Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas cactus

I talked with the Great Aunts last night. Margaret and I talked about Christmas cactus plants. My plants are very small, pint sized compared to her very large bucket sized plant. She inquired about the blooms on my plants and indicated that hers were well on their way to a beautiful display. It has been a long tradition within her family ever since Great grandma began keeping a Christmas cactus. Margaret has carried on with this tradition, using the tried and true ways to care for the plant. As we discussed ways to keep these cacti happy she told me of her secrets to a successful bloom.

Then she told me about what happened to her Christmas cactus. As she was cleaning the family room she set the cactus, ripe with pink blossoms on the floor, was distracted by something and walked off. Upon her return she noticed that all the blossoms were missing, along with a good portion of the greenery. At first she was perplexed. Then she realized that it was the dog. Lucy ate the plant! This of course caused another bit of panic and confusion. Was the cactus poisonous? Would it make the dog sick? This was solved by numerous phone calls to poison control and vets. All is fine. The dog will live and, no, the cactus is not poisonous.

Please remember that if your Christmas cactus is just about to open its blossoms, do not put that plant in a location for a hungry pet to nibble on. What a shame. Here's hoping for next year.

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