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”. It 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.
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!!!!!