About two weeks ago now, I took three Christmas Cactus plants outside and repotted all three of them. I had hope for two of them, after all, being pot bound and all dried out is nothing for a cactus, right? So the two larger plants I repotted, carefully putting some stones in the bottom for proper drainage and I used a combination of Potting Soil and Moo-Poo (Yes it is exactly what it says it is, only composted with dirt and mulch) to re-pot.
The third plant was almost a total loss. In fact, I kind of decided that if it didn’t perk up in a few days I would simply chuck the plant and I would have learned that even cactus need tending. This poor thing was so dried up and pathetic.
Unlike many other cacti, Christmas cacti and their relatives don’t live in arid environments. (So thought I!) Their natural habitat is one of an epiphyte living in tree branches in the rain forests of Brazil! (Brazil?) In other words, they prefer a humid climate, not a dry one, so it’s important to water these cacti more regularly than most succulents. (Who knew?)
After doing all the re-potting, I started to bring them back into the house, and then I stopped. After all, it is warm outside and that is the southern side of the house. Perfect for revitalization. Especially since we have had rain almost every day.
After a few days, the first two plants began to perk up! Their color got better and they began to look stronger! I’ve been so excited!
The third plant has been more of a challenge. I watched and watched and two or three times I came close to tossing it in the compost heap. But then a few days ago I checked its base and it was green! Some of the stem segments (called cladodes) have fallen off, but the new ones seem to be growing.
Despite not know that a Christmas Cactus was not really a Cactus, it does seem that they can handle a lot of abuse.
Meanwhile, the birds continue to be happy in the yard and I am happily watching them. My favorite is the Downey Woodpecker.
He is small and so adorable. Some of the other birds try to push him around, but he doesn’t let them.
Ah, nature in all it’s beauty!