Succulents are known for their hardiness and long lifespans, but George Casanova’s 130-year-old Christmas cactus is a cut above most others.
His grandparents, Ernest and Gottliebe Brick, immigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1880s. Gottliebe received the Christmas cactus in the 1890s, and it has remained in the family ever since, Casanova said.
“My mother and father inherited the plant, and after that I kept it,” he said.
The plant’s longevity is attributed to a few factors.
“It doesn’t like to be moved, and it likes dry soil. I water it once a week, but I also pay attention to its leaves to make sure it’s getting enough water,” Casanova said.
The plant gets plenty of bright, indirect sunlight from the living room window.
Christmas cactus good for transplants
Casanova said he has gotten many transplants from his cactus.
“You can take a cutting from the main plant and put it in a jar for a while. Once it roots, I put it in a pot with potting soil,” he said.
A Christmas cactus generally blooms once a year. Cassanova’s parent plant does not flourish like it used to, but the offspring plants will bloom from Christmas to Easter.