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Archive for November, 2015

I bought a Christmas Cactus for myself!  It’s my gift to me.

I was grocery shopping at QFC here in Seattle and spied a small, profusely “budded” white Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii).  It was the only white one there.  I have never had one of those, and it looked healthy and ready to “pop”.  IMG_4454It only cost about $8.00 so I grabbed it and crossed my fingers that it would do well.  Generally, I don’t buy my plants at a grocery store, but this one looked so good, it became my exception.

None of the buds had opened at that time, so it appeared to be pure white.  WELL!  It’s a few days later and the buds are opening up rapidly.  The interior of the flowers are a very light pink, with a beautiful red stamen.  GORGEOUS!  It’s so pretty, I may just give it a name…but, I haven’t figured that out yet.-3-2

At any rate, this has become my new obsession.  I’ve got to find out how to keep it alive (first of all!), but just as important will be to keep it healthy and blooming in the future.  So, I’m on a quest.

Here is a page I found that does a very good job of telling you what to do, and  when.

While looking for information, I also found a page from the Chicago Botanic Gardens that adds to the “info bank”.

It appears that the soil should be kept damp.  However, the plant should only be watered when the top soil becomes dry.  What that says to me is that it should not be allowed to dry out-ever-but watering it too frequently is not a good idea.  Whenever it is watered, be sure the water drains out so the plant does not sit in water at any time.

It is an epiphitic plant which draws it’s requirements of water and nutrition from the air or rain while it is attached, harmlessly, to a host plant (probably a tree), rather like an orchid.

Since it originates from a rain forest, it should be shielded from bright, hot sun in the summertime.  Like us, it vulnerable to sunburn.  If it burns,  the leaves will turn yellow and most likely not set buds.  So, be careful to shield this plant from intense sunlight during it’s summer sojourn outside-or on the windowsill.

As I gain confidence with this plant, I’ll probably post more about it.  Now if I can only get my red Christmas cactus to bloom!!!!!

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MY ALOE TO THE RESCUE!

First, let me apologize for the long time between posts.  I went on a trip for a few weeks, and of course, it always takes a little while to get back into the swing of things.

Today I’m going to address my little aloe.  This is the first aloe I’ve ever had in my life, so I’m still learning about it.  Please, bear with me!

Shortly after I returned home, I burned my thumb removing a casserole from the oven.  This is a common occurrence, as any cook will tell you!  But, this time I remembered I had an aloe, and I had heard about the miracles of aloe “sap” on burns…and I HAD an aloe!!!  So, of course, I cut off a leaf (that in itself was a bit of a trauma-which to cut???) and proceeded to smear the sap on my throbbing thumb.  Hey!  It worked!  Not only did it relieve the sting, it coated the area almost like a little piece of plastic wrap.  Instant protection as well.  Wow!  What happens next, I wondered?

Whenever I washed my hands I re-smeared my thumb, cutting off a bit of the leaf to expose more juice (sap).

Then I thought I’d be adventuresome.  I had a (what I call “creeping crud” on my pinky.  It was a dry, and uncomfortable area that a doctor friend said could look like it could be psoriasis (NO claim to true diagnosis here!!!).  It had been bothering me for probably a month, spreading and getting progressively more red, dry and uncomfortable.  So, since I had all this aloe sap, I smeared that as well.  I have to tell you, after a few days of smearing…it’s GONE!

Now, don’t let me be the one to give all the credit to the aloe…but SOMETHING made that finger better!

And now, I need to give that aloe some attention.  Here are a few pictures of it.  (I also showed it back in August after I brought it inside.)  It’s still not very large, as you can see by the comparison to the faucet in my kitchen sink.   It had sprouted a few little offshoots after it’s summer sojourn outside, which you can see here.  If you compare them to this summer, you will see that they have grown quite a bit.

You will also notice something else if you look carefully at that cracked pot.  A few little roots are breaking through!  This pot did have a minor crack, but this is ridiculous!  I need to visit the potting room downstairs.

Plants can sometimes be a wonder, can’t they?

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