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purple christmas cactus

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Petra on October 12, 2006 11:05 PM
my christmas cactus is turning crimson/purple in color, why is that? it's not just at the tips, but along the entirety of the plant. the tips have very flower buds growing, will probably sprout soon. they are of reddish in color, but not as purple as the rest of the plant.

is it bad for it to be crimson/purple in color?
by plants 'n pots on October 12, 2006 11:25 PM
Petra - Do you have the plant outside in direct sun?
Some cacti/succulents will do this when they get sunburned.

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by Petra on October 13, 2006 12:14 AM
they were outside sitting on the floor of the covered porch... i have brought them in already. i think they might get like 1-2hrs of direct sunlight late in the afternoon when the sun is low. so it is probably sunburned.

so is this bad? does that mean they will, die? or does it not matter too much and they will recover?
by plants 'n pots on October 13, 2006 12:47 AM
Petra - I'm not an expert on this - hopefully someone will come along soon, but it's been my experience when cacti/succulents have gotten burned outside that they usually green up again shortly after coming back inside.

I have one plant in particular - a "flapjack" jade - that gets a very pretty bright red while outside in direct sun during the summer. A few weeks after I bring it indoors, it is all green again.

I'm not sure if that applies to all of them, and I do think that the christmas cacti are a bit more sensitive to the sun, so I would suggest keeping it in more indirect sun next time?

hmmmmm - I just read your response again - do you mean that they get the sun while indoors now? I grow mine in an east window - about 3 feet from the window, and it's been growing strong for years now - knock on wood! [Big Grin] [dunno]

I just took this picture of mine - it started out as a 99 cent clearance plant about 10 years ago from the grocery store - it had finished flowering then. Biggest problem I have, is that I cannot get any cuttings to root and form new plants.

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by the way... if your plant is budding up now, you probably have a Thanksgiving Cactus rather than a Christmas Cactus - they are 2 different plants, with different edgings on the leaves - Thanksgiving cacti leaves are more pointy on the edges, while the Christmas Cacti have more rounded leaves and bloom closer to Christmas.

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by joclyn on October 13, 2006 12:48 AM
i was given a bunch of christmas cactus a few years back...one of them was purplish - the rest were the normal green. the leaves were slightly different in shape, so i think it was just a different variety.

they all had the same light - they came with the plantstand that was given to me - so i don't think that was the issue.

iirc, the new growth was more green and as it aged, it turned that purplish tone...
by Petra on October 13, 2006 01:08 AM
oh, thanx! i guess it is a thanksgiving cactus then because the edges are pointy. they use to be green at the beginning of spring, so i'm assuming it has to be sunburn. i will try to keep them in more indirect light from now on. i have them in the house now for the winter so hopefully they will return to green by spring and keep them further from the sun when i bring them back out [Big Grin]

as for cuttings, i was able to take a couple of cuttings, about 2-3 segments each at the beginning of spring and leave them out till the wounds callused over. then i potted them about 1/2 to 3/4 inches into a small pot with moist cactus/succulent soil. i covered with a baggie and checked on it once a week and moistened the soil as needed. kept in slighlty bright indirect filtered light. didn't even use any rooting hormone and they grew fast!
by plants 'n pots on October 13, 2006 01:12 AM
Thanks for the tips, Petra.
I will give it another try, as some of the stems are getting a bit too long now, and I'd love to have more plants from the mamma.

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by penny in ontario on October 13, 2006 03:25 AM
What a beautiful plant Lynne [thumb]

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by joclyn on October 13, 2006 06:04 AM
petra, can you post a pic of your plant? i'm curious to see if it looks like the one i had.

just an fyi, the pic lynne posted is what all the other plants that were given to me looked like...there was just the one that had that purplish tone to it...also, the growth pattern was a bit different.
by njoynit on October 13, 2006 09:52 AM
sometimes they get the purpleish/pink tones cause are forming new growth.Sometimes they can't keep the chlorphyll production in pace with the new growth.2 of my 3 are doing this now.

Also most times they will root easier in the summer cause are actively growing.

Your plant looks nice Lynn.I moved mine into hanging baskets this year.

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by plants 'n pots on October 29, 2006 07:33 AM
I've been meaning to post this for a while - sorry I got sidetracked.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii),
Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata),
and Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri)

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by njoynit on November 17, 2006 01:27 AM
Here's my white....comeing into bloom.It was just a lil ole 4 inch pot.sure is pretty.
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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!

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