Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas surprise

About a year ago, during our annual trip to the big box home center, I wandered over to the after Christmas mark downs.  There among the deflated Santa balloon sculptures and strings of green chaser lights were some sad looking Christmas Cactus.  I decided that they needed a home and gathered up a few.

Once home, I repotted them all using whatever potting soil I happened to have in bin, throwing in a couple of handfuls of sand for good measure.  These were all brought inside and put on the kitchen island and in the window.

 Years ago I had a room mate who told me that one had to follow a very specific process in order to get a Christmas Cactus to bloom.  She would religiously provide hers with exactly 12 hours of daytime and night time, trooping her plant out from the floor of a darkened closet and into the living room each day.  For her efforts, she was rewarded with a handful of blooms.  (For those who would like to know how the ex-room mate took care of her plants:

Anyone who knows me, also knows that I appreciate nature's cycles.  When taking care of my new charges, I'm not about to be shuttling them back and forth no matter how pretty those blooms may be.  I figure that these plants are from the coastal mountains of Brazil.  Out in the wild, there are no little old ladies carrying them into the darkened bathroom or closet at night.  Yet some how they get by and keep making little cactus.  So live and let live.  Keep them comfortable, lightly watered, and don't fuss over them.

Just a couple of weeks before Christmas, I noticed that buds were starting to form and, sure enough, we had some lovely flowers to enjoy just after the holiday.
Sometimes it is best to let nature take it's course.  Be patient and don't forget to stop and watch the flowers bloom.

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