Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Why did my Christmas Cacti flowers change colors

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Name: mebegreen
MA, USA (Zone 5b)
Feb 13, 2016 12:43 AM CST
Hi All,

I joined today, so please bear with me. I hope I am posting appropriately, and if not, please let me know. Thank you, folks! Looking forward to learning all I can.

This has perplexed me for a couple of years. Background: I have numerous CC plants. Each one is a different color, with the exception of a couple of propagations. I put my CC outside in the summer, shaded from direct sunlight. I bring them back inside before the first frost. I then put them in a full size West facing window in the basement, which contains lace curtains, resulting in filtered afternoon sun. They all bud and bloom by Thanksgiving, even my yellow Easter cactus.

Synopsys: Herein lies my inquisitiveness....All my CC flowers have changed colors since my collection of CC colors has grown. My pure white cactus flowers are now white with some pink detail, my yellow Easter cactus flowers have turned a peach color with hints of pink. My pink cacti flowers have hints of white. The plants are on shelves next to each other all summer. They do receive a breeze, if there is one. Unfortunately, I do not have before and after pics since I never anticipated this.

Question: How did the flowers on each CC change colors? I don't understand. When they are outside they are not in bloom for insects or birds to pollenate them. They do not sprout buds until they are inside for the year.. I would like to hear the answer to this. (My husband is a bystander, but he is curious, also)

And to further intrigue me, I received 2 new CC plants recently. 1 pot contains plants with red, pink and white flowers, the other pot contains plants with red and pink flowers. HMMMMMMM... I wonder what will happen to the colors of my collection after this summer outside?

Any info is greatly appreciated.

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Feb 13, 2016 8:03 AM CST
Temps below 50 can cause white Schlumbergera flowers to turn pink.

I've not read anything about Hatiora flowers changing colors. But I suspect it might have something to do with soil PH.

Even though you don't have before pics, after pics would always be fun.
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Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
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Feb 13, 2016 8:15 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP, MebeGreen. As Tiffany said, we love photos. IMO, I also think that your plants are hybrids and some are reverting back to their parentage. Hopefully, others with more (botanical) expertise can answer your questions soon.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Feb 13, 2016 5:50 PM CST
I agree I think this is genetic and nothing to do on your part
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover Bookworm Adeniums Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Hummingbirder Xeriscape Region: Arizona Region: Southwest Gardening
Feb 14, 2016 1:03 PM CST
I think changes in growing conditions (temperature, level of light, soil conditions - presence or not of fertilizer, or too much fertilizer, plant maturity) are all factors in flower color.
These plants are definitely not 'cross contaminating' each other - that would only apply to any offspring grown from seed from any of your plants that might have gotten cross pollinated.

I see significant changes in flower color for a lot of my named Echinopsis hybrids to the point that some do not look a lot like the flowers are supposed to look (for example comparing the to collection photos from the Huntington ISI Schick hybrirds catalog) anymore. These plants tend to flower multiple times a year and can have distinctly different colors per flowering cycle. So this must be mostly environmental. I have to think something similar is happening to your plants.
I also have Adeniums show changes in color, e.g. white going more pink.
Name: mebegreen
MA, USA (Zone 5b)
Feb 20, 2016 11:20 PM CST
Thank you everyone! I tip my hat to you.

I would never have come up with those possibilities. I appreciate it.

This year I will be sure to take some pics. Albeit a little late for my old plants, I think.
Name: Alisa
Gresham, Oregon (Zone 8a)
Region: Oregon
Feb 21, 2016 6:53 PM CST
Welcome! I would take some new segments from the plants and grow them indoors all year! See if the rain water is different than indoor water in nutrients. It's a little Time consuming to do. You may eliminate some outdoor factors that are affecting your plants,too! Good luck!
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Feb 21, 2016 8:29 PM CST
Good luck hope you the best I tip my hat to you.

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