Schlumbergera bridgesii: aka Christmas Cactus

This week one of our Schlumbergera bridgesii began to bloom. Last spring I had posted a poem
about Christmas Cactus and when one "chooses" to bloom. You can find it here.

I have just quit calling this beautiful blooming plant a Christmas Cactus. As soon as I do it doesn't bloom at the holiday season. This week we can call it the Thanksgiving Cactus. This plant decided since family was coming it would show off for this holiday. I noticed when googling information the name has even been changed on many sites to Holiday Cactus. That makes more sense to me. It takes away that feeling of failure when Christmas arrives and leaves and there are no showy buds opening. You can then hang onto the hope it will be on the schedule of another holiday. There is New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Valentine's Day, President's Day and St. Patrick's Day and a few in between that the plant can coordinate with.

If you are a novice at growing this temperamental bloomer, just take care of it and let it be. It has a calendar all it's own! I tried the dark room at night, changing temperature, special food, and repotting. When I just left it and cared for it like any other plant it has been the healthiest.

I do have a theory though. I am obsessed with music for each season of the year. Perhaps each bloom cycle is driven by the music it hears. Did "Over the River and Through the Wood" and "We Gather Together" put it into bloom as I belted out these songs last week? This is a new plant so I can't do a scientific study, but when another one bloomed it was right at Easter. Did I sing " In Your Easter Bonnet" and "He Has Risen" more often last year around that plant?
Now that it is Christmas Music City at my house for the next four weeks, perhaps I will set up a control group and an experiemental group.
Ummmm.... just a theory.


  1. Mine tends to be a St. Patrick's Day cactus, so I guess according to your theory all the Irish jigs I play on my flute put it in the mood to bloom. LOL

  2. I just repotted Mom's Christmas cactus. We should have done it months ago but it just got procrastinated. Then it started looking very unhappy so we got a bigger pot and I repotted it Friday. Poor thing had really outgrown the pot it was in, and I think it looks a little happier now, I hope it recovers-no buds yet, because it was stressed. Mom stops watering hers a few weeks before she wants it to bloom-I feel that's cruel but it seems to work.

  3. last year mine bloomed from November until May. It's over 50 years old. It belonged to my mom. I remember it being in the window when I was a kid.

    I don't see a thing on it at the moment.

  4. l^2: Thank you for supporting my theory!
    Janet: Is there ever music playing? I just want support for my theory!!
    Pamela: How wonderful to have one for so long. Before you know it blooms will appear!!

  5. Ok, I have to know your secret! My Christmas Cactus only has one bud and I bought it with 4. This plant just doesn't like me. It's in my kitchen window with the most light and it's just beautiful when it does bloom but it looks like a pathetic rendition of a plant trying to bloom compared that beauty you have!

  6. That's a beautiful Christmas cactus and I love your theory about the music signals. I had one for 10 years that bloomed after I started leaving it outside until it was below freezing. My theory was that it needed the chilly nights to get the signal to bloom because it always bloomed when I brought it inside. One year I forgot to bring it in and a hard freeze killed it. I was ok about it since it gave me 10 years of pleasure.

  7. Our cactus has never bloomed at the same time from year to year. Last year it bloomed on Labor Day and Halloween. This year it can't seem to be bothered to bloom at all!! GrandDolly did pull it over a few weeks ago so maybe it's decided to not bring attention to itself! Love your header picture!

  8. No music, Mom listens to the news on the radio and that's about it. She does talk to it-I think she's saying "bloom, dammit!". ;-)

  9. One of my goals in life is to have a Christmas cactus bloom. I don't care what time of year it blooms...I just want it to bloom.


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