Posted by: ktzefr | December 6, 2011

Blooms for the Holidays

My kitchen smells great these days.  No holiday food scents yet, but the room is filled with the scent of narcissus flowers. 

Paperwhite Narcissus


I’ve been forcing paperwhite narcissus bulbs to bloom during the holidays for almost thirty years.   It’s extremely simple to do.  All you need is a few pebbles or seashells or colored stones, a sturdy vase, and water.  They make great gifts, too, whether as a single bulb in a coffee mug or a glass vase full of flowers.  This video shows how it’s done.


The Schlumbergera grows wild in trees and on rocks in the coastal mountains of Brazil.  They come mostly in shades of pink, purple, and orange and are often pollinated by hummingbirds.  We call the plant a Christmas cactus.  My mom always had at least one of these plants and it never failed to bloom during the holidays.   She gave me two of them years ago — one is a rather scrappy looking plant, in terms of the green foliage, but it blooms profusely several times a year; the other is full of greenery but only blooms when it feels like it.   The first is blooming now…

Christmas Cactus


Christmas cacti are often passed down from one generation to the next since the plants live a long time and are easy to grow.  For more information about Christmas cacti have a look HERE.

I miss being able to work, read, or just sit outdoors and enjoy the summer flowers, so it’s especially nice to have the house in bloom during the holiday season.



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