19 December 2008

Christmas cactus

This year it really is a Christmas cactus. It started blooming a month ago and hasn't quit yet — far from it. There are still a lot of unopened flower buds on the plant.

You have to believe that the dark, gloomy, chilly weather has something to do with triggering this plant's flowering phase. The long nights also have a lot to do with it.

The Pyrénées bottle contains water for the plants.

And would you believe this is a plant that was here in the house when we bought it in 2003? It was left by the previous owners, who had left the house closed up for two years before we bought it. This is one hardy plant.

I've never even repotted it. I just give it a little water every few weeks.

The house in the picture hanging above the plant is ours. It was taken 20 or 25 years ago when the house was covered in vines. The previous owner gave it to us when she moved from Saint-Aignan to Tours a few years ago.

Collette and the Christmas cactus

The dog in the picture is Collette, who came with us from California to France at the age of 11. She died in 2006. She was the best dog, we always said. Now she shares that distinction with Callie.


  1. That's one healthy-looking plant (much better than my dusty old example). But I've always understood that a bit of deprivation encourages plants to flower.

  2. That is the same type of plant (I thought it was called Zygocactus) that was left in our house in Perth when we bought it 4 1/2 years ago. It was looking pretty miserable then. I've since split it and repotted it and now in our winter I have four gorgeous flowering cacti.

    I guess the name Christmas cactus wouldn't work for a cool weather flowering plant in Australia.

  3. Patrick, I'm sure you are right, and I'm good at stressing my plants. It seems to work.

    Michelle, in French these "holiday" cactus plants are called Schlumbergera. I see the term Zygocactus in Wikipedia too, but it is a term I didn't really know before. Happy summer down under. Ken

  4. Ken

    I am jealous. I have 2 - one has pinkish leaves and the other one green.

    I brought them in at the beginning of October and right away they flowered- so no flowers in December. The squirrels , at least the ones in Montreal :-) seem to like them and one of them lost quite a few branches when we were away on vacation!!!!

  5. awwww. i love christmas cactuses. merry christmas.


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