grow the standard species, as well as some of

the “Thai hybrids” that have larger, showier blooms. Links here, here, here and here.

Please look over the links and see if this is the plant you are

interested in.

Hap

We Get ID Questions

Q: Hey there–<br /><br />I have two cacti whose scientific names have evaded me for a while. The first one I saved from Walgreens– he’s grown from a little under half a foot to a little over a foot or more. The other one I got at a Lowes, but didn’t come with a tag saying what kind of cactus.<br /><br /><img width="324" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/IDRalph.jpg" /> <br /><br />The large green one in the photos attached is the one I’m most curious about, seeing as the other seems easier to find and identify.<br /><br /><img width="304" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/IDLoretta.jpg" /><br /><br />Thanks!<br />Natalie<br /><br />A: Natalie,<br /><br />&quot;Ralph&quot; is a Cereus hildmannianus monstrose, commonly called &quot;Fairy Castle Cactus&quot;. &quot;Loretta&quot;; is a grafted Gymnocalycium mihanovichii &quot;Hibotan&quot;, or Moon Cactus or Ruby Ball. It’s grafted because it does not have the ability to make it’s own food, as the chlorophyll was irradiated out of it, to make it that &quot;out of this world color&quot; the green hylocerues below the red ball is feeding the mutant above… the true species is sort of a terra cotta red with a green stripes. <br /><br />I hope that helps<br />Take care<br />Hap<br /><br />

They Get Cold Weather Questions

It’s Spring in California. It was hot yesterday. Warm in the monring, sunny all day, and hot in the afternoon. The plants loved it, and so did I. I’m not bragging, mind you, but there’s freezing temperatures all across the upper midwest today, and I pity you all. <br /><br />From the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1828&amp;entry_id=1649" title="http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=709527" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=709527′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel</a>:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q.I have a very large cactus (Euphorbia Tree) that normally thrives in our sunroom.<br />
<br />
We had several very cold days and it got much too cold in that non-insulated room.<br />
<br />
All of the new growth on the cactus has either shriveled or turned light greenish-yellow and is droopy. This cactus stands about 6 feet. What can I do to revive it?<br />
<br />
A. If the damaged areas continue to deteriorate or show no signs of improvement, it is time to do some pruning.<br />
<br />
Remove the dead portions back to a healthy stem. If older parts of the plant are firm and normal color there is a good chance you can save the plant.<br />
<br />
Prevent future cold damage and continue to give it proper care and time to recover. </span><br /></div><br />Colder days indeed. After winter damage, when spring finally arrives in your part of the country, we recommend a good dose of kelp meal.<br /><br />

They Get Questions

The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1826&amp;entry_id=1647" title="http://www.azcentral.com/home/garden/articles/0126swgarden0126.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.azcentral.com/home/garden/articles/0126swgarden0126.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Arizona Republic</a> is taking questions, and it’s all about the kalanchoes today.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Question: About a year ago, I propagated a cutting from a very colorful kalanchoe. The cutting has gone very well, filling a 12-inch pot, but producing no blossoms. How can I encourage this fickle kalanchoe to produce flowers? During its short life, the plant has been in a patio receiving, perhaps, four to five hours of sun.<br />
– Bill Ispirian, Scottsdale<br /><br /><img width="250" hspace="5" height="400" border="2" align="left" src="/blog/uploads/misc/012608garden-autosized258.jpg" /> Answer: There are many species of kalanchoe plants. These succulents produce a profusion of long-lasting blooms. Most are cool-season bloomers and flower in winter and spring.<br />
<br />
Kirti Mathura, Desert Botanical Garden horticulturist, said those sold at the garden will bloom yearly and do well as patio container plants. Others sold in retail outlets often are forced to bloom so they are available throughout the year.<br />
<br />
If you want to experiment, keep your kalanchoe in a cool, dark place. Some growers use either a piece of shade cloth (available at plant nurseries) or even a box to cover their plants.<br />
<br />
By covering them up to 14 hours a day in a cool place, you may be able to force the plant to produce buds.<br />
<br />
Once they bud, remove the covering and place in a well-lighted area. Kalanchoe prefer a well-drained soil rich in organic material. Watering once a week should do it, but let the soil dry out before watering again. While it is in the dark, water only half as much as you normally would.<br />
<br />
Mathura said you can fertilize your plant, but use a fertilizer that contains more phosphorus than nitrogen to promote blooming. Too much nitrogen promotes more leafy growth, she said.</span><br /></div><br />Now you know. I like that phrase. It’s very compact.<br /><br /><br />

