Posted by: Kate | December 10, 2009


I have one plant in my house. The reason for this is that my girl cat, Torti, cannot resist eating anything plant-like. Which wouldn’t bother me too much, except as soon as she eats something plant-like she must then throw it, and any food she has recently eaten, up all over my carpet. Or shoe. Or book. We tried the leaves dipped in cayenne, spraying her, etc, but she is not willing to be deterred from her goal of consuming every plant-like thing in the universe. (This extends to any dropped vegetable bits on the kitchen floor, including onion skins.)

So, sadly, I have accepted that I cannot bring my love of gardening into my house, with one exception.

The little christmas cactus lives on the dark bookshelf year round, where Torti can’t climb to reach it. It gets watered when I remember, which isn’t too often. Occasionally I bring it to the edge of the shelf for some light, and Torti promptly chews on it (the mangled ends are from her chewing it).

Yet every year, this cactus gives me at least one and sometimes two blooms. Perfect, bigger than its own branches, blooms. So I keep it around. See the bud on the left (it is in the window to take the picture, by the way, I promptly put it back on the shelf after the photo shoot)? Looks like I’ll get two blooms this year, as this perfect little beauty is already open.

I love this little cactus and its crazy determination to bloom.



  1. Christmas cactus plants are one of my favorite plants. You tend to forget they exist through the year until one day you walk by and there are beautiful blooms hanging everywhere. Glad to see yours perseveres despite the kittens affections (though I’m so sad this is the only plant you have inside…my house is covered in plants!). Mine will bloom it’s delicate blooms until one day it turns a little bit too cold in the house they all shrivel!

    Which just gave me a thought…since my christmas cactus is blooming right now, I sort of do have some decoration! :)

  2. Ah, the biological imperative! All living creatures strive to reproduce. (Uh….except sane humans. Did I say that out loud?)

    • Oh lordy, that made me laugh!!!!

  3. those blooms are lovely but they dont last long do they? or so Ive heard. enjoy them if they dont, I used to have a cactus in london and it bloomed for 24 hrs about once a yr.

  4. beautiful!

    maybe you could make a couple terrariums? then you could have some green in your house that the sweet kitties couldn’t get to!

  5. I have one too. My grandma took the cutting from her mother’s plant. It’s gotta be at least 50 years old and still going strong. Luckily it is where the cat can’t get it.

  6. i have the same problem!
    i find that lama (the cat) leaves the orchids alone though so i have tons of them. a christmas cactus is a great idea– and gorgeous too!

  7. These are the only plants we have also, although, not for the same reasons. They do so well under neglected conditions, that they have become our plant of choice. We’ve got 7 of them now, all started from one plant given to me more than 10 years ago :-)

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