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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Day Clashes

Just a little coleus I'm attempting to turn into a houseplant.
Welcome to May Dreams Gardens, home of the clashing Thanksgiving Cacti.

Here in my sunroom, the big story, just in time for Thanksgiving, is about my two clashing Thanksgiving cacti.

Technically, they are both Schlumbergera truncata, and though they share the same name, I must keep them separated in the sunroom to avoid the clash they cause when both are in bloom.

One is hot pink.
Some people like pink.
The other one is bright orange.
Some people like orange
You can just imagine the clash of color when these two cacti sit side by side.  It's just awful.  They fight for attention with their screaming colors.

"I'm the prettiest pink ever!"  "Ha, as if people want to see all that pink in the fall."  "Yeah, well, your orange is like a hunter's hat!"  "It is not. It's the color of fall."  "Pass the water, I need a drink."  "You drink like a fish and then drip all over. It's disgusting!"  "I do not. I like it dry but my pot is smaller than yours so I need more water."  "I need a new window, away from you."

And so on.

I find it best to keep them on opposite sides of the sun room so they don't spoil Thanksgiving for anyone who gets near them.

I've put up with this clash for several years now.  The pink flowering cactus came first. I've had it for 15 years or so.  The orange flowering cactus is a more recent acquisition. I got it from a co-worker just a few years ago.  Both plants, if not overwatered, should live for decades, so I must  accept their clashing ways as part of the fun of Thanksgiving. They only bloom for a few weeks, after all, then they are just green and get along fine.

In an effort to balance out this clash of colors, I recently purchased a white-flowering Thanksgiving cactus, but haven't introduced it to either one of these. It's actually on the other side of the house, in quarantine, until I'm sure it is pest-free, clash-free, fit company for the other two. In the spring, I'll put it in a new pot and put it somewhere between these clashing cacti.   We'll see how that works out next Thanksgiving.

In the meantime, whatever you do, don't call these Thanksgiving cacti "Christmas cactus". I do that sometimes, out of habit, but they hate that.

The Christmas cactus is usually Schlumbergera bridgesii.  It's stems, called phylloclades if you want to get all haughtyculturist when talking about them at Thanksgiving dinner, are more rounded.  I don't have one, but am going to get one as soon as I find one for sale that I like.  It will probably be red-flowering and though it should flower later than the Thanksgiving cacti, it's early blooms might show up as the late blooms of the Thanksgiving cacti are fading.

Pink, orange, white, and red.

I like to live dangerously, with loud plants clashing and screaming for attention, at least in the sun room.


rosekraft said...

Have you considered some of the yellow flowering varieties?
They might provide a happy bridge between these two strong colors...
There are several eBay sellers who always have a few listed.

hoehoegrow said...

Yup, you can't kill 'em no matter how hard you try ! I have had my shout pink ones for over 25 years and they all bloom reliably. My red (not shout) is a relative new comer, only 5 or 6 years old. Good reliable colour when the rest of the world is dreary.

Helen Malandrakis said...

Mine is cream colored.

Pauline said...

I did manage to kill mine, after 40 odd years! So its off to the garden centre to buy another one or two or three!

Kris Peterson said...

I have a neon pink cactus in full bloom right now. It goes with absolutely nothing else in my garden but I've moved it front and center on my side patio anyway because it communicated a clear need to be admired. It also convinced me that I need more of these...Happy Thanksgiving Carol!

LostRoses said...

Oh now you tell me I shouldn't have planted pink peonies and orange poppies together. Happy Thanksgiving cacti and Carol!