Christmas cactus flower

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by GreenLarry, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. GreenLarry

    GreenLarry Active Member 10 Years

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    The plants not much to look at right now but the flowers,well!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    They are beautiful flowers for sure! I only wish they has a scent to go along with them!
     
  3. Lila Pereszke

    Lila Pereszke Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Wow! Beautiful photo! :)
     
  4. Cactus Jack

    Cactus Jack Active Member

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    What a great photo! And a great colour!

    The flowers on mine are brighter than that -- really a rich, vivid scarlet.
     
  5. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hey!

    Well, I thought I'd post my pic of my white Chrismas cactus! It grew tons this past summer. Sorry the photo isn't that great - I only used my web cam to snap the shot. Does anyone know if seeds can be collected from a xmas cactus? If so, where? I know cuttings root very easily, but I am still interested in the seeds too...........
     

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  6. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Your white Christmas cactus is beautiful!

    I tried to get seeds from mine for a few years when it was in flower, (only in the winter months for mine) I used a soft paint brush to pollenate the flowers and get a seeds pod, but unfortuatly, nothing ever happened.
    I think even if you are lucky enough to get seeds, the flowers wouldn't be true, they wouldn't be the same color as the mother plant, but that would have been just fine. Nothing wrong with a whole new color!
     
  7. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello Bluewing!

    Thank you for the compliment on my xmas cactus! I've had it for 2 years. Everyone always wants the pinks and the reds, but the white one is the most beautiful, in my opinion. The stamens are bright pink, to further it's beauty!

    Wow - so there's a seed pod, eh? I might try researching the net, to see if there's anything about this topic. Boy, I would just love to experiment around with seeds from my plant! I am going to look further into this.............
     
  8. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I have a white one, too---var. White Christmas.Retrieved it from a trash can many years ago. As The H.B.L. says, stamens are a lovely magenta. Put it outside in the summer, and it always sets buds and blooms immediately after I bring it back inside: as a matter of fact, it just has finished doing so.---Dunno about seeds, since the flowers happen when the plants are inside and (I sincerely hope!) bug-free. Good luck to you!
     
  9. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello togata57:

    I had mine outside for the summer too, but before I brought it back inside, I dumped the first two inches of soil out of the pot, and replaced it with fresh, then I showered the plant with a soap and water rinse - no bugs in sight! All cacti, love to spend the summer outside, and they will reward you with lots and lots of new growth! Neat, that you have a white one too! Any pics? - a picture says a thousand words.............
     
  10. Cactus Jack

    Cactus Jack Active Member

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    I've tried pollenating mine, but without success. Given how easily they seem to grow from cuttings, and how easy cuttings are to make, I suspects all the Christmas cactuses in any one shop all originate from the same base plant.

    Since I'd be surprised if the florists hadn't already cross-pollenated with all the other florists in town, it's probably reasonable to assume that all the Christmas cactuses in any given district are very closely related. Possibly too closely to fertilise each other.

    Hollyberry Lady, I've never seen a white one before. Thank you for posting that lovely photo.
     
  11. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello!

    You are very welcome for the photo, Cactus Jack! I find that not enough people post up pics - to satisfy my curiosity. Most just talk about what they're growing, but you never get to see it! Wow, so you've never seen a white one before, eh? They are gorgeous, and I'm disappointed that I likely won't be able to collect seeds from the plant! I just love seeds, and want them. I do know how easy the cuttings root though, I bet you've got an astounding collection of cacti, with a name like Cactus Jack.................
     
  12. Cactus Jack

    Cactus Jack Active Member

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    Sadly, not nearly as impressive as it was. I had a morbid obssession with dangerous things as a child, which eventually became an interest in cacti -- the sharper, the better! By the time I was about 15, I had a couple of dozen, including some truly vicious ones. But to my eternal regret, I then discover girls and beer, and neglected them to the point they all long ago decided to abandon this cruel earth and move to the great desert in the sky.

    Then, two years ago, I hit middle age and that insatiable urge to rediscover the pleasures of lost youth. So now the cacti are back, albeit smaller, fewer in number, and rather more child-friendly.

