Sunday, February 24, 2013

Christmas Cactus Flowering (unexpectedly)

     I must admit, I had been ignoring my Zygocactus recently. Today when I had the crazy idea to check up on them after about a week, I was surprised to see that one batch (all in the same pot) had begun to produce flowers, some of which were fully developed. Here is a picture of one such flower:
     What struck me as odd, is that none of the pots of Christmas Cactus surrounding this one displayed any signs that they were even thinking about flowering. Also, since they are also under artificial light, they could ALL theoretically be expected to flower if it were an issue of photoperiod...I knew something was up.
     Upon further inspection, I noticed that the soil in this particular pot was quite dry, while the others weren't TOO wet, but somewhat still. So I hopped online and tried to find out if lack of water or drought could induce flowering. It made sense to me; if conditions are harsh and the plant feels it might be in trouble, it might do all in its power to reproduce and perpetuate its kind.
     I found a few references to obscure plants and trees I had never heard of before, stating that drought can occasionally cause premature flowering, but nothing about Christmas Cactus, or any cactus for that matter (maybe my search skills aren't what they used to be :/); I find this odd as this is such a widely cultivated species, and often grown by people who know close to nothing about cactus or plants in general, I would expect a blurb about something on a gardening forum or something similar.
     Anyway, just thought I would share this little development. Keep an eye on your Christmas Cactus' moisture level (or don't, if you really love flowers :) ), as it looks like this could be what caused it. Thanks, and COMMENT AND SUBSCRIBE :)

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