Garden Bloggers Bloom Day December 2008

– Posted in: Miscellaneous
16 comments

My one and only bloom for Bloom Day

My one and only bloom for Bloom Day

It’s not much, but it’s more than I had last year.

There are two methods for getting Christmas cactus to bloom. One way is to keep it in total darkness from 6pm to 8am starting September 1st until buds form. The second way is to keep it cool (say 53F) from mid-September to mid-October. (Source: The New York Times Book of House Plants by Joan Lee Faust, 1973, p. 93) Before we insulated our second story, I would always bring my Christmas cactus upstairs to my sunny bedroom until buds formed, and then bring it down to the kitchen to enjoy the show.

In general I am glad that my bedroom is not as cool as it once was, but it no longer induces flowering in this houseplant. I just left it hanging in the kitchen, and discovered that the side of the plant next to the window had formed buds. We still haven’t renovated the first floor, and the windows are uh, old-fashioned–drafty enough to induce budding in the Christmas cactus. When I discovered the buds, I turned the plant around.

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in the Mr. Linky form at May Dreams Gardens.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

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JH Lawson November 18, 2010, 7:52 pm

I have several different colors but my favorite is salmon. The red is my next favorite color. My biggest one is a fuchsia color and I didn’t do anything to make it bloom. It has been in the same spot for the last couple of years..in front of a window with lace curtains. During the summer I did pull close the darker curtains on the side of the lace ones and I guess that gave it enough darkness for it to bloom. However it started blooming in late Sept. It is still full of blooms but I don’t know if they will last until Christmas.

wayne stratz December 19, 2008, 3:37 pm

lovely quote that inspired the “blogger bloom day.” It may all you have in bloom now, but they are amazing flowers.

Jan/ThanksFor2Day December 19, 2008, 11:43 am

Thanks for the info. on Christmas cactus. I have a hard time with indoor plants due to a cat that eats any that come into the house:( My mom used to have one, as I recall…and it always seemed to bloom and behave properly for her. If kitty ever goes to that big cat-box in the sky, I will definitely try one! Jan

Mr. McGregor's Daughter December 19, 2008, 11:18 am

It seems so many houseplants want cooler than comfortable conditions in the winter. That’s one of the things that keeps me from impulsively buying some. I’ve never tried to grow a Christmas cactus.

eliz December 17, 2008, 10:25 pm

I have 3 blooming and I did not do anything special, though they are not kept in rooms that I artificially light at night (hardly ever). So I guess they are getting the darkness you mention, more or less.

Layanee December 17, 2008, 8:12 am

What a lucky find! I do love the white ones. Must pick one up.

Kathy Purdy December 17, 2008, 1:31 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Layanee.

Fred December 16, 2008, 8:01 am

thanks for the all the excellent advice, for use neebies. 🙂

Sue December 16, 2008, 1:08 am

After seeing several of these, I’m thinking I want to try this again. I grew one a long time ago, when I was in my twenties. Yours is quite pretty, and thanks for the information.

susieshomemade December 15, 2008, 9:26 pm

My Christmas cactus didn’t bloom again this year but, with your advice, I will next year!! Thanks for the post.

Gail December 15, 2008, 4:55 pm

Hi Kathy, I have shied away from the Christmas Cactus thinking it might be to tempting for the cat who must eat plants. But they are certainly attractive planting this time of year! There are all manner of pink ones at the big box store this year…but no whites…that would be a nice one. Gail

commonweeder December 15, 2008, 4:02 pm

You more than make up for your single blooming plant by having such a gorgeous photograph. I love the holiday cactuses (cacti?) because they are so dependable and hardy.

Elizabeth December 15, 2008, 1:01 pm

I just blogged about my Christmas Cactus as well. For me the key to getting it to bloom is to put it outside for the summer and leave it there as long as possible in the fall. The cold nights and naturally decreasing sunlight seem to do the trick.

arythrina December 15, 2008, 1:18 am

One! I have to go hunt for my blooms now too… I can claim at least one indoor orchid in bloom. It’s going to be tough outside though. Your christmas cactus is beautiful 🙂

Carol, May Dream Gardens December 15, 2008, 12:23 am

Christmas cactus is one of my blooms this month, too. Mine is white and I do nothing special to it to get it to bloom. Somehow, it always blooms in December.

Thanks for joining in for bloom day again!

Kathy Purdy December 15, 2008, 11:05 am

I have a white flowered one, too. It blooms earlier–supposed to be a Thanksgiving cactus. But I didn’t see any blooms on it this year. Is yours in your plant room? Could it be cooler there?