    Among my pride and joy are some saguaros. I bought the seeds during our honeymoon and smuggled them back to Wales. They're still very small, but hopefully will reach 30 feet tall, and weigh a couple of hundred tons. What my descendants will do with them then is anybody's guess. At the rate they're growing, it won't be my problem!

    My Christmas cactus (I've been told it's actually a 'Thanksgiving' cactus, though I don't know what the difference is) is just coming into flower now. We keep it in the kitchen, where it gets a lot of light and seems to appreciate all the heat and steam. But on Christmas Eve, when it's usually got a magnificent display, we bring it into the living room and set it above the fireplace, surrounded by candles and ivy. And we dim the lights, and with no light apart from the candles and the tree lights dimly reflecting off the gift-wrapped presents piled around the tree, the kids gather round, and I read them The Night Before Christmas.
     

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  13. MickiS

    MickiS Active Member

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    Hi I have tried to propagate christmas cactus by rooting a section of the leaves but they just shriveled up. Any ideas for success appreciated:)
    MickiS
     
  14. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Pollinating a christmas cactus, and possibly even one of the other jungle cactus's can be done. I know people have asked how to go about planting the seeds. Lucky them!
     
  15. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello!

    First things first - Stunning Xmas cactus, Cactus Jack!!!!! Beautiful.

    MickiS, I remember I used to take a V shaped cutting from the plant - about 4-6 inches long, and I would root it in light soil, under glass for about 2 weeks - it worked like a charm. There is nothing to them - just try again!
     
  16. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    They have mechanisms that prevents self-pollination, but if you have a different clone it should not be a problem. I have tried cross-pollinating mine and almost every attempt resulted in a fruit.

    All plants that look identical, yes. They are mass-produced from cuttings in specialized nurseries. I have never tried, but they are said to be rather slow from seed.
     
  17. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello mandarin!

    Thank you for the great tip - I would never have known that! So, could I take two different white Xmas cactus plants, and cross pollinate them, and still get the fruit you're referring to? Or does it have to be two different colored plants?
     
  18. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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  19. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Here's a Christmas cactus that was bought at Walmart yrs ago, unfortunately, it was killed with kindness. For this one, the cooler the room, the pinker the throat became.
     

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  20. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Wow Bluewing -

    That is really lovely! Looks like my white one, just a little more pink in it. Thanks for the peek.
     
  21. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    If you have two white plants of different parentage, then yes they would probably produce fruits. But if they are both cuttings from the same mother plant it will be very difficult (because they are still the same plant, genetically). There are hundreds of Schlumbergera clones, but only a few seem to be mass-produced, specialist dealers is a better option if you want plants with different DNA.

    A particular flower color can appear in different breeding lines, so identical color does not automatically mean that the plants are so closely related that they cannot be crossed.

    There are techniques to overcome the protection mechanisms, but I don't know if they have been successfully applied to Schlumbergera .
     
  22. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    Hey guys, your cacti are all beautiful - my mum has one, well at least I think its a christmas catci, she seems to think it isn't as its flowering too early! So Christmas cacti usually flower all winter then?

    Thanks

    Jen

    p.s. sorry for the rookie question - i'm just starting to keep succulents/cacti again after the zillions I had when I was a child!
     
  23. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    It depends on which species they are most closely related to. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas Cacti have genes from Schlumbergera russelliana and Schlumbergera truncata, the former species flowers in early spring and the latter in autumn (if I remember correctly). The flowering time of the hybrids are intermediate between those two.

    The true Christmas cactus has more russelliana genes in it, and flower later (for me from Christmas until late January) than those from the group Thanksgiving cacti, which usually flower between October-December. They often flower at other times as well, but these are their main flowering periods.
     
  24. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello mandarin:

    Thank you so much for that useful information, about cross-pollinating different plants to get seeds! I want to try it right away - I just have to go get another white plant from somewhere.........the one I have now, is over 2 years old. I will let you know if and when I try this. Thanks again - I've always wondered about it.
     
  25. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    Thankyou Mandarin, It sounds like she may have one that's more Thanksgiving than Christmas - how odd when we live in the U.K!
     

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