We Get Questions

Q: Hello,<br />
We’ve exchanged vm regarding the aloe plant I received for Christmas that simply isn’t doing well. I have watered it only once since receiving it and as you can see from the photos, the entire base of the plant seems moldy and rotten. The plant appears to be doing well from the perspective of the upper leaves. Is there anything that could be done on your end as pruning the bottom leaves seems odd and difficult given the nature of thick leaves, etc?<br />
<br />
Best regards,<br />
Sandra<br /><br /><img width="324" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/IMG_1557.JPG" /><br /><br />A: Sandra,<br />
<br />
Overall the Aloe looks fine. All succulents will lose bottom leaves, especially in the winter, and that is what is happening here. However, since the bottom leaves are so big and thick it just seems bad when they turn black and die off, but it is normal. We recommend cutting them out; you can cut the leaf edge as close in to the stock as possible and then gently pull and usually the leaf will come right off. If you are unsure how to do this, or still would like us to take a look at it, we can do that. Just bring the plant on by and we’ll take a look for you.<br />
<br />
Peter<br />
<br />
Followup Question after the break… <br /><br /><br />
<br />
<br /><a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/archives/1638-guid.html#extended">Continue reading "We Get Questions"</a>

They Get Questions

<a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1808&amp;entry_id=1625" title="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/23/AR2008012301113.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/23/AR2008012301113.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">The Wasington Post</a> gets a question from someone looking for a common succulent in the DC area.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q. I am trying to find an indoor succulent known as donkey or burro tail. This is a delicate plant that doesn’t hold up well to shipping. Do you know of any local source?<br />
<br />
A. Burro tail ( Sedum morganianum) is a fairly common succulent that can often be found in garden center cacti and succulent sections. If your favorite garden center doesn’t have the plant in stock, the staff should be able to get one for you.<br />
<br />
The fleshy leaves of this light-loving succulent are prone to break off, but shipping has improved in recent years and many mail order firms do such a good job of packing that plants withstand a lot of jostling with no injuries.<br />
<br />
There is also a selection of this plant called Burrito that does not shatter in shipping.<br />
<br />
It is available from Highland Succulents ( http://www.highlandsucculents.com). If you mail-order it, you will most likely get an unrooted cutting.<br />
<br />
Burro tail is easy to root: Simply remove the leaves from the lower portion of the stem and stick it in cactus soil. Keep it just barely moist, and it will root in a few weeks. Rooting and growth will be best in spring, when more light is available; you can also grow the plant under a high-intensity discharge lamp. </span><br /></div><br />So that’s where it is – not in the area at all. You know, we carry it and can ship it too (and they would be rooted!) <br /><br />You know, these are strange question to be asking one of the premier national political newspapers in the middle of a campaign season. I think a better and more timely question would have been where to find nopales on the menu of a fancy mexican restaurant in DC. Because they’re delicious.<br /><br />

They Get Questions

The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1807&amp;entry_id=1619" title="http://www.lvrj.com/home_and_garden/14177812.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.lvrj.com/home_and_garden/14177812.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Las Vegas Review Journal</a> takes a question about cactus.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q: In my neighborhood is a house with three large saguaro cacti. They are at least 30 feet tall and very big around. One of the huge ones is splitting. What should be done?<br />
<br />
A: Splitting of saguaro cactus is most likely due to frequent overwatering. These cacti have ridges and furrows running vertically along with their trunks and stems so that they can expand and contract like an accordion.<br />
<br />
When water is available, saguaro cactus stems expand with stored water. When water is no longer available from the roots, stored water in the trunk and limbs is used for survival, ultimately causing the trunks and stems to contract.<br />
<br />
Applying water frequently never gives the trunk and stems a chance to contract. As it grows, the already-expanded trunk splits.<br />
<br />
Water these plants less often. They are shallow rooted, so water them deeply and apply it quite a distance away from the trunk. This will help keep the trunk sturdy and prevent it from possibly falling over. Watering this large cactus close to the trunk could be dangerous.<br />
<br />
Another possibility is bacterial necrosis, but the split would be foul smelling with ooze coming from it and flies attracted to it.<br />
<br />
There is nothing you can do about a split saguaro. It should heal on its own if you follow good irrigation practices.</span><br /></div><br />

