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This Nova Scotia man's Christmas cactus has been in his family for a century


A cactus is known to live a long life, and one Nova Scotia man says his has been in the family for a full century.

For 78-year-old Art Isner, his Christmas cactus is full of life and memories.

“I can remember it being in my grandmother’s parlour,” Isner tells CTV Atlantic. “I might’ve been somewhere between five and eight.”

After Isner’s grandmother’s passing, the Christmas cactus made its way to his family dining room in Chebucto Road home in Halifax.

“When mom was no longer able to look after the house, it came down here,” said Isner. “And it was not a spring chicken when I first saw it.”

Isner says his grandmother probably kept the cactus trimmed, but it wasn’t in the best shape.

“We decided we’d put it out in the garden, and we thought a little extra sun and all that would be good for the plant,” said Isner, adding, “We forgot about the deer.”

By the time Isner realized his cactus had become a popular snack for the local wildlife, the plant was “pruned quite severely.” Suffice to say, that was the last time Isner put the plant outside.

Since then, the love and care Isner has given the cactus has allowed it to grow another three to four feet.

A Christmas cactus like Isner’s is a popular cactus of the Cactaceae family that blooms indoors around the holiday season in the Northern Hemisphere, and most are now considered hyrids.

In 2016, the Daily Herald newspaper in Chicago reported a woman in Lisle, Illinois also had a 100-year-old Christmas cactus.

What’s in store for the future of Isner’s Christmas cactus? He’s not sure.

“I’m not real sentimental about such things as plants and so forth. The only people you could give it to would be my grandchildren,” said Isner. “Grandchildren are not interested in this stuff, so I don’t know what’s going to happen.” Top Stories


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