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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Is this just beginner's luck?

First of all, the winner of the $10 Starbuck's gift card. It goes to the writer of comment #11, which is Cristie Glasheen. Cristie, if you'll email me your mailing address, I'll pop this in the mail this afternoon -- email

Now on to today's post

Last June, I told you about my taking a cutting from a Christmas Cactus plant in late winter, and that it had rooted after a couple of months. (that post is here)

I later discovered that it's a Thanksgiving Cactus, not Christmas (the pointy leaves are the giveaway). But they're all part of the same plant family.

Anyways, take a look at what's developing on a couple of the leaves -- blossoms!!

I began the cutting just short of 1 year ago, and now I have blooms. Beginner's luck? Maybe!

This made me very happy to find blossoms developing, and motivated me to take another cutting a few weeks ago. I hope this next cutting does as well as the first.

Closely related to taking cuttings from my Thanksgiving cactus . . .

I took several more cuttings from my African violet. But beyond those cuttings (and this attests to my scrounging nature), a few weeks back, at one of the teas where I serve, they used African violets as the table centerpieces. Well, there were a few new to me colors on the tables. When I was asked if I'd like to take one home, instead I suggested that we let one of the other ladies take mine home, but could I please have a leaf cutting from each of the different variety/color plants. I think I took 5 cuttings, to add to the soil where I already have some rooting. I just put my plucked leaves into a zip loc baggie, then plunged them into the soil once I was home. And now I wait. I'm hoping for a couple of new colors to add to the one I already have.


  1. do you make your own rooting hormone?
    I just learned how and used it on some fuchsia cuttings.
    all you need is a willow tree (or access to willow leaves) and a blender. A web search will give you the specifics.
    Sadly my home is too dark for African Violets.

    1. Hi frugal spinster,
      No, I've not made it, but heard about it. I bought a tiny packet f rooting hormone a few years ago. It keeps for ages, and a tiny amount does the trick. It may be a while before I need more. But thank you. We do have a willow (several) on our property.

      And fortunately, African violets and Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus don't seem to need any rooting hormone whatsoever.

      My African violets are near a south-facing window. That seems to be enough sunlight for them. Same with my Thanksgiving cactus. But I understand about dark houses around here.

  2. I didn't know there was a Thanksgiving cactus. We have always laughed about my husband's Christmas cactus being an Easter cactus, since that's when it typically blooms, but maybe there is such a thing as an Easter cactus! :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      there is a Christmas cactus, a Thanksgiving cactus and, yes, an Easter cactus. You may have an Easter cactus.

    2. Ha! Maybe I'm a genius without knowing it ...

    3. I did not know there was a Thanksgiving cactus either Kris!

    4. The leaves of each look slightly different from one another, and they do bloom near their holiday.

  3. I always enjoy when I can make something successfully from next to nothing, which a cutting is a great example of. Hooray for the blooming Thanksgiving cactus, and good luck to you with the African violet cuttings!

    1. Hi Mary,
      I know what you mean. I like investing myself in something, rather than money. Seems more personal when gifting, too, if I've put some of myself into it. This Thanksgiving cactus will be a hostess gift sometime next fall or the one after.

  4. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter cactus! Who knew. I wonder which one I used to have that never bloomed at Christmas?

    1. I didn't know, myself, until someone else asked me about mine. The leaves are slightly different on each one. That's one way to tell which is which.

  5. Congratulations to the winner, Cristie Glasheen. :)

    Your Thanksgiving cactus is beautiful. I used to have a Christmas one, which was so pretty, but got lost in a move.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Oh that has happened to us, too, with moving. Sometimes we leave plants behind (if moving a distance). Other times, they just didn't fare well with changing window exposures.


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