We Get Questions

Q: Can cactus be found growing in Oregon’s nature or are the conditions not right? Hopefully you could align me with some hikes but I’m still a bit doubtful it even exists.<br />
Thank You,<br />
Andrew<br /><br />A: Andrew,<br />
<br />
There are several species of Opuntia as well as other genus of Cacti (Pediocactus and others) that grow throughout Eastern Oregon. I have seen Opuntia fragilis as well as a much larger mystery prickly pear (Opuntia polyacantha?) while hiking in the hills south and well east of Salem… but that was about twenty years ago… so other than to tell you it was somewhere way up &quot;Thomas Creek&quot; if my memory is not confusing that hike with where the best rope swing and swimming hole is…<br />
<br />
You should check with the Oregon Cactus &amp;Succulent Society:<br />
<br />
Meets: Sacred Heart Villa, 3911 SE Milwaukee, Portland, Oregon. 7pm every 3rd Thursday (except December, June, July, and August when meetings, locations, and times will be announced.<br />
<br />
They should be able to tell you where to hike to see some of the native cacti.<br />
Good Luck,<br />
Hap<br /><br />

We get Care Questions

Q: Hello. I bought a Macodes petula orchid from you about a year ago. I am having a hard time finding information about how to care for it online. It has not grown much and doesn’t usually have more than two leaves. Is this normal? I am watering once a week, and I keep it out of direct sun but in a somewhat lighted place. Can it get too cold near a window?<br />
Anyway, if you can give me any care instructions for it I would be extremely grateful! It is one of my favorite plants.<br />
Thank you!<br />
Tasha<br /><br />A: Tasha,<br />
These are a tricky plant. We find they often will have only 2 to 3 leaves, with old ones dying as new ones grow. Generally, they want bright indirect light only. Water once a week, letting it drain. And mist the leaves every 2-3 days. If it is near a window in winter, keep it at least 4&quot; from the glass.<br />
If it’s been a year, now would be a good time to fertilize with something like liquid kelp (actually 2-3 times per year would be good). You may also want to use a bloom food in March. And repotting into fresh orchid soil yearly is always a good idea.<br />
Peter<br /><br /><br />

Ants

They got them a lot of ants in Florida.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q: One of my cactuses has ants in the container, and I would like to get them out without using pesticides. What should I do?<br />
<br />
A: Ants don’t like water, so a good soaking should get them out of the pot. Perhaps this is best done outdoors in an area where you don’t want an ant explosion. Dunk the cactus’s pot with root ball under water for about five minutes. The unhappy ants should scurry to the surface. When you think all the ants are out, set the ant-free cactus out to drain before giving it a permanent location.</span><br /></div><br />Those clever devils at the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1803&amp;entry_id=1611" title="http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/food/orl-docsun1308jan13,0,7389558.column" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/food/orl-docsun1308jan13,0,7389558.column’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Orlando Sentinel</a>. What will they think of next. <span style="font-style: italic;">Dunking</span>.<br /><br />

We Get Questions

Q: Hello,<br />
<br />
I came across your blog regarding info for Jatropha Podagica and found it very helpful. I did, however, have a question. I live in the NE, and have recently purchased seeds. I was wondering when is the best time to plant them? Any info you may have would be great. Thanks in advance!<br />
<br />
Steve<br /><br />A: Steve,<br />
<br />
If you are starting indoors, under lights it does not matter when you start your Jatropha. We start ours through out the year. We use High Output Fluorescent lights with bottom-heat with good results. Jatropha seems to want 75-80 degrees soil temp. and to sprout under bright light. Nicking the seed coat or rubbing on course sand paper usually speeds up germination. We press the seed in to moist cactus and succulent soil and put a half inch layer of horticultural charcoal on top. It seems to inhibit algae and fungal problems.<br />
<br />
Good luck,<br />
Hap<br /><br />

