November 24, 2013

Why My Christmas Cactus Blooms on Thanksgiving



Hug for Ben, who just lost his wife.


In early November I glanced at my plants as I checked them for aridness. One, I noticed, had numerous buds at its tips.

During my next week’s watering the plant was half covered in peach colored blooms.

Oh, my, How beautiful. But it never blooms on Christmas, to my disappointment.


Within the week its prolific peachy-hued blooms were  so spectacular they dwarfed the clutter of the room.

I must move it elsewhere, where it has center stage.

I moved it to my newly painted living room, a space cleared from its former clutter, where it stood out against the light olive green walls. The peachy color above the fireplace and in the curtains accented the plant perfectly.

Oh, that my life could offer blooms like that to uplift the persons in my life.


I decided to verify that my plant is a Christmas cactus before completing this post..

And I learned I erred. There is a Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, and an Easter cactus. Since mine always blooms at Thanksgiving it is a Thanksgiving cactus. It bloomed earlier this year because Thanksgiving is as late as it ever gets, the 28th of November. I guess the plant doesn’t consult the calendar.

Continuing to read I learned

  • The main difference between the two cacti is the time they bloom. Late fall is the time of bloom of Thanksgiving cactus while Christmas cactus blooms a month later. However, there are some other differences that only a person who has both varieties at home would be able to tell.
  • Both Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti have a flat plant body and the leaves are actually their stems. Flowers that bloom during holidays come on either the tips of the plant or the notches of stems. As flowers show during holidays only, they last for a long time, unlike other flowers. The flowers are mostly pink though these days one can see flowers of red, purple, and even white varieties (mine is a peachy hue).

They say you learn something new every day. I assume this is my lesson for November 16, 2013.

And I wait to see if my other “holiday cactus” will bloom on Christmas, because it didn’t bloom on Thanksgiving.

May your life be as full of blessings as my Thanksgiving cactus was full of blooms. IMG_1949E



The Thanksgiving Baby

The Thanksgiving 1948 Cornell—Pennsylvania Football Game



(A NaBloPoMo post)



    Comment by JOAN — November 24, 2013 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  2. My Cactus is dual colored red on top and white blooms toward the bottom. I am sure it is a grafting of two varieties but the halves bloomed within a week of each other and continue to brighten my dining room north window. So it is a Happy Thanksgiving cactus for us and I treasure it the more it was a gift from a fellow storyteller and is a constant reminder of friendship.

    Comment by 11cvmshistoricthoughts — November 24, 2013 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  3. Well, this answers my questions as one of mine always starts blooming on Thanksgiving and the others close to Christmas. Funny though, they all bloom again well after the holidays.

    Comment by Pam — November 27, 2013 @ 8:34 am | Reply

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