Plant ID forum: What kind of plant is this?

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British Columbia, Canada
islandgirl55
Aug 2, 2017 1:16 PM CST
I got this plant as a cutting almost 20 years ago and it has been in the same planter growing slowly ever since. I fertilize it occasionally with miracle grow. I'd love to know what it is, if it will flower and what type of soil would be best for it. I was told it was a type of Christmas cactus but it looks very different from any cactus I've ever seen. Any ideas?
Thanks!
Kristina
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Aug 2, 2017 1:54 PM CST
Welcome!

Someone had one of these in the "Ask a Question" Forum a couple weeks ago. I think they also called it a Christmas Cactus and it, too, was very old. I asked about the second type of leaf in the pot (I thought maybe it was two plants) and the OP never responded. We assumed that plant had not received adequate light and care.

But your plant is well cared for and is displaying (in my mind) two distinct leaf types.

I don't know... I suspect its an Orchid Cactus. Maybe. Smiling
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 2, 2017 2:15 PM CST
It kind of, sort of looks like a christmas catus. Those spines, bumfuzzell me. Are they soft or sharp ?

Two reasons its never bloomed.
1 st. It needs to go outside, with direct sun, when weather is above freezing. Spring to fall.
Introduce to direct sun slowly.
Before freezing temps, bring inside.
About a month before you want it to bloom. Put it in a closet, for a week.
That will stimulate it to bloom.


2 nd. Same soil for 20 years !!!
She needs a change of soil. You can up-pot her or not. Either way, get as much soil off her and add fresh soil.
Soak her in bucket of water, it will make things easier.
For well draing soil. I use equal parts potting soil and aquarium gravel.

Water her real good, twice a year, so lots of water comes out bottom. That rinses out salts from fertilizer.

You can trim her up, if you like. It won't hurt.
It will probably be good for her !
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
British Columbia, Canada
islandgirl55
Aug 2, 2017 2:47 PM CST
Thx for the info! The spikes are fragile but do stick in your hand if you grab it. The flat leaves seem to be what the tiny, spikier ones grow into.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Aug 2, 2017 3:35 PM CST
All, or most all of the epiphyllums are hybrids of different types of cactus somwhere in their history. That appears to be the case here. I see some of the flat leaves that look like Epiphyllum, but the thornier, rounded leaves may be the dominate parent. In any event they are epiphytes in nature...growing on trees. Someone on the Epiphyllum forum may be better able to advise you.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 2, 2017 3:46 PM CST
I would look in the thorny epiphytic cacti genera, like Aporocactus/Disocactus, Selenicereus.
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British Columbia, Canada
islandgirl55
Aug 2, 2017 4:20 PM CST
Thanks for the replies, the info has been most helpful....Orchid cactus seems to be it! I'm going to give it a little hair cut and try re-potting it in new soil. It's summer here and very warm so I may try acquainting it to the outside (gently & carefully) as I'd hate to lose the plant since I've had it so long. If I'm lucky maybe I will get it to bloom in the spring 😊
Name: Dave Paul
Puna, HI (Zone 10b)
Live in a rainforest, get wet feet.
Plant Identifier
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Metrosideros
Aug 2, 2017 6:14 PM CST
Don't trim anything off the plant. When flowers show please post.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Aug 2, 2017 6:16 PM CST
Filtered sun when you move it outside. Full sun will burn it.
Name: Dave Paul
Puna, HI (Zone 10b)
Live in a rainforest, get wet feet.
Plant Identifier
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Metrosideros
Aug 2, 2017 6:17 PM CST
Treat it well, but there is no reason to cut it up.
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 2, 2017 8:13 PM CST
To me, it looks more like a jungle/rainforest.orchid type cactus rather than a desert cactus so I'd never place it in full, direct sun which would scorch the foliage and I would not cut, trim or repot that beauty! To encourage blooms, give it a little bit of bloom booster (high middle number) fertilizer every once in awhile but only go 1/4 strength of what is stated on the label.

When it does bloom I hope you will come back to this page and share a few more photos! Once we see the flowers we may be able to narrow down a more exact ID for you. It's really a lovely plant ... great growing! Thumbs up
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


British Columbia, Canada
islandgirl55
Aug 2, 2017 8:15 PM CST
I trimmed off a few (6 or so) of the longer trailers at the joint between segments of leaf as was suggested by another gardening site, I'm going to try propagating them for a friend. I will for sure post pics if I get flowers. Thank You!
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Aug 2, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Thumbs up
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


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