Happy December 1st everyone! To me, that means two things: it is totally acceptable to decorate your house for Christmas starting today, and my Christmas Cactus should be blooming soon. These are two yearly events in my very short career in home ownership that are worth celebrating. It's amazing what plants can do for a house, but if you have killed a few plants in your apartment life (I did. A lot.) then it can be intimidating to get started. It takes a few good starter plants (and in my case, a very encouraging mother-in-law) to build your confidence, so I'm sharing a secret for the most fail-proof starter house plant that will guarantee successful life unless you just really aren't trying at all. Seriously no misintentioned black thumb could kill it, and it rewards you with blooms every December: the Christmas Cactus.
If you need some convincing that plants can make your chinoiserie really come to life, let me show you a few of blogland's best potted chinoiserie houseplants.
|In love with potting a cactus in a teacup! But I see these little cases or bowls all the time and was wondering what the heck I could do with them. Now I know they are the perfect home for a little cactus or succlent via|
About the Christmas Cactus: These plants need a warm window and sunlight to thrive, and don't go too heavy handed on the water. It doesn't take much. You know your plant needs water if you start to see the dirt pull away from the side of your pot, or you can see the cactus leaves starting to shrivel up. It is still alive at this point, so water and watch it rebound. I water with about a 1/4 cup weekly (my plant is small) and that is all it takes to make it happy.
|My Christmas Cactus is right on time; some early hot pink buds that should make for a nice Christmastime bloom!|
|I rooted a lot of clippings this time so I will probably|
have to repot these as soon as they sprout new growth.
But I want to try out planting these in smaller pots
or old tea cups so I wanted a few plants going.
In addition to its death-proof nature, Christmas Cactus is one of the easiest plants to root. That means if you have a friend or family member that is willing to share, all you need to cut a clipping or two off their plant and you will have a thriving one putting forth blooms of its own in a year or two. My plant is 3 years old above, started from a clipping. Seriously all you have to do is clip a stem about 2 or 3 segments in length, and then shove one segment into the dirt. Then water normally and it might not look like it is doing much for a few months, but it is putting down roots and soon will even start making branches. I have a few rooted plants in this pot but I cut them off after buds had started so they are wasting energy trying to bud so it might take a while to get roots. Probably best to clip a stem that doesn't have a bud on it, or wait until after it stops blooming to make your clipping.
And of course, if you put a few plants in some chinoiserie (be it pots or even teacups!) these plants don't need much space to thrive. They are the perfect little apartment or house plant if you want to scatter a few wherever there is sunlight. Low mess, low maintenance, and if you come by my house I will be happy to share a clipping with you to get you started!