Life, laughs, love and tears.
Published on June 27, 2007 By Trudygolightly In Blogging

Christmas cactus,  oh what a lovely plant.  My dear neighbor, Mary,  gave me her cactus as she doesn't have a green thumb.  Her daughter Rene,  who gave me rides to the Stillwater Courage Center,  told her mom that I love to rescue plants so now I'm inheriting plants...

I feel rather like a fraud about the whole situation,  when I moved here I got into a bout of depression,  and my palm plant died off,  as did my violet ( that was an accident due to moving in Feb. and it got crushed too)  and then my beautiful Begonia bought the farm.  So I hope that this cactus survives!  I've been reading up on them some and it shouldn't be too hard to handle.  It's more like a tropical plant than a true cactus, needs to be kept moist, can't handle direct sunlight, prefers cooler temps just before blooming at Christmas,  and right now is rather plain looking,  while the leaves look like the picture I'm trying to post here,  I hope the blooms are this color too.  They do have different colors of blooms apparently.

 

Christmas Cactus Blooming

 

However now my vegetable garden is growing like weeds,  the carrot tops tall and lush, the green beans a bit slower yet they have flowers, ( whatever that's all about) the beets are thick ( too thick) and the radishes are already all done!  One was bigger than a golf ball!  Just humongus!  I got pictures of them and will have to have "show and tell".  well show them anyway..

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Our community had the pleasure of meeting a beauty candidate this morning,  "Allison" from the local high school was here and had offered to polish the fingernails of the ladies that live here.  It was part of her community service required of the candidates,  and she also does it in her volunteer work in an assisted living community. 

She sure is pretty,  so young....  I can hardly remember what it's like to be 17,  just jubilant with all the good things life has to offer one.  She was truly interested in our lives,  asking questions about us,  sharing stories of her own,  her plans,  an all around delightful person.

I can't but hope she wins the contest,  and if by some stupid luck of the draw that she doesn't win,  well I met a real winner anyway!  For those that think young people today are trouble,  well they just haven't met some of the fine people in our town.

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Comments
on Jun 27, 2007
Young people are in trouble. Just by going to an assisted living community, she is already being mocked by her peers. If she tries to share a story with anyone that does not highlight how boring and dumb it was to go, it will not go unpunished.

"Like, I went to this place for old people, and the people there were like, so old."
leads to
"You can still be in our group of friends."

"I went to an assisted living community and the people there were so interesting and told great stories."
leads to
"You shall be cast out, so you might as well go back next week."

But I bet she didn't want to be friends with people like that anyway. But the overwhelming sense I get is that 95% of young people are completely apathetic to everything. I used to think they were self-centered, but these days, they're even apathetic to themselves. But those 5%... they give us hope. False hope, but hope nonetheless. We hope, maybe they all have this spirit, and it's just hiding.

Maybe they do.
on Jun 27, 2007
So how do you get a Christmas Cactus to bloom?  I have one, and it looked great for a couple of weeks, now it is just a green plant.
on Jun 27, 2007

But those 5%... they give us hope. False hope, but hope nonetheless. We hope, maybe they all have this spirit, and it's just hiding.

Maybe they do.

the youth I've met here in Pine City have given me hope for their futures.   I'm quite proud of those I've met that work in the local stores,  that do volunteer work,  and that are supporting programs,  with their efforts,  that help the disadvantaged,  disabled,  and DD students. 

 I do agree with you that the sense one gets is that they're apathetic, ( when referring to the masses of them)  I'm not sure what that's all about....or why it is.   I think it's normal most of them are self-absorbed,  because that goes with their age.

I always have hope.   

on Jun 27, 2007

Reply By: Dr GuyPosted: Wednesday, June 27, 2007
So how do you get a Christmas Cactus to bloom? I have one, and it looked great for a couple of weeks, now it is just a green plant

Well,  mine is "just a green plant" right now too

I read that they need to be kept moist,  sitting on a tray, with pebbles,  and water on the pebbles is good.They need darkness,  or cool temps, ( such as 50 degrees) for about 6 weeks to come into bloom.  I'll try to provide a link or two here so you can read up on it and also the following paragraphs should help

To promote blooms, Lerner suggests placing Christmas cacti in locations ranging between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit beginning in November. In addition, in order to bloom, they need several hours per day of complete darkness beginning around the middle of October. "Christmas Cactus" advises while the buds are developing, the Christmas cactus should be placed in a location that receives filtered light. At this point, it should not be moved. "Christmas Cactus" says moving the plant would encourage blooms that are not facing the light to turn. This could weaken the buds and cause them to drop off.

After blooming, Lerner recommends pruning your Christmas cactus. She says to remove a few sections either by pinching or by cutting them off with a well-sharpened knife. Doing so will promote branching and new growth.

Proper watering is important to the successful growth of the Christmas cactus. "Care of Cactus in the Home" says to encourage buds to form, less water should be given in late spring. After the Christmas cactus has formed blooms, it will require regular watering. Lerner says even though the Christmas cactus is considered a succulent plant, it does not tolerate drought conditions very well. The best way to decide if the plant needs water is by feeling the soil.

According to the book "Cacti & Succulents for Modern Living", published in 1976 by Merchants Publishing Company, the Christmas cactus should be fertilized once a month after blooming up until autumn. Do not apply fertilizer during autumn and winter months. "Christmas Cactus" suggests using a fertilizer with a high potassium content. Be sure to follow label directions carefully for proper application.

Christmas cacti can survive and continue producing spectacular blooms for many years. They often outlive the caretaker. A large, mature Christmas cactus will develop what appears to be bark, and is capable of producing hundreds of blooms. The extra care required by the Christmas cactus is well worth the effort. The brilliant flowers it produces is a wondrous gift to behold each holiday season.

http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/hgic1554.htm

http://oror.essortment.com/howtotakecar_rhtu.htm

Good luck Doc!  I'll need it too

on Jun 27, 2007

They need darkness, or cool temps, ( such as 50 degrees) for about 6 weeks to come into bloom.

I guess I better take it out of the window!

on Jun 27, 2007

I guess I better take it out of the window!

My living room faces the north,  so mine doesn't get direct sunlight,  I think filtered light though is good,  like through a window shade.  The sites ( from the links) are real helpful.

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