Did You Know…

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… these 5  interesting FACTS about CHRISTMAS CACTUS?

1. It’s called a “cactus”, but thrives in cool temperatures. Christmas cacti need to be kept away from heat sources. Purdue University Extension Service, states that a Christmas cactus will blossom longer when exposed to only cool temperatures. For best results, put your Christmas cactus in a cool place — away from heaters and fireplaces — without frequent drafts. Big changes in temperature can cause the cactus blossoms to drop before they open. Optimal temperature for Christmas cacti is 68 degrees F.

2. Christmas cacti need light to bloom. According to Purdue University Extension, keeping your Christmas cactus plants in a sunny location indoors is the key to prolonged blooms. However, if you move them outside during the summer, you’ll have the most success with a partially shaded location, as too much direct light can burn the leaves.

3. The Christmas cactus is native to Brazil. These epiphytes (a plant that grows on top of another plant non-parasitically) are at home in the Brazilian rain forest, among tree branches, discloses Clemson University Cooperative Extension. Since they are tropical plants, they thrive in humid conditions.

4. Christmas cacti need their beauty sleep. The horticulture experts at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens recommend setting your Christmas cactus in a room where you never turn the lights on at night. In order for the flower buds to set, Christmas cacti need 14 hours or more of continuous darkness per day. However, after the flower buds have set, the plants can withstand light at night.

5. Unlike the other Christmas favorite, Poinsettia, Christmas cactus is not toxic to dogs and cats. Poinsettia is famously poisonous to dogs and cats. However, the ASPCA, reassures that if Fido or Fluffy nibbles on a Christmas cactus, she should not experience irritation or vomiting like she would from the sap of the Poinsettia.