We Get Questions

Q: Peter,<br />
Since you are experiencing a dearth of questons and have had to resort to asking and answering them yourself, I’ll help you out. <br />
What source do you suggest to keep up with all the latest reclassifications of cacti? Also, what is your very favorite cactus and why?<br />
Inquiring minds want to know.<br />
<a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1766&amp;entry_id=1573" title="http://waterwhendry.blogspot.com" onmouseover="window.status=’http://waterwhendry.blogspot.com’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Aiyana</a><br /><br />A: Aiyana-<br />
Thanks for the questions! <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1767&amp;entry_id=1573" title="/archives/1569-Another-Not-Question.html" onmouseover="window.status=’/archives/1569-Another-Not-Question.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">I wrote my own questions</a> really just for the fun of it, to spice up the blog.<br />
But for your questions:<br />
1. We use &quot;The Cactus Family&quot; by Edward Anderson (2001), which we also used to sell but it is now out of print. For recent name changes, we just go with the flow, changing to current names when it suits us, and using older names too. Basically, we don’t always agree with new names and don’t try to keep on top of it in the short term (sometimes they change back!) but wait ’til it feels right to us. The Cactus and Succulent Society of America (CSSA) keeps up with changes <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1768&amp;entry_id=1573" title="http://www.cssainc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=3&Itemid=270" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.cssainc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=3&Itemid=270′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">in their journal</a>. <br />
2. My favorite cactus changes depending on the season. We have so many we grow from little seedlings to big guys and then someone comes in and buys it! It’s really about the challenge of growing them into specimens. But I do like the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1769&amp;entry_id=1573" title="https://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/operculicarya_decaryi.htm" onmouseover="window.status=’https://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/operculicarya_decaryi.htm’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Operculicarya decaryi </a>(not a cactus) with its tiny shiny leaves and its great name (say it out loud), and the blooms on the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1770&amp;entry_id=1573" title="https://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/ortegocactus_macdougallii.html" onmouseover="window.status=’https://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/ortegocactus_macdougallii.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Ortegocactus macdougallii</a>, although it is a pain to grow and must have limestone in its soil mix.<br />
-Peter<br /><br />

Another Not-Question

I liked yesterday’s <span style="font-style: italic;">We Don’t Get Questions</span> feature so much that I decided to run another one of my own questions to myself. Like yesterday, I have emailed myself a question, and then emailed myself a response, and then posted it here on the blog. Check the timestamps if you don’t believe me.<br /><br />Q: Cactusblog, <br />I found a small cactus in my backyard that I like, and I was wondering, can I pot it up and bring it inside?<br />Thanks,<br />Peter<br /><br />A: Peter,<br />Well, that depends. Do you want to keep the plant alive? If so, then you should pot it into a good well-draining cactus soil, taking care not to disturb the roots when doing this. And then put it in a sunny south or west-facing window. Keep the soil dry for the first few weeks. And then water every three weeks, allowing the pot to drain completely. <br /><br />But here’s the key to the whole endeavor: <span style="font-weight: bold;">Wait ’til Spring.</span> Don’t do it now. The cactus is dormant, and won’t like being transplanted, and in fact the whole plant will become rot-prone and could catch an infection and could even turn into a lovely little brown ball of mush.<br /><br />Hope that helps,<br />Cactusblog<br /><br />

Minnesota Cactus

They Get Questions about what to do with christmas cactus after the holidays are over and your plant is showing wear and tear. After all, you bought it at a big box store, now, didn’t you? Well, now that you’ve &quot;rescued&quot; the plant from one of <span style="font-style: italic;">those</span> stores, it’s time to give it the care it needs.<br /><br />This is from the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1761&amp;entry_id=1566" title="http://www.dglobe.com/articles/index.cfm?id=187813&page=in-forum_article&section=Farm" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.dglobe.com/articles/index.cfm?id=187813&page=in-forum_article&section=Farm’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Worthington (MN) Daily Globe</a>.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q: I was reading your Web site about the care of Christmas cactus plants, but haven’t found exactly what I need to know. I was trying to find out why my plant, which I have had for several years, is looking droopy, and the leaves are turning purple at the tip instead of the normal green. The weird thing is that the top of the soil in the pot is covered with algae. (e-mail reference)<br />
<br />
A: I can’t tell you why the plant is changing color and the leaves are droopy. I can tell you that the plant probably will respond well to repotting in fresh soil. This often brings about favorable changes. Your soil may be too acidic, as indicated by the algae growth, and could be causing the discoloration. As the soil becomes more acidic, the balance of what is available to the plant shifts from being deficient in some cases to being toxic in others.<br />
<br />
Q: Rabbits are digging their way under my house and nesting. </span><br /></div><br />An intriguing next question, no?<br /><br /><br />

