Cactus Flowers in Waiting

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #72: Waiting

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Over 20 years ago I received a Christmas cactus as a gift. I was encouraged by the fact that cactus plants have a reputation for survival.

In other words, it would be hard for me to kill it. As I often did with houseplants – unintentionally – much to my continuing dismay.

I think it flowered that first year, but rarely did it bloom as advertised…supposedly at Christmas time. So there it sat on a living room shelf…near the window…or away from the window…for years. I pruned it. Or I didn’t. No matter what I tried, my cactus remained…well…green.¬†Dusting the branches didn’t help either.

But thankfully it stayed alive. For the most part.

When we moved several years ago, it mysteriously started showing signs of color and bloomed gloriously at our temporary beach rental that November. I thought the placement by a sunny window made it happen. Or perhaps it was waiting for us to downsize. I’ll never know for sure.

This October, I pruned my aging cactus and pumped it full of plant food at its spot by a sunny window. And I waited.

Nothing.

Waited some more.

Until one day I noticed buds…sprouting on the tips of almost every branch.

My visiting grandson was dutifully impressed (as only a 3 year old can be) when I announced: LOOK! Buds! They will turn into flowers! This is so exciting!

Another week passed.

I watched and waited. Carefully watered. Not too much. Not too little (just guessing at how much “enough” really was)…

Then, last weekend I noticed an explosion of sorts from one of the buds:

blossom day 1

 

Waited another day…

blossom day 2

And finally today…two days later…

blossom day 4

A complete flower…

…with more to come.

Definitely worth the wait!