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What is this plant??? - Carers UK Forum

What is this plant???

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Does anybody here know what this plant is?
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I only ask because mum has become obsessed by them. She remembers potting them (we have several) but not what they’re called.

They were manky looking things until about 3 weeks ago. Then they started to bud, then the first flowers began to bloom, now they're bursting out all over.
They are so beautiful - looking just like swans in flight with dead long pointy pink noses - that I thought mum might like to look at them.
So I bought them into the living room.
Now she won’t shut up about them. I have to put up with a great big one in the middle of the coffee table blocking my view of the telly. Woe betide me if I try to move this triffid, or the coffee table, or even myself?
Mum wants it just so, so’s she can see it properly.

If my view of Columbo (currently) is to be obstructed, I’d dearly like to know by what? In the triffid’s defense, it is a stunning plant.
I'd love to be able to tell mum what it actually is... I bet someone here knows.
Hi sajehar. Its a Christmas cactus. Yours is flowering a bit early for Christmas this year, but there you go. Thats a lovely healthy specimen and I cant believe there are so many flowers on it. I know its blocking your telly, but try not to move it as that could make the buds/flowers fall off. Well done.
It's a lovely specimen. My Mum had a number of them (yet another similarity between our mums!) and I've kept them in my conservatory until they showed buds, and then took them down to the nursing home to show her. Unfortunately, the flowers have now fallen off, although I tried to put it in exactly the same place in relation to the sun, south facing, there is loads of light in my conservatory, not much in mum's room, due to some tall trees. Another of the plants has developed the tiniest of buds, so I'll try again tomorrow! I'd suggest leaving yours exactly where it is until it stops flowering, then you can move it. They are remarkably hardy, will survive for ages without water, and look very dried up. Give them a good drink and the "leaves" swell really quickly. However, if yours is reaching Triffid proportions, you are clearly doing absolutely everything right, my mum's live in a relatively small pot, and never grow much.
Thanks for the info, Crocus… but mum is arguing with me!

That wasn’t the Triffid; there’s an even bigger one, with even more bright pink pointy nosed swans, on the coffee table. That’s the one causing me serious neck strain.

I think I may have bought them into early bloom by deciding to wipe down their seriously dusty leaves. I then decided to feed them with tomato feed. As they were so manky looking (with spots on their leaves) I decided to treble the dose of those bright green/blue tomato feed crystals as I thought they might need a bit of a fillup.

I think maybe I’ve been feeding them the body building equivalent of anaerobic steroids via these green/blue crystals.

But I’m pleased, because it’s the first time in ages mum has taken an interest in her plants.
She is so intrigued, fascinated and concerned for these plants that she insists on viewing them several times a day.

“That one needs watering”

She has no idea that I’m the plant equivalent of a crack cocaine dealer with my blue/green tomato feed crystals.

Where will it end!

Here’s mum argument.

“I know what the plants are called! Crocus says they’re Christmas cactus’s”

“Oh yes… why would a crocus tell you that? They’re not even in season?”

“Crocus is just a name mum…

“Well that Crocus is wrong. It’s called a, a, a… you know, that big American thing day”

“The 4th of July Cactus?”

“No, not that one; the other one.”

“What other one? Halloween?”

“Not that, the other one.”

“Bommy Night?”

“Don’t be so daft; that’s English. The American one with turkeys.”

“You mean Christmas!”

“NOoo…. the one with the Indians.”

“You mean Thanksgiving?”

That’s the one…. That’s what those plants are called.”

According to mum they’re called Thanksgiving plants, according to you they’re called Christmas cactus.

Me… I don’t care what they’re called. Mum has finally engaged with her plants again. That’s what I care about. Despite, or because of, my equivalent of plant crystal meth!
Intrigued, I googled "Thanksgiving Cactus" and it appears that mum is right. There are Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, and Easter Cactus. Latin names given, but I didn't do Latin (I did Russian!!) at school. So your mum has once again taught us girls something! Isn't memory strange?
Bowlingbun

Intrigued by you being intrigued I too goggled Thanksgiving cactus. I came up with this site… from Arizona!!! According to this site, they’re dead easy to propagate. Come spring I’m going to try and propagate a load of them for my flat as I like them so much.

http://cals.arizona.edu/mohave/master_g ... cactus.pdf

The weird thing is that these plants have been here for years, yet I’ve never really noticed them before. How come?
This year they go ballistic after I’d moved them from the kitchen window sill, etc, into the living room.

Now is that down to my blue/green crystals, or mum talking to them? She insists on talking to the plants during her inspections. Didn’t Prince Charles do something similar? Does this talking to plants really work?

Is my mum/Bowlingbun/Crocus turning me into a tree hugger?

Either way, these telly obstructing plants have galvanised my mum like no other. For that reason alone I like them… apart from the fact they look quite beautiful.
Oh bugger.. I somehow managed to post my reply twice? Not at all sure how that happened, but these things happen.... apologies!
Don't worry, we'll forgive you. They do propagate well. If knocked, bits fall off. The easiest way to deal with them is to just pop the broken bit off into the pot next to the parent plant. Just take a spoon handle or similar, slide it down the side of the pot, and put the broken bit in, well down. Then if the parent looks thirsty, baby will be too - not my idea, that's what the gardening expert on our local radio says!
Crocus, I have an idea that with cactus plants they aren't called leaves, but I can't for the life of me think what they are called. Can you help?
Sajehar wrote:Oh bugger.. I somehow managed to post my reply twice? Not at all sure how that happened, but these things happen.... apologies!
Sorted Sajehar :lol: :lol:

I too know them as Christmas Cactus - Dad used to grow them in the sunny porch of our family home. His favourite one was a bright red one and was so ENORMOUS that it needed a whole shelf to itself :shock:
Well I never! I googled Thanksgiving cactus too as I had never heard of it (I know Easter cactus)
Apparently they are a variant of Christmas cactus and you can tell the difference between them because the "leaves" in a Thanksgiving cactus are a bit spiky, whereas in a Christmas one they are more rounded, plus the fact that they bloom over Thanksgiving.
I looked at the photo again and the leaves are indeed a bit spiky and what with it blooming early your mum has got to be right.
I knew the "leaves" were actually a sort of stem, but they are called cladodes, apparently.

http://www.tlehcs.com/question%20of%20t ... cactus.htm

I found this site which gives a lot of info about them and tells you how to look after them. I would guess that when you swapped rooms, the one it got put in was a bit cooler and thats why it bloomed