How to Care for Your Thanksgiving

June 3, 2014 – 01:38 pm

christmas cactusSince flowering plants sell better than nonflowering, merchants tend to fill their shelves with Thanksgiving cacti.

Culture

Light & Temperature: Full sunlight is needed during fall and winter, but bright sun during the summer months can make it look pale and yellow. Ideal spring and summer growth (April through September) occurs at temperatures between 70F to 80F. During the fall, the cacti depend upon shorter day lengths (8 to 10 hours) and cooler temperatures to set their flower buds. Do not allow temperatures to rise above 90F, once the flower buds are set. Temperature changes can cause flower buds to drop. Do not leave these cacti outside if temperatures will drop below 50F.
image e secret of good flower bud production during the fall involves temperature regulation and photo period (length of day and night) control.

To initiate flower buds, the plants need:

  • A bright location.
  • Fourteen hours or more of continuous darkness each 24 hour period is required
    before flower buds will occur. Long nights should be started about the middle of September and continued for at least 6 continuous weeks for complete bud set. Just like the poinsettia.
  • Fall growing temperatures should be between 60F and 68F, but as close to 68F as possible for maximum flower production. Plants grown with night temperatures between 50F and 59F will set flower buds regardless of day length, but growth will be slower.

Growing Media: These cacti flower best when kept somewhat pot bound. The potting medium must be well-drained with good aeration, as these cacti do not grow well in heavy, wet potting mixes. A good mix may contain 60-80% potting soil with 40-20% perlite.

Source: midwesternplants.org


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Sounds like you will be traveling...

I suggest you have a live flower sent to their home to arrive just before you get there... something like an azalea or a Thanksgiving cactus plant, or a Christmas Cactus plant.
While there, I recommend you be very active in helping prepare meals, serve and clean up after the meals.
Offer to do things like peeling the potatoes, set the table, etc.
Since you are going to be there for 4 days, offer to run the vacuum before guests arrive, etc.
Offer to make quick trips to the grocery store as you see the need.
If there are children in the family, help entertain the children to give their parents a break

Christmas Cactus Unrooted Cuttings 'Lavender' Variety
Lawn & Patio ()
  • Easy to Grow.
  • A holiday and year round favorite.
  • Buds bloom from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
  • Three healthy unrooted cuttings are 2-4 segments each.
  • Roots can take 4 to 6 weeks to grow.


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  3. Thanksgiving cactus Flowering
  4. Thanksgiving cactus Problems
  5. Thanksgiving Cactus Pictures