Plants in crisis.


Well-Known Member
Well, not really. I just figured that would get the green thumbs attention.

Mum has a pair of Pointsettas that have managed to survive since last christmas, and she's at a loss at to how to get the leaves to go red for this christmas. Anyone know how?

Also, there are a few christmas cactii that haven't budded in years. Any tricks to get them to get on with it too?


Staff member
Wow...I am impressed with your mom...I killed TWO plants THIS SUMMER!

Once Chris bought me and one I bought myself...and when I said to my mom on the way back here to Hamilton "Oh, I'll have to get my plants next weekend" she looks at me and goes "What plants?" while trying not to laugh...:mope:

I do still have a plant I have had for year and years (it must be very gets so droopy cause I forget to water and then I water and it perks up again :D) and some bamboo...

Oh, karmaPM


Well-Known Member
It's complicated...and a bit late for this Xmas.

1) Keep'em alive until May
2) Trim them down to about 4" of stem.
3) Put'em outside, in their pot (they dont' like transplanting) from June to August..keep pinching back the growths to about 1" - when you give'em free reign, the plant will be thicker and stronger.
4) in August, bring the plant back indoors...add liquid fertilizer 30/10. Keep'em close to a sunny window.
5) Come september... reduce the sunlight they get to 10 hours...even if this means putting them in the closet the rest of the time.
6) october...Starting on the first... keep'em in the dark from 5pm to 8am. COMPLETE darkness!! No cracks in the box you put them in. Daytime, they can get sunlight, water and fertilizer.

The darkness is the trigger for flowering and those red leaves.

You can quit the dark treatment end of November... Stop the fertilizing too.

Come XMass.... voila... Red leaves!



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If you're wondering...I get a pointsetta every year from the local funeral home (the joy of working in a church)... they're all still alive and flowering. :)


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Cactii.... the Xmass cactii aren't like regular gotta keep the soil half-moist. Good drainage is Key! The roots'll rot otherwise...dead cactii. About 1/3 sand, 1/3 soil (mixed together) and the bottom portion pebbles.

The trick with these ones is a combo of heat and light.
you gotta keep them inbetween 50-60deg. F...if you manage that, they'll bloom automatically. If you can't control the heat...they'll need 12-13 hours of uninterupted darkness each night. That's if you want yearlong budding.

The Christmas budding is more timely. You can 'force the budding' by keeping them in complete darkness starting in Mid-end September until they begin budding on their own. Once they begin can take'em out and treat them as normal.

You can repot every 2 years. If it starts dropping's too wet or there's a cold breeze playing havok with the plant.

Good luck and send my love to your Mum for me. :)


New Member
Basically what Bish said, although I have some sources that give you month by month tasks, with more specifics on the Poinsettia. I'll find the site in my favorites and link you when I get home.

I did rebloom one once but by then the thing was a monster so I wound up chucking it after the season was over. Also regarding Christmas Cactus, if you're going to keep them in a box for an extended period of time to promote buds and blooms, step back the watering at least 50%.

What it comes down to is that reblooming these guys are a bitch and a half.


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For her birthday .. I gave her 3 grapefruit seedlings I started at work in a pudding cup with damp paper towel. Now, somehow they're 4, and she's potted them.