Here’s my one and only office plant, as it looked today.
My office is windowless, but this Schlumbergera bridgesii (Christmas cactus), given to me by a coworker (whose favorite plant it is) thrives in the little timed grow light system I found. I love my outdoor garden, but most house plants don’t do well with me due to their unfortunate predilection for being watered regularly.
And you would think a houseplant that needed the following to bloom would be doomed chez moi, especially au bureau:
Schlumbergera bridgessii need an average to warm climate with a minimum of 62° F at night. We use a soil mix consisting of 3 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The soil should be kept moist during the spring and summer with high diffused light. Fertilize every 2 weeks during this period. For bud formation, they require full sun with a drier, cooler conditions, plus the shorter days of fall. In the fall, reduce watering and keep the plant cooler with a minimum of 55° F at night. Increase watering when the flower buds appear and fertilize every 2 weeks with a houseplant fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label until the flowers open. Then resume the normal water and fertilizer treatments.**
Umm, none of the above are happening. It’s still in the original container (4 years now). I water every so often, which is not very, though there is a reservoir. I fertilized once in four years. There *is* a seasonal timer on the grow light.
And yet it grows, and in fact did bloom a lot in December! It also seems to throw off a bud or two any time of year for no apparent reason; like now. I don’t know what it likes about the relative neglect, the awful office conditions and the grow light; but it’s happy! And if it’s happy, I’m happy. Especially when it blooms, and I get to figure out what holiday it’s blooming for this time. Last one was Groundhog’s Day.
What do you suppose the occasion is this time?
**ETA Note; if anyone is searching for care tips for this plant, see the comment #5 below, which seems more accurate than the above blurb gleaned from the internet, based on my experience!