Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Is Almost Here

Christmas is almost here.  I can tell because the buds are swelling on the Schlumbergera  (Christmas Cactus).  My Christmas Cactus is an old variety.   It’s one of the Christmas Cacti that has stem segments (phylloclades)  that do not have the pronounced points along the sides.  It’s probably Schlumbergera x buckleyi.  While I don’t have the original plant, my plant is a cutting of a cutting of a cutting of my grandmother’s plant. I inherited my first plant in 1976 and have periodically taken cuttings and discarded the mother plant in favour of a smaller one. 

This cactus actually blooms at Christmas and is getting ready to bloom as we speak.  I keep it in a cool room in my house and never, never move it once it has begun to set bloom.  The plant sits in light that is also perfect for African violets.

I used to summer the plant outside.  One year I almost lost it when forgot about it and left it outside after the first bad frost.  When it was brought in, all the stem segments shriveled and died but the main plant was OK and put out new stems.  There was no bloom that year but the plant lived to bloom again the next year.

After so many years, my Christmas Cactus is an old friend.  I get a feeling that all’s right with the world when the Christmas Cactus blooms.

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