Re-potting My Thanksgiving Cactus – No Bugs Allowed!
Against my better judgement, I am re-potting my Thanksgiving Cactus into new soil. Poor girl has had a rough year. And now here I am expecting a great show for the Holidays. I can just see her shaking her head. But she allowed the re-potting. She is like that. A nice plant so I have to give her an extra dose of care this month.
I know that it is best to do a re-potting after blooming such as in springtime when the growth starts up for the year, but she seems like she is starved for fresh soil and has had a little too much sun, so I want her to have a good holiday season. I will keep her in the same pot since I know she wants her roots tight and snuggled firmly underground. I will do that!
I am planting her in the same pot as she was in previously. This pot has no drainage hole and I planned it that way so I could set the pot in a lot of different places. I don’t have to worry about a dish under her, but I do need to put a “coaster” if I am putting her on something that might be damaged by a damp pot.
I have written about her before in this post. She blooms both red and pink. OK, technically, it’s two plants, alright? But I think she is a set of fraternal twins probably.
Anyway, you can see in the photos that she is green and red colored. I feel that she has turned red in a lot of her bracts because she is getting too much sun. I have always summered her on the deck, but we have lost so many trees over the past few years that I forgot to take that into account. She get a lot of bright and hot afternoon sun until late in the day. Prior to losing the trees, she was in bright light but not hot sun after about 4pm. But these days, it is hot and glaring til after 6pm most days, sometimes later.
Next year, I may put her on my potting bench which has a large maple hanging over it. ( Also an umbrella that I keep up most of the time.)
Re-potting my Thanksgiving Cactus
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I am using soil mix with about 30% added turkey grit so that the soil will be loose and drain quickly. I know that the Thanksgiving Cactus is a succulent and doesn’t need much water. Since she won’t have a drainage hole, I will schedule her watering days and be sure to dig a finger in to see if she is wet before I water. Perhaps I should get a Soil Moisture Sensor so that I can be sure. My anniversary is coming soon, so I have a great excuse for buying myself something.
Once this is re-potted, I will water it with Hydrogen Peroxide like I advise in this post to guard against taking any gnats inside. Then I will let it get super dry before I bring it in. It goes in an upstairs unused bedroom which gets a lot of bright light. I shut the door in there and close the vents for heating. ( The furnace man told us not to do that because all the air needs to circulate for the uptake and outflow vents to work properly, but he isn’t the one with the Holiday Cactus. That’d be me!)
While repotting my Thanksgiving Cactus, I found a few visitors. They may have been on the cactus or just in and around my potting bench under the maple tree, but these were the larvae of lady beetles, lady bugs, lady birds – whatever name they go by for you. Welcome to the garden, my little ladies!
One was what I will say is younger, a yellow one which I photographed on the bract of the cactus. The other was on the bench crawling around and stopped to examine the cuttings I took. I don’t think I want to have her in for the winter so I just let her crawl away to work the garden through until frost. Bon appetit!
Check her out in the video above.
Well, wish me blooms! I will let this dry out and then put it in the room and close the door. It will be cool and, if it is to be, will set buds and I will have flowers for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Either one works for me!
What do you do with your Christmas Cactus or Thanksgiving Cactus or Crab Cactus ? What ever one you have?