Is There A Yellow Christmas Cactus

Contrary to popular assumption, it is not determined by the color of the flower or even when it blooms, albeit bloom time is more potent than color. A robust yellow christmas cactus often blooms in the winter, just before the end-of-year holidays. You guessed it—the Thanksgiving cactus blooms closer to November.

What shades are there in Christmas cacti?

Many owners of Christmas cacti are debating whether to let their plants to bloom.

A large number of Christmas cacti are in bloom across the stores during the holiday season. They have vibrant red, pink, yellow, orange, white, or purple blossoms. The typical gardener can’t help but grasp one or more of them in vibrant hues and dash for the checkout.

But eventually, reality sets in, and you want to not only keep it alive but also want it to bloom in the next years. Why, you might even be giving your heirs a massive, spectacular Christmas cactus.

How should a yellow Christmas cactus be cared for?

Christmas cacti are highly common indoor plants, and for good reason too! They produce vibrant, tubular flowers that are pink or purple in hue when they bloom. They are a superb plant because of their lovely blossoms, lengthy bloom period, and simple maintenance needs. We’ll wager someone in your family has a Christmas cactus!

About Christmas Cacti

The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) and its cousins don’t exist in hot, arid conditions like deserts or plains, in contrast to other cacti. These epiphytic succulents, which grow on tree branches and take in the high humidity, dappled sunlight, and moderate temperatures, are actually endemic to the tropical rainforests of southern Brazil.

Bottom line: Don’t handle a Christmas cactus like a typical succulent or cactus. They are unable to withstand the same kind of hot, dry weather that other cactus can. These cacti require more frequent watering than most succulents, but you also need to be careful not to overwater them. (See the care guidelines in more detail below.)

Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas Cactus?

The Easter cactus (S. gaertneri), Thanksgiving cactus (S. truncata), and Christmas cactus are the three main varieties of “holiday cacti” that are available (S. x buckleyi). The holiday that each cactus is named after often sees the most blooming. Thanksgiving cacti, which often bloom from November to February and hence go unrecognized as Christmas cacti, make up the majority of “Christmas cacti” sold nowadays. See our post on the several Christmas cacti species and how to distinguish them for more information.

Note: Because it’s the most widely used term and it applies to all three of these species, we’ll refer to all three of them on this page as “Christmas cactus” for simplicity’s sake.

Potting Christmas Cacti

  • Choose a pot with a drainage hole on the bottom if you’re choosing one for a Christmas cactus. This prevents the soil from getting overly saturated.
  • Most succulent-specific potting mixtures work well for Christmas cacti growth. It’s crucial that your potting soil drains properly.

Where to Put a Christmas Cactus

  • Plants should be kept in indirect light that is bright. The best location has an east-facing window or a well-lit bathroom. The delicate leaves might be bleached by too much direct sunshine.
  • It is preferable to have a daytime temperature of 70F (21C) and an evening temperature of 60–65F (15–18C).
  • Christmas cacti do well in a more humid climate, so keeping them in a well-lit bathroom or kitchen is a smart idea.
  • Christmas cacti can be kept in a shady area of the garden or on an unheated porch during the summer until the temperature drops below 50F. (10C). Keep them away from the sun’s rays outside.

How to Care for Christmas Cacti

  • Water your plants every two to three weeks, but only when the top third of the soil feels dry to the touch. If the plant is in 6 inches of soil, for instance, water when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry. (Check with your finger!)
  • When the soil is completely dry, wet it until water seeps through the drainage holes in the pot. To collect the water, put a tray underneath the pot. To prevent the pot from sitting in water, remove any extra water on the tray after 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While the plant is in bloom, it’s very crucial to water thoroughly.
  • Feed your indoor plants with a balanced houseplant fertilizer every two weeks from spring through early fall. Feed the cactus once a month in the fall and winter to promote fruitful blooming.
  • To promote branching and more flowers, prune plants in the late spring. Simply cut a portion of each stem off; the plant will grow new branches from the incision.
  • If desired, plant the cut pieces in potting soil that is only gently damp; they will easily root after a few weeks and make wonderful Christmas gifts!

How to Get Your Christmas Cactus to Bloom

The longer evenings and chilly weather of fall are what cause Christmas cacti and its relatives to bloom. The three major varieties of holiday cacti typically bloom on the following schedule:

  • Thanksgiving cactus typically produce flowers from late October through mid-winter, making them the earliest and longest bloomers.
  • Christmas cacti tend to bloom from early winter to mid-winter.
  • Easter cacti flower around the middle of spring through late winter.

