I did it

I’m going to have to back peddle a little bit here and post my Christmas post in January and then follow with New Years and head into the New Year.  The holidays are a crazy time around here but my brain has been spinning with new things to share with you.  So, for Christmas, I’m so excited to share some green thumb info.

My house growing up was always filled with plants.  Mom nurtured a fern that was literally bigger than me and there were many unnamed (at least to me) other plants all over.  Unlike Mom, I was never much for being able to care for plants that need regular attention.  I did manage to grow and keep alive a fern for many years until it became pot bound  and I had to give up on it. My favorite house plants are those the thrive on neglect. My mother-in-law gave me, oddly enough, a mother-in-law’s tongue that has not only thrived but been divided and shared for years.  It only requires monthly watering which works for me. But the one plant that has frustrated me for years is my Christmas cactus.

The Christmas cactus, like a mother-in-law’s tongue, survives fine on neglect but the one thing it won’t do is bloom on time.  I’ve managed to get it to bloom for Easter but, in 8 years, never for Christmas.  But this year, after much research and a little forgetfulness, I finally got it right!  I may have only had one bloom and a bunch of buds on Christmas but I did it and here is how…

IMG_2865

During the summer I keep my C. cactus in a room that gets very little sunlight and I pretty much forget to water it, ever.  In October, I gave it a big feeding (I like Jack’s plant food, a nice 20/20/20 mix) and moved it into our living room which is mostly windows and has skylights.  From then on I watered it weekly but didn’t feed it more.  Once buds appear (from what I’ve read) don’t feed it other than a little water because the buds will fall off (yeah, I’ve done that and didn’t know why I lost all my buds) and you’ll have some full blooms for the holidays.  I’m thinking next year I’ll bring it out to the living room and feed it a little earlier.  I might even divide it this spring to have more than one.  A friend of mine has one she swears is over 100 years old!

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