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Christmas cactus

On the one hand ... Christmas cactus is said to be capable of living a very long life. It's easily propagated and good grief, what a bloomer!

But oh dear. Just when I decide I must have one, I read about it ... and the bloom is off very quickly. This things sounds ridiculously fussy! Of course - it's a tropical plant trying to adapt to a cold winter up North.

It needs just the right light and a regular watering schedule, but the schedule's different in fall and winter. Good luck with that if you have anything remotely like a typical existence in 2011. And it needs just the right humidity.

Even if you do all these things, and the plant buds up, the buds can fall off.

Honestly. What were the makers of Christmas cactus thinking?

It's a shame. I love this plant. This particular one is growing at Jenkins Arboretum, where they have just the right light, humidity and watering schedule.

My plan going forward: Admire it there. No way will I attempt this at home.