Monday, May 23, 2005

purple cactus

At my last job, when I first started, a woman gave me a cactus (the kind called "Christmas Cactus") and some African violets. The violets didn't like me (actually they didn't like my cubicle, which was right under a ventilation duct) so I gave them away to someone else there, whose cube was sans duct, and they bloomed right away. One was purple and I think the other was white or maybe pink.
The cactus grew fat and I decided to take it home and put it outside for a while in the sun.
The damn fat squirrel decided it was a salad bar and decimated it. (I use that word as its true meaning from dec·i·mate to select by lot and kill every tenth man of; to reduce drastically especially in number). My friend Jen, she of the green thumb, repotted it and cared for it, but it was a sad remnant of its former glory. But it wasn't dead, so I didn't throw it out. I kept caring for it for all these years (5), and yesterday I went into the bird room (where it lives in the winter) to take it outside to be in the sun (the fat squirrel was hit by a car last year, and I miss her antics and her staring in the windows and her voracious plant-eating), and guess what? The cactus is covered with PURPLE flowers. Not pink, or white, or orange, or red like everyone else's Christmas cactus. But PURPLE.
I will put pictures up later.
What did I do differently? Hmm. I've been watering all my succulents/cacti with water from my fish tank (when i do a water change) and not watering them as often, but watering more when I do water. Could that be it? Some catfish and betta poop was all it needed, & a bit of neglect? Last year I repotted it in cactus/succulent potting soil too.
Someone had told me to make it bloom I had to starve it and lock it in a closet with no sun. Well, I didn't do either, and it bloomed anyway.

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