Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blooming Patience

For me, a Christmas miracle is coming a little late this season. Even with a late appearance it is nonetheless joyful!

I am a longtime admirer of the Christmas cactus plant. For years I have ooh'd and ahh'd beautiful - and blooming - Christmas cacti. I remember being a teenager and gazing upon my mother's plant in full bloom and feeling a happiness.

In due time I set up housekeeping as a young adult. I asked Mother for shoots of her Christmas cactus and she willingly obliged. I nurtured this plant, and with the feelings of an expectant mother, I anxiously awaited Christmas. The holiday came and went but my little plant never bloomed. In fact, year after year, it never bloomed. It would hang out, drink water, look pretty, but it never bloomed! Years came and went and finally I re-homed the plant (aka trashed it). I could not take the "rejection" every Christmas when my plant would not bloom. I mean, I really felt as if I was some sort of unfit parent. (I never said I was sane).

Finally, this past year I decided to give it one more try. I got another shoot off of my mother's longtime friend (the plant has now become a part of her circle of friends; fitting since they have been together all these years). I was quite sure that this wasn't going to work (again) so I selected one of the ugliest pots in my potting shed.

If there is a PETA for plants then I should be turned in. I was not very good to the plant this year. I either over watered or under watered it and I certainly didn't talk to the plant. It has not been a lush green like other Christmas cactus I see gracing glamour magazines. Ok, just kidding about the glamour magazines. But I have seen some pictures online of some pretty plants. In short, my cactus has looked a little pitiful.

Again this year my Christmas cactus didn't bloom. I didn't really expect it to. But seeing as it was the holiday season I didn't "re-home" the plant. I didn't have the heart.

About a week and a half ago I noticed that things have gone terribly haywire. A little scary actually. The dadgum cactus had little buds appearing! Lawsy Mercy!

I have taken pictures every four days or so. I am not quite sure why I am doing that. Perhaps to prove to myself in future years that I really did have blooms once. (gotta plan ahead, it could be another 25 years until it blooms again for me)

Today I woke up to my very first, full fledged bloom. The picture you see here is one of a gazillion I have taken so far. I am going to have to add memory to my computer just to hold all of the bloom pictures.

My lesson for today is patience. Even though it took over 20 years, I finally got a very sweet Christmas miracle.


  1. Love that sweet photo and reading your post makes it even more special. ; ) My Mom also has a Christmas cactus. She's wonderful with plants. I've never tried this one because I seem to kill just about any houseplant I get. She knows how much I enjoy her Christmas Cactus, though and she will always call to tell me when it's blooming. = ) Maybe this year, I'll actually try a shoot myself (you've inspired me!) = ) Happy New Year!

  2. You are a sketch! Well, congratulations on your blooming cactus. I have to agree, they can be a little tricky. I had one for quite awhile, it bloomed, but I think it didn't like my new home here, and eventually it just shriveled and lost its last little leaf and out of loving kindness I had to "rehome" it. Now with the cats I won't even attempt to have plants inside, but I sure miss the beauty of live flowers blooming. Ever tried paper narcissus? Those are so beautiful and fragrant too.

  3. Well look at the pretty blooms!I love the gorgeous colors. I'm so happy it did for you.

    I do need more patience. *Smiles*

    Have a wonderful week. ~Melissa :)

  4. Beautiful cactus..
    did the original bloom..
    only at Christmas..
    There are differences..
    in blooming times..
    I've always heard ..
    that good things come..
    to those who wait..
    but 20 years ...
    seems a bit excessive..
    but look at your reward!!
    love it!!!
    warm hugs, laughing smiles..

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog:) I am a HUGE Christmas Cactus fan and have two myself. I could never get mine to bloom until I came to the weird I know. Mine never seems to grow or maybe they are slow growers? Oh well. I get excited every single time I see those tiny buds growing:)