Holiday Plants - Green Gift Giving
I was putting together a gift basket this weekend for a friend's fundraiser for AIDS and I decided to include one of my favorite holiday plants along with a gift certificate for an hour on my time.
The Christmas Cactus is a beautiful plant that doesn't have a sting of a cactus and all the color of a beautiful flowering house plant. Three similar “holiday cacti” are called by this name, but only one is the real thing. The branches of the much rarer Christmas cactus have scalloped edges—no “teeth”—and like to bloom from December thru March.
Most of them are blooming in the nurseries and stores now. Place it in a cool spot away for heat and it will provide you with lovely blooms for months.
However as with poinsettias, to promote blooming next year, keep the plant in total darkness from around 6pm to 8am each day; during the day, it should receive bright, normal light. After about six weeks, you’ll be rewarded with nice big fat flower buds. After that, keep it in bright light during the day with nighttime temps in the mid-sixties, and those buds should open in another six weeks or so.
So think green this holiday season and give the gift of living plants. Shop your local nursery for one that is sure to please even the pickiest of friends.
the Garden Goddess