Christmas is coming

I know this, not because of the calendar, or the weather, or the fact the stores have gone ga-ga for the season… nope… I know because almost all my Christmas cactuses are blooming!

I have four colours – pink, white, red and a unique yellowy-salmon, which is my favourite. I know some people have trouble getting them to bloom, but I have a little secret…

Mine live outside all summer (away from direct sunlight – the leaves will burn). I leave them out until Thanksgiving weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving – which is the second Monday in October). Within a week of bringing them in, they start getting flower buds, and by November, they are blooming! You see, the cool nights, but warm days tell them it’s time to flower (kind of like spring bulbs). Where you live, will change how long you need to leave them out for, but bring them in when nights start dropping below 15C/60F.

Dave texted our old neighbour Blake the other day to check in on him, and he made sure to say “Tell Valerie I did just what she told me, and my Christmas cactus is blooming!!”

It’s a foolproof way to get those blooms!

I have other indoor plants in bloom too. The bottom shelf of the plant stand is too low to get light from the window, so I got an inexpensive grow light strip for. OMG. WHY HAVE I NEVER HAD GROW LIGHTS BEFORE???

All the plants on that shelf are happy as can be. My shamrocks usually get very thin and sparse over winter because they dont get the light they need in the house.

Not only are they full and happy, they are blooming up a storm. I have two kinds, a purple leaf, and a green leaf. The purple ones have pale pink flowers, and the green ones have white.

Elsewhere on the shelf are my polka dot plants (I have red, white and pink all in one pot)

I’ve never had much luck with them, but I decided to give them another shot now that I have the sun porch. They did very well out there, as long as remember to keep them well-watered. When I brought them in, I made sure to put them under the grow light. Not only are they growing like crazy, they bloom!

The flowers only last a day, but I was so excited. I didn’t even know they flowered! It appears that the white polka dot plant has white flowers, and the red and pink ones have purple flowers.

I’ve also got this little red Kalanchoe

I haven’t had much luck with this type of Kalanchoe – the kind commonly seen in the grocery store – though I have an Elk Antler one that has just gone CRAZY!!! And last summer I got a tri-colour Kalanchoe (white, pink and green leaves) that is doing quite well. Neither of those bloom though (they can, they just haven’t for me). I’m hoping the grow light is the secret weapon to keeping this one going.

And last…

My passion flower is blooming! I thought I lost this plant last winter – most of her leaves fell off and she was looking quite sad. But when I got her back outside in the spring, she recovered. I didn’t get too many flowers this summer, so it’s nice to see some now. And there are more buds growing! I already miss my gardens, but these will keep me going until spring!

What have you got in bloom right now?

7 thoughts on “Christmas is coming

  1. Shirley Elliott

    Your house plants are spectacular! I have never seen a yellow Christmas cactus (or even known there way one). It is very pretty. I also did not know that polka dot plants bloomed. Had never even seen a bloom until your photos. You are going to enjoy your house plants so much this winter especially with the grow lights.


  2. Araignee

    Wow!! My son grows a whole garden in his garage under lights and in little tents. I wish I had the room for something like that because I would love having fresh herbs and leafy greens all year.


  3. I have two mini phaleonopsis orchids blooming and the Christmas cactus is just about ready to open some of the blooms.

    Your garden is simply amazing! I didn’t know polka dot plant got flowers either. They are very cute.


  4. Amazing! I have only my orchid blooming and after many months of constant blooms, they are starting to fall off. I can’t even get my vioet to grow. I’m ready to give up on blooming houseplants.
    I’ll just look at your pretty babies. They are spectacular.


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