Friday, April 5, 2013

Holiday Cactus

I love discussions started from my posts – really gets me engaged and my research thoughts going.

The holiday cactus are so forgiving in their maintenance and if you are lucky will ‘gift’ you flowers twice a year.  Or in the case of mine which is going through a bit of confusion may share flowers for 6 months.

A while back I had come across a post somewhere that what we all think are Christmas cactus are really Thanksgiving cactus.  So off I went to find out more information. 

The most visible difference is mainly in the leafy segments.  Thanksgiving cactus have toothed or claw-like edges on the segments.  Christmas cactus are more rounded.

Good pictures and additional info of the differences can be found at Dave’s Garden or Walter Reeves

Looking at the specimen I have at work (safe from kitty tasting), the toothy, claw-like edges looked right back at me.  True to Thanksgiving Cactus form.

Now mine was a poor plant I saved from a couple jobs ago so I don’t know how it was labeled when bought.  The original “grandmother” to the plant I have now was a sickly thing, completely root bound in its original pot and never watered or given light.  Taken, re-potted and loved, I was able to replant several segments and gift a “daughter” or three to friends.  Then when the original was too ill to carry on, I snagged a few segments from a daughter to grow the beauty I have today.  They are very easy to propagate.

Regardless of what they are called, its still a joy when they finally bloom.