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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Moms Christmas Cactus


Two days in a row, I have been thinking about my mom. Today I am thinking about her because her Christmas Cactus is blossoming. There are scores of buds promising a big bloom. A remarkable feat, considering the plant is over 50 years old.

I always keep a start growing beside it in the window. It’s blooming, too.

Some of you know I have a propensity to name things. This plant is named “Mom’s Christmas Cactus.” It has graced my living room since 1993, which means that by the law of possession it should be “My Christmas Cactus.” My daughters all have their own pots started from “Mom’s Christmas Cactus.” I may have heard one call her plant “Grandma’s Christmas Cactus.”

When mom died, the cactus was so large that we had to trim it to get it through the doorway of her house. I didn’t have an out of the way place for it to grow, so it has never returned to its former dimensions. Frolicking children and clumsy adults impede its attempts to reach out into the room.

We are pleased when it blooms at Thanksgiving - like this year. Once it bloomed in April. Sometimes it blooms over a period of months, leisurely working its way around the circle of scalloped stems. I love it when it blossoms all at once in gay profusion with no room for even one more pink pagoda.

The remainder of the months it is rather forlorn in appearance. (I hate to admit that it is not a pretty and decorative houseplant, but that is the truth.)

The dreary wait is worth it, though, when “Mom’s Christmas Cactus” celebrates the season.

15 comments:

Jeanette said...

Gday Pamela
Im back just catching up after my few days away.
love your Mothers Ziggy cacti and over 50 years old,they are so pretty when in bloom Ihave a bright red cacti flowering now and a few other ziggy's colours that flower at different times.
Take care

Pass the Torch said...

Wow - seriously Wow. I had never considered the fact that a plant could be so old. Or that a piece of it could be used to create a new plant, etc. I guess that's life, huh?

Around here, we can only have ivy plants. Because they JUST DON'T DIE.

Once every couple of months we say? Hmmm, maybe I should water the plant.

SAD excuse for botonists, we are...

BarnGoddess said...

that is one OLD plant!

I see the bloomings as a sign from your mother that she is watching over y'all.

this is a good story :)

Claudia said...

An ex gave me a little one. I got rid of him but kept the plant. It's now 10 years and the plant is at mom's house waiting for me...They really are beautiful when they bloom. do you fertilize it at all? I'm wondering because mine blooms sporadically...I had it for 4 years before it finally bloomed.

Jodi said...

It's nice to have something so beautiful as a constant reminder of your mother... such a wonderful gift!

glenda said...

pam,

my christmas cactus' always die. you'll have to share your secret!

Tiggerlane said...

I never knew about Christmas Cactus until I went to visit my grandmother for the last time in California. My parents were taking care of her, and she didn't have long to live. Her favorite plant was this cactus, so I bought her one for the holiday.

My parents still have the plant, and it always reminds me of my grandmother.

Heather said...

Your mom's life still blooms through you, thriving and growing.

Amanda said...

My shoot struggles to survive. But currently she is alive. Not blooming, but alive. I think I may have finally found the right spot in my house for her. That is a beautiful picture, mom!

Masago said...

Last year our Christmas cactus started blooming in late November and didn't stop till Easter was over. I'd never seen that before!

Karmyn R said...

My start won't bloom - ever since I left our other house - it doesn't like the room its in or soemthing. makes me sad

C said...

I like the blooms but you are right the plant itself is so spidery.

Silent One ~D~ said...

I always think that when the plant blooms... that is when that person is around. (more so then other times) I have a plant too, from my MIL (which never has bloomed) but this week.... a single beautiful purple flower appeared. Hubby was pleased.

I have an ornament that sits on a shelf... that was my Mom's. Some days it is just sitting on the floor.... that's when I sit and talk with her.

Robin said...

Unbelieveable...send me a shoot and I'll see if I can't keep it goin' in the southeast :).

Since I'm such a green thumb and all :/.

Anonymous said...

so you named moms christmas cactus moms christmas cactus.
original ivy