If your cactus isn’t flowering, it can be getting too much light or being exposed to too much heat. Here are some suggestions to help you get blooms from yours!

  • For a minimum of six weeks, the nights must be at least 14 hours long and the days between 8 and 10 hours. You might need to cover your cactus or relocate it to an area that is exposed to the natural light cycle if you have powerful interior lighting that is on at night.
  • When the plant is kept at temps between 50 and 60F, flower buds form best (10 and 15C).
  • By subjecting the plant to temps around 45F (7C) for a number of nights in a succession, you can jumpstart the budding process.
  • While the plant is in bloom, be sure to water it consistently. The plant may lose its buds if it dries out too much.
  • Don’t worry if the cactus loses its buds one winter; the following year it should bloom.

The three primary varieties of “holiday cacti” are as follows:

  • Often mistaken for Christmas cacti, Thanksgiving cacti (Schlumbergera truncata) bloom from late October to mid-winter.
  • Christmas cacti (S. x buckleyi) flower in the early to midwinter months.
  • Late winter to mid-spring is the blooming period for Easter cacti (S. gaertneri).
  • Make sure to water your Christmas cactus frequently and keep it cool when the buds on the plant appear ready to open.
  • The optimum time to propagate cuttings is late spring when most holiday cacti start to grow after their winter hibernation.

Blossom loss: Your Christmas cactus will probably lose its blossoms if it experiences any kind of stress. As mentioned in the plant care section above, this could be caused by the amount of light or a sudden shift in temperature. Make sure your soil doesn’t become overly dry while buds are developing.

The plant could be vulnerable to mealy bugs and root rot if overwatered. If you experience issues, remove the affected sections and repot the plant in fresh soil.

How many different shades of Christmas cactus exist?

Did you know that there are cactus for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter? The key variations between various holiday cacti are listed below, along with advice on how to take care of your cactus so that it continues to bloom.

Brazilian forest cacti are the parent species of holiday cacti such the Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, and Easter cactus. The names of the holidays correspond to the several North American cacti’s blooming seasons!

The Easter cactus is in the genus Rhipsalidopsis, which grows in dry woodlands, while the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti are Schlumbergera species.

Christmas Cactus

The resilient plant that our grandmothers raised is called the Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii). I have a plant that was developed from a cutting my mother-in-law acquired more than 70 years ago! They are the ideal plant to pass along because they are so simple to root. Simply cut a bit of one of the branches in the shape of a “Y” and place it in a pot of sterile soil or vermiculite. It will quickly begin to root.

Thanksgiving Cactus

The Schlumbergera truncata, sometimes known as the “Thanksgiving Cactus,” blooms normally from mid-November to late December and occasionally even into January. It gets its common name “crab cactus” from the shape of its square leaf segments, which have pincer-like hooks on one end and along the edges. It is indigenous to Brazil, where hummingbirds pollinate its 2 to 3 inch long, satiny blossoms.

Easter Cactus

It may very possibly be an Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri), which blooms in late winter and spring, often from March to May, if you discover that your holiday cactus has spring flowers.

The Easter Cactus, also known as a “Spring Cactus, features trumpet-shaped, flaring flowers with pointed petals that are typically pink but can also be red, orange, and other cherry colors. Their several-week-long star-shaped petals have an opening at dawn and a closing at dusk. They have segments of flat, succulent leaves.

More Ways to Tell a Christmas Cactus from a Thanksgiving Cactus

A large portion of the plants for sale are hybrid crosses of the Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), which come in a wide spectrum of exotic hues like orange, purple, yellow, red, pink, white, and two-tones.

Look at the flower’s bloom color and flowering pattern:

  • The magenta-hued hanging blossoms of the Christmas cactus bloom naturally close to Christmas. Late November until early February is when flowers typically begin to bloom.
  • The Thanksgiving cactus comes in a variety of hues and has flowers that face outward. Compared to the Christmas cactus, this plant blooms closer to Thanksgiving. Very late in October or early November, it may begin to bloom.

Additionally, they have various stems:

  • The flattened stem segments of the genuine Christmas cactus have smooth, scalloped edges.
  • The stem of the Thanksgiving cactus bears two to four sharp teeth.
  • The Thanksgiving cactus has stems that initially grow straight before arching, in contrast to the Christmas cactus, whose stems dangle down like pendents.

