Merry Christmas… Cactus?

Imagine a cactus…. Is the image below what you saw? Most people would probably agree that when they think cactus, they think upright, spiny, and green.

Now it’s time to expand your cactus archetype.

This is also a cactus. I promise.

Christmas Cactus

  • we’re in the thick of the holiday season so we may as well embrace the spirit
  • commonly known as Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, or Holiday Cactus, this little plant makes its way around the holidays
  • since they flower in fall winter, they’re commonly used as ornamental indoor plants at the onset of the colder months
  • it belongs to the genus Schlumbergera which contains six species of cactus commonly found in the mountains of Brazil
  • in the wild, they like to grow on trees and rocks and generally prefer shade
  • the differences between the shade-loving Schlumbergera and it’s desert-loving cousins are striking
  • the droopy boughs and leaf-like pads make it look almost like an herbaceous plant
  • if the pot they’re in is large enough, they can develop woody stems, making them seem very shrub-like
  • the many species of the family Cactaceae vary greatly in appearance
A family portrait for some perspective
  • we just like the Christmas Cactus for its brightly colored blooms
  • and its convenient bloom time
  • and for its drought tolerance
  • and for needing only small amounts of sunlight
  • humans just really enjoy having house plants that won’t die when they forget about them

And who could blame us for wanting to take it easy on ourselves during this time of year. There’s always a little extra strain on everyone, come late November, whether it be final exams or gift exchanges. Take a load off and get yourself a Christmas Cactus.

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