Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus bath time.

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Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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JB
Feb 21, 2013 3:11 PM CST
Now is the time for all good Holiday Cactus lovers to give your plants a bath, if they are finished blooming, trim them back and take the cuttings for new plants. This includes both Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus.

Today I bathed all of my cactus that I was able to do in the house. It is too cold to bathe them outside.

There were only 13 different hybrids that were finished blooming, so those were the only ones that got trimmed. I got new cuttings from Thor Tenna, Malindi, Peaches N Cream, Zygo x Xmas Flame, Naomi,Polka Dancer, Yellow, Twilight Tangerine, White Christmas, Claudia, Naomi, Christmas Fantasy and Fuchsia. If they all make it after planting, I may have to put an extension on the Greenhouse.

I still have the big ones to trim and bathe but they will have to wait until I can take them outside. They are all so big that I need help to do that. Plus it must be much warmer.

The Orchid Cactus got trimmed and they were all planted a few days ago.

Cuttings removed from stock plants should be done by twisting 180 deg and pulling upward.

One thing you need to remember is to be sure the cuttings are free of any disease. Be sure your containers are clean.

Cuttings can be disinfected by a five minute dip in diluted bleach (6.5 fluid ounces Clorox per gallon of water) followed by a thorough rinsing in tap water.

Cuttings can be stored for up to three months, and the optimum storage conditions area 50 -59 deg. F and 85-95% relative humidity.

Be sure to mark your cuttings so you know what you have when planted.

Have fun.
[Last edited by JB - Feb 21, 2013 3:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Audrie
Parker, CO (Zone 5a)
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t1nkerbelle
Feb 26, 2013 2:45 PM CST
Is there a method to trimming? What's the best method to root?
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Feb 27, 2013 2:40 PM CST
Audrie, You do like it says in the post above, twist them off....and how far down and how much is up to you depending on how big your plant is. You want to just trim it so it looks good, then you would have to know how much to take off by looking at it.

Some people leave them callas over a few days and then dip them in rooting gel or powder and plant them immediately in a good potting soil. Others put them in water and let them root in water, when the roots get to a certain length, plant them. Some people do not even let them callas over. They just plant them when they remove them. They will pretty much grow no matter how they are started if they are not over watered and have good soil and drainage.

Be sure your pot is not too big. The smaller the pot the better the root system will grow and strengthen. Depends on how many cuttings you put in the pot. There again, it is up to you.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Feb 28, 2013 10:25 PM CST
This may be a dumb question but why do they get a bath? and why at this time of year? I've never encountered a bath time for plants before Shrug!
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Mar 1, 2013 11:45 AM CST
I have all my stock plants (used for taking cuttings to propagate and sell) in my house. I keep the cuttings and starter plants in the Greenhouse. The plants in the house, no matter what kind you have when you keep them inside they will gather "dust" the same as the furniture. I also have caged exotic birds in my house and they create some dust. I have always at least once or twice a year, on the big ones wipe the leaves with plain water one leaf at a time and on the smaller ones, take them to the sink, tub or wherever and spray their leaves and clean them off. I was always told it helps them breathe....then again, I am old and we do things differently than many younger people.
Giving them a bath also helps remove spider webs, mealy bug or other insects you may not notice just looking at them. I do it this time of year because I have the time. Also, many of them will go outside for the summer and they will get washed by the rain during the summer months, but when I bring them in, they get a bath to be sure there are no unwanted critters coming in with them. I have quite a bit invested in these plants and I need to keep them healthy for cutting when it is time.

I always think I feel so good after a good shower I want my plants to feel good too.

You are no doubt thinking they should come and take me away in a white jacket, but that's ok. My plants are clean and healthy because of this. I hope this helps explain why I bathe my plants twice a year., Green Grin!
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Mar 1, 2013 1:48 PM CST
Oh that makes perfect sense to me, I get it now. I thought perhaps they developed something sticky in the spring from being inside. I spray off my plants when they get dusty too, usually at the end of the dry season when the ones outside are getting their rain wash. I don't have any plants that are really 'inside' in that they are within 4 walls. I do have a lot of plants in pots on terraces and those are the ones I spray to get the dust off. I also spray the ones outside every week or so during the dry season so they can breathe. I think you are right, their pores would get clogged with dirt if they didn't get rinsed. Thanks for explaining.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Mar 1, 2013 2:27 PM CST
You are so welcome and I sure envy you being in the warm climate all the time. Have a wonderful day and keep in touch. Lovey dubby
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Mar 2, 2013 1:01 AM CST
Hi Jonna, you must be enjoying good weather already? I'm waiting for the North Bay Area to warm up but at the same time not looking forward to everyone coming out of their houses and making a lot of noise ...Can you tell I'm a grumpy Californian that's getting old? Hope you are doing well and staying out of trouble? Hurray!
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Mar 2, 2013 12:27 PM CST
We've had the warmest winter since I've lived here. It was very hot through most of January and February, approaching 100°F for weeks on end. The snowbirds are sweating and staying inside in the AC but the rest of us are just wondering what the traditionally hottest months of April and May will bring. This last week a norte came through and the temps have dropped considerably, I slept with the electric blanket on all night last night as it got down into the high 60's. Today it is chilly to me, but my outside thermometer says 23°C or about 73°F. I've got a couple of guys working in the yard doing some heavy labor for me and they seem happy that it is not hot.

I love heat so this ex-Californian is not grumpy Rolling on the floor laughing
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Mar 2, 2013 12:51 PM CST
Jonna, electric blanket turned on over you on a high 60's nite?...you really do love heat!
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Mar 2, 2013 1:39 PM CST
Well, you adjust. We don't use AC even in the summer and so we have adjusted to the heat. It's the change to colder that really gets to me. Plus, I leave the fan on at night because I've gotten used to the white noise and the air movement, that makes it seem colder. My bedroom has a wall of wooden doors that I leave open to a private terrace which has only mosquito screen for a roof, it's like I'm outside. I don't know, I get cold at night even in the summer.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Mar 2, 2013 4:08 PM CST
Do you remmber the Geritol commercials when we were young?...
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Mar 2, 2013 8:29 PM CST
Yes, I guess that really dates me too Whistling
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Windigo
Mar 6, 2013 10:20 AM CST
My Christmas cactus was really pot bound. It was still in the 4" pot it came in over a year ago, and roots were growing out the bottom. I bought a 6" pot and repotted it, but I think I have really upset the poor thing. While it had been holding it's arms (almost a foot long on most) out, now it is drooping really bad. I just repotted it yesterday, will it maybe just need time to recover? I tried to separate the roots at the bottom just a little bit, gently with my fingers, and then just plopped it in to the new pot, with the old soil still intact because I didn't want to disturb it's roots too much. I watered it, but didn't soak it, does it need a good soaking? I'm horrible at keeping house plants alive, this one I have at work, so it is (or I should say was) doing OK.
Any advice would be appreciated,

Deb
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Mar 6, 2013 11:23 AM CST
I would think it would need a good soaking because there's more dirt around it now, right? If it doesn't recover by tonite, I would soak it.
Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Windigo
Mar 6, 2013 11:53 AM CST
Thanks, Bev, yes there is a lot more dirt around it now. I'll give it until time to go home, and if it isn't looking any better, I'll give it a good soaking.

Deb

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