Because it blooms around the time of the American Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving cacti are what are typically sold in nurseries and retail establishments. The Christmas cactus is also more challenging to export since the stems are more brittle and frequently break.

Caring For Your Holiday Cactus

The holiday cactus is a unique kind of the plant. The Christmas plant, unlike the desert cactus that we are all know with, is an epiphyte that thrives in decaying leaf litter on the branches and in the forks of trees in tropical rain forests in South America.

  • Even though the conditions in our homes are nothing like those in the natural rainforest where they live, they are perfectly fine at the typical household temperature of 65 to 70F, with a decrease to 55 to 60F at night. When it is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they will require protection.
  • You should give these cacti acidic, well-draining soils because they prefer their forest floor. Add perlite, vermiculite, and orchid bark to a cactus mixture.
  • They want bright light but not direct sunlight, so a window facing east or west works best. It indicates too much light if the leaves become yellow. Keep them behind a shade tree or patio if you place them outside during the warmer months. not in direct sunlight.
  • Water the plants when the top 2 inches of the soil feel dry, allowing them to dry out between waterings. Avoid overwatering; this is the main cause of their death in our houses. Overwatering is better than neglect! To determine when to water, you could purchase a hydrometer. Keep them out of the water; if they become too soaked, they will rot.
  • Frequent misting of the plants increases humidity.
  • Optional: Use an all-purpose fertilizer, such as Miracle Grow Tomato water-soluble fertilizer, to fertilize them (1 tablespoon to a gallon of non-chlorinated water). Feed the plant while it is actively developing twice a month (usually spring and summer).

How to Keep Holiday Cactus Blooming

Short days and mild nights are the secret to making your holiday cactus bloom. Before they will begin to set buds, they require 13 hours of darkness and nights that are between 50 and 55 degrees for at least a month or two. Some of my plants spend the summer outside, and I don’t bring them inside for the fall and winter until the temperatures start to dip below 50 degrees. They typically develop a bud right away and then begin to bloom. The plants that I have growing in my kitchen need no particular care, and they still thrive. Why, yes!

Only repot the plants if they are really crowded because they flower best when they are slightly potbound. Don’t be hesitant to bring one home for the holidays because they are non-toxic to cats and dogs, unlike many festive plants.

Exist any yellow cacti?

The most typical cactus bloom colors are white and yellow. Yellow flowers are observed on plants grown indoors as well as larger ones that remain outside all year.

How come my cactus is yellow?

A cactus going yellow can be a sign of too much light, the improper soil, or a pot that is too tiny. Don’t be alarmed if it turns yellowish; you can probably bring it back to life. You’re either underwatering or overwatering, most likely.

It’s possible that you’re drowning your plant by committing a common cacti watering blunder. You may simply fix this by altering your watering schedule. When a yellow tint starts to appear on your cactus, we consulted a houseplant specialist for advice.

Leaf Envy (opens in new tab), a retailer of indoor plants and cactus, is owned and operated by Beth Chapman. She has extensive knowledge in this subject and claims that while there isn’t a universal solution, there are a few common aspects relating to its habitat and conditions.

She advises us to start by understanding where our cacti are placed in the house. Cacti, in contrast to most plants, benefit from a lot of bright, direct sunlight.

“Not getting enough light exposure could affect its health and induce discoloration,” says Beth. Second, cactus don’t require as much watering as the rest of your plant collection because they can withstand desert heat and drought-like circumstances.

Beth advises to water plants only after the earth has become completely dry and to generally water plants less during the winter. She advises not watering your cactus if you’ve overwatered it until the soil has dried out and checking to see whether the roots have died.

If they haven’t passed away, you’re in luck, and we recommend repotting your plant using soil made specifically for cacti, says Beth. However, gloves are advised because the terrain can be somewhat thorny.

Cacti cannot be grown outdoors in the UK, but there are many inventive cactus garden ideas for anyone who lives in a warm, dry climate. These ideas can be used to create an eye-catching outdoor display.

Cacti and other succulents are a terrific option, whether you’re the happy owner of a collection of ladyfingers and blue columnar cacti or if a giant rabbit ear cactus gives your living room a Joshua Tree feel. You now know to use a method of elimination to correct it if you notice a yellowish tint to yours.