We Don't Get Questions

Today’s question comes from me. You didn’t send it in, and neither did that other person reading this small corner of the blogosphere. So I emailed it to myself and then I replied to myself and then I posted it right here.<br /><br />Q: Can you identify this plant for me? It’s mostly green, with spines on all sides. It’s about 4&quot; across, but taller.<br /><br />Thank you,<br />Peter<br /><br />A: It’s a <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1760&amp;entry_id=1565" title="https://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/euphorbia_trigona.htm" onmouseover="window.status=’https://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/euphorbia_trigona.htm’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Euphorbia trigona.</a> As it grows, it can get up to 6&quot; around, and will eventually be a 20′ tall tree if planted in the ground, which we don’t recommend here in the Bay Area. <br /><br />If you do plant it in the ground in this area, you will need to protect the growing tips when it gets close to freezing. We recommend a styrofoam cup on the top of each branch. <br /><br />A frost blanket will work too, but we recently created a tent out of one around a tall cactus in a pot, and then the 65mph winds came blowing through the area last week and the tent became more of a sail than a tent and the plant blew over. Luckily, we know enough to stay away from the nursery until wind storms are over, what with the spiny cactus and all.<br /><br />Hope that helps,<br />Peter<br /><br />

We Get Questions

It’s about watering your indoor succulents in winter, with pictures!<br /><br />Q: hi!<br />
<br />
would you mind reminding me whether i should stop watering the two succulents in the attached photo for the winter — and, if so, for how long?<br />
<br />
also, same question for the two aloes in the other attached photo.<br />
<br />
thanks so much for your help!<br />
mats h<br /><br /><img width="432" hspace="5" height="324" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/aloe-lo.jpg" /><br /><br />A: Hello Mats,<br />
<br />
The two Aloes would like regular winter water, the Pachypodium saundersii should be watered less, 4 to 6 weeks between water during the winter should be fine.<br />
<br />
Hap<br /><br /><img width="324" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/succulents-lo.jpg" /><br /><br />

We Get Questions

Q: Hi,

Our cactus of 12 years is dying, I dont know the type of cactus so I have taken some pictures of it so you can help. I wanted to see if I could get your opinion before i started cutting it up it has grown to over 5′ and we would hate to cut it up if we dont have to.

All the best

David

A: David,

From your photos, it looks like your Euphorbia trigona it has a very bad sunburn. Did it recently get moved or turned so it faces a new direction? That is the usual cause of skin bleaching. If not then it most likely has a bad fungus infection and you can try curing it by spraying with a 1% Neem Oil solution. However the scar tissue will remain and will eventually turn to “bark”.

Sorry I can’t give you better news.

Hap

 

Christmas Cactus Questions

Everybody wants to know about the christmas cactus this time of year. How to take care of it, how to get it to bloom.<br /><br /><a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1702&amp;entry_id=1505" title="https://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/christmas_cactus_bloom_instructions.html" onmouseover="window.status=’https://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/christmas_cactus_bloom_instructions.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Our secrets to your success are located here</a>.<br /><br />And then here’s the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1703&amp;entry_id=1505" title="http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_7724519" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_7724519′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Ontario (CA) Daily Bulletin</a>, as they get questions.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q: How do I maintain the gorgeous Christmas cactus which I just purchased?<br />
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A: Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera, is native to the jungle as an epiphyte, (it grows in the trees). It is not a desert plant; therefore it does best in rich porous soil. The arching, drooping branches are made up of flattened, oblong, scalloped-edged, 1-1/2 inch joints. These branches are green, smooth, and spineless. A well grown plant can become 3 feet across and hanging below the raised pot, sometimes reaching the floor.<br />
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The flowers are long-tubed, with many petals about 3 inches long. Most varieties are red, but the new hybrids are pink to fuchsia, and a rosy purplish red in color. A large plant could have hundreds of flowers at this time of the year.<br />
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Water frequently and use a diluted liquid fertilizer every 7 to 10 days when the plant is growing and flowering. It does best in bright indirect sunlight with night temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees and 70 degrees or higher in the day. After the blooming period, do not water, except to keep the soil moist.<br />
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To help bud set and flowers at the holiday time, keep the plant where it is cool (55-60 degrees) with 12 to 14 hours of darkness. This should be done in November.<br />
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Schlumbergera, truncate, (Zygocactus truncates) is also known as Crab Cactus). The joints are 1-2 inches long, sharply toothed with two large teeth at the end of the last joint. Short tube flowers with pointed petals bloom from November through March. Colors range from white, pink, to salmon and orange. This plant has been nicknamed the Thanksgiving cactus as it begins to bloom at this time.</span><br /></div><br />Now you know everything.<br /><br />

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