Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Propagate Christmas Cactus Cuttings WIP ~ EBay Business Review

This past week, I have been reminiscing about "Muppet's Treasure Island".  The Muppets are on a pirates ship, and there is one scene that keeps playing in my head.  Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat and the gang are singing along with the song "Cabin Fever". LOL  Although they were lamenting about being stuck on a pirate ship,  mine seems to be brought on by the latest February driven artic blast.  It snuck up on me, and before I knew it... I was gone!
How do you battle Cabin Fever?  First, take down the red and white Valentine decorations.  The colors are too reminiscent of Christmas.  Then, put up the cheery green St Patrick's Day decorations.  Aaaah blessed green.  Finally, have a wonderful customer walk into your place of employment and donate a plant that needs saving.  What??  Yep, a plant that needed saving.  Funny enough, it was a Christmas Cactus but do not let the name throw you... This is a lovely green plant... reminiscent of the coming of Spring!! :)
The plant was dry and not complaining at the moment.  It looked to have seen too much water in its past, which is never good for a Christmas Cactus.  The over watering caused it to lose the bulk of the plant.  The plant needed some company in the big pot, and the previous owner wanted some cuttings... so, I was given a much needed project. 
It's been a while since I worked with cuttings.  Here is a photo showing the cuttings from the plant that is at work.  I twisted lengths at the joint that were 3 to 4 segments long.  I put some potting soil in a cup and buried 3/4 of the first joint on some and the first joint on others... I am doing a little experimenting. ;)   Then, I moistened the soil.   The success of this experiment should be revealed here in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
I have been taking care NOT to overwater the little cuttings, since they rot easily.  I have my trusty Dollar Store spray bottle filled with water and spray the soil to add moisture. :)   It has been over a week, and they seem to still be happy...
**Note**  These are the cuttings from the aged plant at work.  As you can see, the soil that I had on hand was a fine potting soil.  There were two large Cactus arms in the pot that we received at work... one with very pointy segments and one with miner points.  This would indicate that the plants are a Thanksgiving Cactus or "Schlumberga Truncata".  (They flower around the holiday that they were named after.)  It will be interesting to see what color they flower, since this type of variety has a larger range of colors.  Oh.. and all stores sell it as a Christmas Cactus.  I imagine Thanksgiving Cactus wasn't a real crowd grabbing name. LOL

This is 3 of 9 cups that are little starters from the adults that have been pruned back in my household.  Usually, I stick the little guys back in the pot with their parent, but those pots are currently filled.  They will make some great new plants to keep or give away by Christmas.

**Note**  My Christmas Cacti, that were originally purchased for a few bucks at  the  same garage sale a year apart,  are the true Christmas variety "Schlumberga x buckleyi". (They flower at Christmas time.)  As you can see, the cuttings have scalloped segments.  I purchased a bark filled potting soil that would provide nice drainage and be more comparable to their natural habitat.  

Here comes Cabin Fever to the extreme.  As I was floating around EBay looking to buy an Easter Cactus, I ran across colors of modern day Christmas Cacti (aka Thanksgiving Cacti)  that I do not possess.  What to do?  Since Mr. Hollow wasn't watching me close enough, I purchases 8 little plants for $28 including shipping here.  After 3 days in transit from their warm home in Florida, they arrived in Northern Illinois greeted by temps in the teens.  :(   Look at them!  They don't even know that the weather outside is frightful.

They are the most healthy little plants.  I was all ready for them, having purchased some tiny pots and potting soil for their arrival.  I worked with the wonderful soil and plants on my kitchen island in the balmy 67 degree air! LOL  Mr.  Hollow, Farmerboy and I gabbed away as they were transplanted into their new homes.

Here they are looking pretty happy (they fanned out as the day progressed).  The ceramic pots were purchased for a $1 a piece at the Dollar Store.  I am not to crazy about the polka dotted distressed look, but they were purchased solely for starter pots.  The more I look at them though,  the ceramicist in me kicked in... I am thinking about using some enamels to do some sponging on them.  It would give the pots a unique face lift and get rid of the polka dot pattern.

And just when Mr. Hollow thought the Cabin Fever was at bay, I found a yellow cactus on EBay that was my only missing color!  Instead of buying one older plant, I purchased six little guys here for $15 shipping included.  Now, Mr. Hollow is getting a little nervous. LOL  I told him that I had other homes for some of the duplicate colors... IF I can part with them! ;)

It has been really fun playing in my houseplant garden this weekend.  I look forward to seeing how the little cuttings do and will share them again in a few weeks.  Although shopping local is one of my favorite things, EBay shopping comes in handy when my traveling is at a minimum.  And just in case Mr. Hollow thinks that I have forgot, I still have a gorgeous Easter Cactus book marked! :)


Gayle said...

I had no idea that you could buy plants on eBay, but why not? What a cheerful activity you've been enjoying....

Brenda said...

Hello Gayle... It amazes me that these little plants can stand the transit time! They are a great distraction from the weather. :)