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Old 11-17-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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1. For those of you that might be familiar with Christmas Cactus, you might be aware that the Christmas cactus' they sell today are not the same as the ones they used to sell many years ago. Specifically, the CC they sell today have pointed leaves, and the CC from years ago were very rounded. They appear to be of a different species, but everyone that owns one of the rounded varieties has either had if for many years, or they inherited it from their grandmother or someone. Is anyone familiar with this??

2. I had a friend that had one of the older varieties with the rounded leaves and have taken cutting from her plant. I put the cuttings in pots and watered them (not over-watered) to kept the soil moist. I have noticed that my attempts at getting these cuttings to propagate have been futile. Either, the dirt is a bit too wet, and the cuttings rot in the soil, or if I let the dirt go bit more to the dry side, the cuttings dry out, and shrivel up and die. I have been told by so many people that its, "so easy" to get these plants to take root and flourish. Well, I would like to know what the secret is?? I did talk with someone that suggested NOT putting them in dirt at first, and to just put the cuttings in water until they grow roots, THEN plant them in dirt. Has anyone had any experience with planting CC cuttings?
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Illinois, for now...
607 posts, read 1,181,604 times
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1979, if you turn the leaves over you might see very small roots growing between the sections of the plant. Break them off here to use as cuttings, you'll have a head start! I've had luck growing cuttings in sandy soil and in water. When I want new plants, I do a few cuttings and plan on some not making it! Good luck! They are lovely plants to have.
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:53 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,013,914 times
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My wiofe has never had any lucki with cutting after following much printed advise. But she has found that repottign evry two years or so make a differentce. Also moist soil but nit too wet.Thast's her findings anyway.Ths year on a new potted plant hundreds of buds.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:36 PM
 
Location: North Idaho Panhandle
180 posts, read 649,513 times
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I have what I thought was a CC, but it always blooms at T-Giving ....lovely light pink and white flower! I've had it for nearly 30 years and was a gift from a co-worker as one of those grocery-store seedlings of about 3" ....now2 it is over 2' in diamater ...survived the cat knocking it off the planter and breaking off a main branch; also survived a summer move and was kept underneath a travel-trailer during 90 degree temps for 6-weeks until we could move into our new home.

STILL blooms at Thanksgiving .... still healthy.

I've not 'cut' it for propegating, but from breakage during moves, have stuck the stems into water until I could see new roots, then but that in potting soil, amended with natural fertilizer (we raise alpacas, so used the alpaca manure to blend in ....it can be used right out of the pature without burning the plant .... I used just a little). It works beautifully! I suggest you don't over-fertilize with anything .....

I've also done this with other plants, and it seems to work well.

PacaLady
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:49 PM
 
1,673 posts, read 5,526,009 times
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I would love to grow Christmas cactus but years ago I tried to and could never get the watering down pat. It was dissapointing to no end to see the buds form then drop off (I suppose due to over or under watering).
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:03 PM
 
Location: NW Arkansas
3,978 posts, read 7,465,688 times
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I took pics of the differances in the 'leaves' of the differant jungle cacti.
The first is the one called Christmas cactus;




Second is Thanksgiving cactus:



And third is Easter Cactus:




The Thanksgiving Cactus is also called 'Claw Cactus" because of the claw-like points on the 'leaves'.

The Easter Cactus has hairs on the ends of its 'leaves'.

I grow all three.

My Thanksgiving cacti bloomed almost a month early this year. Their bloom time depends on the amount of light they get. We had more than normal cloudy days this summer.

Last edited by Towhee; 12-01-2008 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:10 PM
 
93 posts, read 391,775 times
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Is your plant large enough to be split? I've had great luck doing this - they already have roots and the original plant recovers well. I started with one and now have 6 or 7 all from the same original.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:14 PM
 
30 posts, read 87,652 times
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Wink Christmas Cactus

Just break off a piece of the part of plant and plant in the soil. Water sparingly for it is a cactus. Must have 13 hours of darkness and a cool room to bloom. Does not like blistering cold weather. Leave outside on porch til frost time and then bring in and put in a room that gets less light than high traffic areas in house. Will have beautiful blooms by Christmas. I like the white ones.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:16 PM
 
Location: NW Arkansas
3,978 posts, read 7,465,688 times
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Any 'leaf' roots easily if placed in soil with only the lower tip in the soil, and not kept too wet. Broken off stems work the same way. I have grown a lot of mine from seed, some of which I hybridized. I just spread the ripe seed on a moist potting mix, and cover it with clear plastic or glass, in a light position, (but not direct sunlight), until they sprout.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:21 PM
 
Location: NH and lovin' it!
1,780 posts, read 3,286,205 times
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Default Too cool?

Quote:
Originally Posted by citydweller View Post
I would love to grow Christmas cactus but years ago I tried to and could never get the watering down pat. It was dissapointing to no end to see the buds form then drop off (I suppose due to over or under watering).
That could be due to the fact that they are not warm enough. Mine does the same thing if I let the house get too cool, so maybe it's not the watering. I have found that most plants are very forgiving in the water department. Just water it when it dries out, but don't let it stay dry for more than a few days. I hope that helps!
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