I potted four different color Christmas cactus in the same pot. They are...

Asked November 24, 2014, 6:48 PM EST

I potted four different color Christmas cactus in the same pot. They are starting to flower, but they seem to be now all the same color. I was hoping to have one pot with multiple colors, is that possible?

Essex County Massachusetts

1 Response

Bloom color can fade from too bright light or too high temperatures. However, the fundamental color should not change.

A color shift of a white Christmas cactus can also be due to slightly different environmental conditions. At cooler temperatures a pigment called anthocyanin, that causes some red colors in flowers, is more likely to have an effect. You may often notice this in white chrysanthemums and other white flowers. They may be pure white at warm temperatures, but take on a pinkish cast when it turns cool.
Here is a nice piece on this phenomenon: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=19961123&id=QdYjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=suoDAAAAIBA...

A common cause, when several colors of a plant are planted and then only one color appears, is that the plant with the color you see is a more vigorous variety and it has outgrown and outcompeted the other varieties (or it matures as a younger age) so that all you get are the flowers of the dominant plant.
Examine each stem in the pot. If this is the case with your Christmas cactus, you may have better luck growing the different color varieties in separate pots until they are all mature enough to flower and are of comparable size, then replanting them in the same pot. This way, the less dominant varieties may be able to compete better with the dominant one.

ECN