Thanksgiving cactus Pruning

Christmas Cactus Care

March 30, 2014 – 03:15 am

Thanksgiving cactus training

Holiday cacti are known for their colorful tubular flowers and ease of care. They include Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter cacti. Christmas cacti have flattened leaves with rounded teeth on the margins as opposed to the Thanksgiving cactus that has pointed teeth. Easter cacti have pointed teeth with fibrous hairs in the leaf joints. Under normal conditions the holiday cacti will bloom close to the holiday suggested in its name. Florists will often force plants into bloom at other times. To make things really confusing, most of the Christmas cactus sold are actually Thanksgiving cactus and will bloom in subsequent years at Thanksgiving time. So don't be surprised if the plant you bought last year at Christmas time has buds on it right now.

Of all the plants passed down from generation to generation, holiday cacti are mentioned the most often. I've had numerous calls from people who have inherited grandma's Christmas cactus. The pressure of keeping a family heirloom alive is obvious in their voices. My suggestion...take lots of cuttings and give to relatives. It's always best to spread the pressure around.

Holiday cacti are actually quite easy to care for once you understand the basics. When the plants are in flower, they should be kept in bright, indirect light. Too much light can cause the flower color to fade or the heat my cause the flower buds to drop. Day temperatures of 70°F and evening temperatures of 60-65°F are considered ideal.

Be sure to water thoroughly, but let plant dry slightly between waterings. However, Christmas cactus are not as drought tolerant as the name suggests. The leaves will wrinkle if the soil is dry and they lack water. It is especially important not to let them dry too much during flowering or they may drop the flower buds.

Source: web.extension.illinois.edu


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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



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