Five Gorgeous Christmas Cactus Plants to Brighten Your Holidays
By Laurelynn Martin
Every year about this time, I look for the little buds to form at the ends of the segmented green stems. And, then I patiently, or impatiently, wait while the buds swell and get larger ever so slowly. But with nature’s perfect timing, the blooms open in their full glory at Christmas. My grandmother grew Christmas Cactus and it has become a tradition in our family to anticipate these beauties in the darkest days of the year.
Christmas Cactus date back to 1858, so I’m sure my grandmother’s grandmother also enjoyed these colorful plants around the holidays. They bring beauty and color to the winter windowsill when everything else has gone dormant. Now that my daughter is in college, she has become part of the tradition and I have given her a plant propagated from my mother plant. It has become a tradition in many families to hand down these beauties from one generation to another. Easily grown in the home environment, I am happy to keep the tradition going. Here are a few of my favorites…
Trio of Christmas Cactus has a swirl of colors in tones of golden-yellow, pink and red and white. It includes ‘Christmas Flame,’ ‘Cristen’ and ‘Dark Marie.’ Each of these varieties are bi-colors with white inner petals. This Trio of Christmas Cactus blooms just in time for the holidays and gives a burst of color out of one pot.
Christmas Cactus ‘Christmas Fantasy’ boasts large peachy-orange flowers on upright stems. Blooming from fall to winter it is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow and flower, and the color is cheery and delicious illuminating the windowsill. Grow in bright, indirect light and water when the soil is dry.
Christmas Cactus ‘Aspen’ puts on a stunning display of snow-white blooms. Many times ‘Aspen’ blooms before the first snow in Connecticut but if it doesn’t we anticipate the flowers that much more. Unusual in the world of Christmas Cacti, the frilly-edged flowers are accented by a deep red ring surrounding the throat. For the purest white blooms keep temperatures above 50° F when in bud and flower. Under cooler nights the flowers will blush in pink.
Christmas Cactus ‘Modesto’ makes a statement with its hot-pink-lavender flowers that are full, vivid and vibrant. They garner full attention as some of the brightest flowers we have ever seen especially against a snowy background outside with their intensely pink flowers safely inside a warm house on a windowsill. Blooming around the holidays but its vigor is so strong, it can sometimes rebloom in Spring. Grow in partial sun in well-drained soil.
Christmas Cactus ‘Cristen’ has a well-branched habit and is a compact grower perfect for the small space gardener. Its showy pink flowers with white inner petals give a non-stop show from November through December. Grow in well-drained soil in partial sun for a winter show.
Christmas Cactus need to be grown in partial sun and during the active growing season should be fed a balanced fertilizer every two weeks. Flowering is induced by cool night time temperatures and the plant should only be pruned after flowering is complete.
Thanks for visiting Logee’s and learning about some of my favorite Christmas Cactus plants. Before you go, please be sure to request your free Logee’s catalog. You can learn more about the Christmas Cactus mentioned in this article below: