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  #1  
Old 05-14-2024, 01:24 PM
labyrinth1959 labyrinth1959 is offline
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Sorry - Christmas Cactus Question
Default Sorry - Christmas Cactus Question

Sorry for the off subject question but I thought this would be a good site to ask the question.
I just read that that using sugar water is an effective stimulant for resurrecting ailing christmas cactuses. Anyone on this site happen to know details of concentration, frequency, or if in fact this is truthful?
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Old 05-14-2024, 02:20 PM
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I don't know the answer... I'll move this to the Off Topic -Totally forum, will get attention as a non-orchid there. Here, no apologies needed for a non-orchid question.
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Old 05-14-2024, 02:59 PM
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I wouldn't use it without knowing what happened. Ancestors of Schlumbergera hybrids are intermediate to cool growing epiphytes from medium high elevation mountains around Rio de Janeiro. They need a loose potting mix with a lot of air, bright indirect light, constant moisture without extremes of dryness or sogginess, and intermediate temperatures. They may wilt from lack of water or from root death. Root death may be caused by staying wet too long or having compacted, decomposed medium (commonest) getting too hot (common) or staying dry too long (less likely.)

Is this a new plant? What are your growing conditions? How have you been taking care of it? When was it last repotted?
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Old 05-14-2024, 04:29 PM
labyrinth1959 labyrinth1959 is offline
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The plant I have is in good condition. I ran across the sugar question in an article and thought it surprising and interesting so I thought I would see if there were any truth to the article from a board that deals with exotic and less common flowering plants. My plant did progress through a flowering cycle this winter but it seemed to be rather touchy by having inconsistent blooming cycle from bud to full completion of the cycle.
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Old 05-14-2024, 05:21 PM
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Weak sugar solutions may be useful for plants that haven't been able to photosynthesize for a while, like plants shipped leafless and bare-root.

Christmas cacti are touchy about environmental conditions and drying out in bud. Typical centrally heated homes are warmer and less humid than they prefer in bud and bloom. Moving them from one set of environmental conditions to another in bud frequently causes near complete bud loss.

Grandma kept hers in the cool, humid basement for the winter. It was too big to carry upstairs.
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Old 05-15-2024, 03:20 PM
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I don't do much special with the ones I have. Water around once a week, repot in fresh medium every couple of years. They live outside in a shaded area in the summer, where temps get up to 100F with high humidity. I bring them in each fall when temps drop to around 50F and hang in my sunroom in a south window. Room temp runs around 68 average in fall/winter/early spring. Rarely fertilize... maybe once or twice a year with slow release pellet fertilizer. Personally wouldn't use sugar water, but that's just me. If it's where there's a draft, or you have large temp fluctuations, that's likely the problem. They're a pretty tough as nails kind of plant.
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Old 05-15-2024, 08:20 PM
labyrinth1959 labyrinth1959 is offline
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Thank you all for the feedback. Really appreciate it.
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Old 05-15-2024, 11:38 PM
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If a plant really gets into trouble, pieces of relatively green stem segments will root easily in plain water. Many advanced growers suggest rerooting new plants every few years, because old woody plants can become more sensitive to root issues if they aren't repotted often enough. Taking a whole branch will produce a plant whose blooming will not be disrupted.

I knew a member of the Henry Shaw Cactus Society in St Louis who rooted individual joints in tiny plastic milk jug caps with water. Of course you can't let them go dry even once.
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