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1.12.07

Thanksgiving Cactus Pink Flower

Thanksgiving Cactus Pink FlowerI think my Schlumbergera truncata has decided to make a liar out of me- there may be five of these holiday cactus plants in on the conspiracy. After I made the post about which of these holiday cacti were the real and fake Christmas Cactus none of mine flowered for Thanksgiving and I think they did it on purpose. Two of them are flowering now and the three remaining should be flowering on or around Christmas at the rate they are going.



Maybe my Schulms aren't conspiring against me; it could be that the poor plants still think they really are Christmas cacti and I don't have the heart to tell them they are really just the average Thanksgiving cactus.

Since none of my holiday cacti came with name tags I couldn't tell you what this pink one is called other than "pink." For someone who doesn't like pink flowers I can't get over just how impressed I am with this flower. The way these delicate flowers drape over the pot and hang in mid-air gives them the appearance of ballerinas standing on their toes. If you look closely at the photo above you may notice that the stigma in the foreground has a light coating of pollen and I'm hoping it will form some fruit from which I can gather seeds.

Someone emailed me to ask if I knew what would cause a Christmas cactus to drop the buds or whole flowers at one time. When a holiday cactus drops buds or aborts flowers the causes are dramatic changes in the environment. Sudden dry heat, too much water, too little water and cold drafts can all result in a flowerless holiday cactus once the buds have set.

If you're reading this you may be interested in rooting Christmas cactus cuttings.

8 comments:

  1. Isn't it funny, how a tough plant like the schlum is so finicky about flower budset? Moving them will cause them to throw a pout too, sometimes, as our friend Ewa in the Garden mentioned and I can attest from past annoyances. Consequently, my Christmas cacti are staying right where they are until they finish flowering; in one case, that includes right inside a door where I put it when I moved it indoors a few weeks back. It promptly started forming buds, and I refuse to move it, to the great amusement (I think it's amusement) of my better half.
    I have a new apricot-orange one this year; not real Christmassy, but I just love these plants for their flowers, whatever colour they come in, and I had to have this unique one. Now I want a yellow one....

    ReplyDelete
  2. My pink one flowered almost immediately after I brought it indoors. It's stopped for the moment, but has many more buds. My red one had only one blossom... will keep an eye on it.

    Wish each blossom lasted longer than it does.

    Your photo, I must say, is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such beautiful flowers. I've been photographing my red one a lot:

    http://flickr.com/photos/glam/2078010263/
    http://flickr.com/photos/glam/2075279836/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jodi,

    I know exactly what you mean. I moved in a schlum before the frost and set it in the bathroom and decided not to move it because I was afraid of leaf drop. For plants that grow in trees in the jungle they sure are picky.

    I was over on some houseplant forums and was drooling at the yellow and orange colored ones. I hope I can find one of those this year. If I come across one I'll pay full price instead of waiting 'til the end of December to buy them discounted like I usually do.

    Shady,

    Glad you liked the pic. I have a red one I'm going to post soon if I can get a nice picture of it. Whatever you do don't move your from where you have it now until they flowers set in.

    Sam,

    I just saw yours and signed into flickr to comment. Nice pics.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a delicate, beautiful flower, Mr Brown Thumb. I have some buds but no open flowers yet. Mine appear to have the points, which would seem to make them Thanksgiving cactus, but two of the four plants have branches and flowers that hang down. Maybe they're mixed-up hybrids? One is a passalong and three came from Lowe's last year.

    They were all moved, too - had to come in when we had a freeze warning. I hope they didn't notice!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Annie,

    Mine "droop" when the flowers get large enough but they're still just TG cacti. Hope your flower buds didn't notice the move either.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous9:26 PM

    I have a christmas cactus given to me by my grandmother some 10 years ago. It has gotten really large. It was her mothers plant. I know it to be at least 30 years old. Mine blooms about every other year for some reason. Don't know why, but it is a big deal around our house. My 87 year old grandma is so excited when we talk about it.Last year a very strong wind storm blew it over and some leaves broke off. Grandma told me to plant the broken ones in a pot they should grow, what do you know. I hope this plant last generations.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous,

    It is fantastic that you're keeping your grandma's Christmas cactus and propagating it so that you have more to pass on to family and friends.

    ReplyDelete

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