That Bloomin’ Cactus!

This is my Christmas cactus.  It is named Christmas cactus  for a reason; it blooms at Christmas.  But not my cactus; it blooms in the middle of January.  It should be renamed the Ides of January cactus.  This plant and I are not friends.  It continues to defy me.

The Ides of January Cactus

The Ides of January Cactus

I have this love/hate relationship with houseplants – I’ve posted about this before.  Regardless of how I take care of them, houseplants come to my home to die.  I am the Hospice of Houseplants. They start out healthy but I can’t keep them living more than a year or so.  Then they get to a point where I simply want to rip them out by their little plant roots and toss them in the trash.  Hateful houseplants sent to try my patience.

The pic below is of my Swedish Ivy plant.  I got so tired of its shenanigans I sent it to the garage assuming it would quickly gasp its last breath and I could re-use the pot.  It’s been in the garage in sub-freezing temperatures for 2 weeks now with neither water nor loving attention and it is still alive (well part of it is anyway).  It is mocking me.  I hate this plant.  I am normally a peaceful, loving, kind woman.  Plants bring out the venomous witch in me.

The Persistent Ivy

The Persistent Ivy

I feel a bit like Charlie Brown — with my houseplants being Lucy and the football.  I keep playing the part of the sucker who sees a pretty plant and brings it home only to find out later it has a terminal case of aphids or sheds staining pollen everywhere. (They ALL look nice at the garden center; it’s a vicious conspiracy.)

I’m going to tuck away my inner gardener for awhile and fill my house with silk philodendrons and silk sunflowers.  Sooner or later the inner gardener will surface again — I tend to forget my cultivating conundrums.

Does P. Allen Smith ever suffer growers’ remorse?


8 thoughts on “That Bloomin’ Cactus!

  1. I can’t seem to ever get a Christmas cactus to grow let alone bloom. That ivy is so mocking you.
    I will win, you’ll see. That ivy is goin’ down.

  2. If you put a dandelion in a pot and give it to me, I will kill it within a day or two. I have the brownest thumb ever known to humankind. I manage to kill most of the plants I have outside as well. I don’t touch them any more cause I know they will die. I AM the Plant Terminator. You could not possibly be as bad as me, you at least get plants to last about a year.
    Ok, I stretched the truth a little; most plants last 6 months. The cactus has lasted over a year by some fluke of nature – or just to taunt me.

  3. That’s funny! I had a Christmas cactus for approximately 20 years, and finally ditched that sucker … boy, did I feel guilty doing it. I got it shortly after I got married, and “disposed” of it about a year ago. I felt as if I were committing hari kari in my marriage! If I had given it any TLC whatsoever, and placed it in dark coolness at the appropriate time of year to prepare it for a glorious blooming (it bloomed approximately twice in all those years), perhaps it would have behaved better. Instead, year after year it just looked more and more pathetic, but wouldn’t die. So, I killed it. There, I said it. I still feel guilty, but confession is good for the soul …
    I feel so close to you right now…sniffle, sniffle…you are a plant killer like me!!!! Yes! It’s freedom baby – throw those stupid things out. Sorry, got a little carried away there.

  4. The only living things we can keep alive in this house have direct DNA realtion to myself and my wife…if we can kill it, it dies!
    Fortunately my tendency to kill living things has not affected my much loved, albeit maligned, canine companion.

  5. I’ve got a brown thumb too but for some reason my Christmas cacti thrive and bloom and I leave them outside all summer and just shove them in the greenhouse when it starts getting cold.

    They are a bit mixed up though because they bloom at very odd times like in October or April. Guess I’ll have to rename mine “Trick or Treat” and “April Fools”.
    Mine also blooms again anytime between March and July depending on whether or not it feels like it.

  6. Well Sugar, my Christmas Cactus is blooming now too. I do have an Amazon Lily that was given to me when my Mom died in 1984 and it is still alive. I have repotted it and broken it into two or three new plants but it only blooms once a year. The blooms are beautiful and smell like sweet pepper. I gave one of the babies to the girl who gave me the plant and she still has it. Guess it’s of hardy stock.
    Aha, so it’s not just MY cactus that is late this year? I would imagine if I asked Al Gore, he’d tell me it’s due to global warming. Hah!

  7. Oh, how I understand….I can grow almost anything outside, but inside, I am the absent minded gardner and they usually succomb to thirst…

    This little bit of knowledge was exploited by my son when he was about 10 y/o.

    Someone had sent a planter and the florist made the delivery. My son accepted it and as the delivery man was walking away from the door, my son yelled over his shoulder, “Mom, here is another plant for you to torture…”

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