Monday, February 7, 2011

Blooming Out of Season

About eleven years ago, I gave my mama a gorgeous dark pink blooming Christmas cactus in a hanging basket for Christmas. She enjoyed it until the following spring, then gave it back to me to hang on my screened porch. I've kept it ever since, wintering it in my kitchen bay window. It has grown huge, with woody stems. I've rooted several other plants from it, and repotted it this past summer.

The plant always has loads of beautiful dark pink blooms at Christmas, but then something different began to happen. It started one Thanksgiving with pale pink flowers. Maybe it was tied to when it was brought into the house, or when it was last fertilized. I'm not sure why, but it has blossomed at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter for the past eight years.

Yesterday when I watered my plants, I was amazed to see that the cactus had several buds and two bright pink should be in full bloom for Valentine's Day. What a delightful surprise! Whatever the reason, this hardy plant has decided to celebrate another holiday.

This could be a sign of an early spring, along with the robins hopping around my yard. Maybe I'll follow their lead and bloom out of season myself!

Useful Notion: Many plants can be rooted in water on a windowsill. Try ivy, coleus, pothos, christmas cactus, wandering jew, spider plant or vine-like varieties. Use jelly jars or other glass containers, and change the water when it becomes cloudy.

Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men. ~Chinese Proverb