Something Is Definitely Wrong Here, Christmas Cactus Blooming.

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Steve North, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    Like I said, something is wrong here..
    This is July and my Christmas Cactus is in full bloom..
    We are months away from Christmas..
    Either the plant is totally mixed up or it thinks it might be Christmas in July...
     
    #1
  2. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Do you have it in an area where the light is restricted? They usually key on day length.
     
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  3. Steve North

    Steve North Veteran Member
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    Don...
    Just quietly, I kind of like the look of the blooming plant even though it isn't Christmas..
    It is actually outside in this extreme heat and it gets plenty of water..
    It isn't a huge one, but it is very good looking during the summer months on the patio..
     
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  4. Maggie Mae

    Maggie Mae Very Well-Known Member
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    Mine is going nuts with new leaves all of a sudden .. I would love to see some blooms too !
     
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  5. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    I love Christmas cactus! How nice that you're seeing blooms now, Steve. "Christmas in July!" as the shopping channels proclaim.
     
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  6. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    How wonderful! Maybe you have a unique strain of cactus or something.
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Has anyone see a Boojum tree? A house up the road from us has one. Only one we've seen outside of an Arboretum.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    #8
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  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher
    I would say about 20 to 30 feet, maybe more. We saw our first one in the Boyce Thompson Arboretum outside of Superior, AZ. It was the strangest thing we had ever seen. Just now, looking it up, learned it is in the Ocotillo family, AKA "Coachwhip", of which tens of thousands cover the mountains outside of Bisbee, AZ, not too far from Tombstone. If you care to read a bit, the Wiki on Boojum Tree is good:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fouquieria_columnaris

    [​IMG]
    Boojum tree in Baja California desert, Cataviña region.

    Ocotillo: "Ocotillo is not a true cactus. For much of the year, the plant appears to be an arrangement of large spiny dead sticks, although closer examination reveals that the stems are partly green. With rainfall, the plant quickly becomes lush with small (2–4 cm), ovate leaves, which may remain for weeks or even months."

    [​IMG]
    Ocotillo near Gila Bend, Arizona


    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fouquieria_splendens

    The Ocotillo gets beautiful red flowers in the Springtime for a few weeks:
    upload_2019-7-22_20-9-15.jpeg
     
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  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    Our Christmas Cactus is in full bloom, just in time for the holiday season. I divided it last year, so now we have two of them, and they are both blossoming right now.

    63A70F35-F14E-4AEA-9B48-64D95B8BBBDE.jpeg
     
    #10
  11. Al Amoling

    Al Amoling Veteran Member
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    Our Christmas cactus always bloomed at Christmas and Easter.
     
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  12. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Desert plants remain inexplicable, to me. Majority of cactus and similar succulents bloom for a few weeks each during Springtime, beginning in March. We have had not a STITCH of rainfall in well over 200 days now, many Desert scrubs show the brunt of lack of moisture, after surviving 6 weeks of 110+ degree days this summer, then 100 degree days every day since (almost). Two "fronts" passed through, dropping temperatures drastically, but only lasted 4 or 5 days: today's temps. 49` low, 85` high, some light clouds.

    The other factor is WIND. Sustained 30 mph+ winds have battered everything, these lasting almost a week each time, then light winds, then BIG ones again. This "dessicates" the poor plants, draws out their moisture. Yet, several species began producing prolifically a wide range of flowers about 3 months ago:

    [​IMG]
    This guy somehow ignores the lack of moisture!

    As does this:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    upload_2020-11-17_16-27-23.jpeg

    These little guys go to town here:
    [​IMG]

    These things are called "Coachwhips", or more correctly Ocotillo. They bloom in beautiful red flowers in March-April only, occasionally turning completely brown over Winter, looking dead. There is an entire mountain covered with Ocotillo, perhaps tens or hundreds of thousands of them, excluding most other plants, outside of Bisbee, Arizona, which lies at 5500 feet altitude, conducive to much Desert plant activity: record temps, high 106`F, low -14` F; average rainfall 18.6", snowfall 10". Ya don't mess with Mother Nature in the Desert!
    [​IMG]
    Bisbee, 1916
    [​IMG]
    Bisbee, 2009

    Frank
     
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