How To Trim A Thanksgiving Cactus

Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cacti are tropical ephiphytes with magnificent blooms. (A plant that grows on other plants but is not a parasite is called an epiphyte.) These “holiday cacti typically look similar and demand comparable care, but bloom at various seasons. It is a good idea to think about pruning your Christmas cactus after you have enjoyed it while it is blooming. Eventually, some cacti grow too big, leggy, or unbalanced. Pruning the plant will make it bushier and fuller, which will produce more blooms. Additionally, it gives you the chance to grow extra plants to give to friends and family.

A Christmas cactus should be pruned as soon as it blooms and before it actively starts growing. For instance, a Christmas cactus will start aggressively growing in March or early April once its flowering phase is through and the plant has had time to rest. When the plant starts to actively grow, pruning it now will encourage it to branch out.

Simply twist the stem at the little joint between leaf segments to prune a Christmas cactus. Make use of a knife or pruners if the stem is thicker. Lightly prune a few segments to give the plant some form. Remove up to a third of the plant each year to reduce its size. The plant can be pruned more severely, but until it branches out once more, it might seem scruffy. Just your objective and level of aesthetic tolerance matter.

What do we deal with all of those stem cuttings now? From cuttings, the holiday cactus is relatively simple to grow. The placement of a cutting with at least 2 “joints or sections in a container filled with water that is just deep enough to cover the bottom of the cutting but not deep enough to completely immerse it. To help position the cutting, some individuals place rocks at the jar’s base. Put the jar in a well-lit area and top it off as necessary with water. The roots will start to show up after a few weeks, possibly up to eight. Plant the cutting in a pot with a healthy, well-draining soil mixture once the roots have fully formed. Instead of starting the cutting in a jar of water, place it immediately in the ground. Plant the cutting in a pot after allowing it to dry out for two to three days. Maintain a moist but not soggy soil. New growth will start to show up in 2–3 weeks. Put many cuttings in one container to fill it up quickly. It’s simple!

Will my Thanksgiving cactus need trimming?

Thanksgiving The Cactaceae family includes cacti. Numerous hybrid Schlumbergeras are descended from Schlumbergera truncata. This epiphytic rain forest cactus lives on trees in its natural environment.

To enjoy this Christmas cactus’ bright flowers up close, suspend it from a branch.

What You Should Know About Schlumbergeras

There are a few myths about how to grow tropical cacti. Don’t treat this festive blooming the same way you would a desert plant. Think about Schlumbergera’s natural environment, which is a tree branch in the South American rainforest, shaded by large trees and vines, and damp.

You’ll enjoy your plant for many years if you give it what it wants. Some individuals claim to have owned Schlumbergera truncata over several decades.

This cactus is related to the Christmas Cactus, which enjoys similar tropical conditions. It can be distinguished from its Christmas relative by its later bloom time and smooth, scalloped stems.

The long, narrow, toothed stem segments of Thanksgiving cacti are joined by a midrib. Its second common name, Crab Cactus, refers to how its deeply indented stems resemble crab claws.

Thanksgiving Cactus Varieties

This tropical cactus blooms in the late fall with enormous, exquisite flowers that can be red, pink, peach, orange, white, or bicolored.

There are numerous cultivars from which to choose. Nearly as enticing as their magnificent blossoms are the names. Here are a few examples…

Peach and orange blooms can be found in “Peach Parfait” and “Twilight Tangerine,” respectively.

Dark crimson is the color of “Red Radiance,” while purple is “Majestic.”

Caring for Thanksgiving Cactus Year-Round

Trim it. Pruning will result in a fuller plant. In the spring, pruning it back will encourage the plant to grow new stems where the old ones were cut. You’ll get more blooms this way since flowers pop out of the ends of the stems. When it starts actively growing again in the spring, it is the ideal time to cut it back. Keep those cuttings; multiply them to create more plants.

Pruning Tip:

In between the pieces, where a midrib holds them together, cut the stem off. To avoid ripping the stems, use clean, sharp pruning scissors.

obtaining the blossoms. For 8–10 weeks, shorter, cooler days cause flowering. The best time to move your cactus outside is in the early fall. Make sure it is in a shaded area. Prior to the first freeze, bring it inside once more. Don’t move the plant after the buds have formed. If the plant is moved or rapidly exposed to temperature changes, flower buds are prone to fall off. Do not be concerned if this occurs. Next year, it will bloom magnificently.

tardy to develop? Greenhouse growers bloom Thanksgiving cactus plants to sell them before the holiday. You may count on your plant to blossom abundantly every year, but beyond the first year, don’t be startled if it doesn’t bloom when you want it to. Flowers could start to bloom a little later than they did when you bought the plant.

When the pot’s roots are full, repot in the early summer. Wait until the plant has completed blooming before repotting it. Use a pot that is only 1-2 inches bigger. Why? Overly large pots can hold an excessive amount of water. To prevent damp potting material, which can cause root rot, use a container with drainage holes. A stylish container without drainage holes is what you need. As a cachepot, use it. Put a simple nursery pot inside the cachepot to conceal it. Small boulders in the bottom of the cachepot are an excellent idea to keep the inner pot above drainage water.

Does my Thanksgiving cactus need deadheading?

Christmas is typically not a time when desert-dwelling flora are highlighted because the holiday generally honors brisk pine tree forests, chilly temperatures, and snowfall. The Christmas Cactus is an exception, though, as it is indigenous to Brazil’s rainforests. It’s difficult to miss this plant during the season with its long flat stems and beautifully colored flowers. The Christmas Cactus will offer you tons of flowers in pinks, reds, purples, and white while it’s tough to get your other cactus to bloom. Possibly not always the colors of the season, but nonetheless lovely.

Perhaps you saw one at the florist or your neighbor decided to give you a Christmas Cactus as a gift in appreciation for your assistance in setting up the lights (well done!). You’re unsure of what to do with it as it sits in your living room, however it got there. You could be a little confused by the fact that it’s a cactus because they are frequently associated with moodiness around water. But unlike its relatives, this cactus is not terrified of water and has very few sharp parts, so it won’t bite. Discover how to take care of your Christmas cactus by reading on.

No life jacket requiredWatering your Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus adores the water, contrary to what you might be used to (swimming, water polo, and perhaps even a little skinny dipping!) It prefers to have regular waterings that thoroughly wet the soil. Despite the fact that you should let the soil dry up a little bit in between your planned waterings, you should never let it become fully dry. This may impede the growth of your plant and lead it to lose all of the carefully tended flowers!

Warm hugsDon’t give your cacti the cold shoulder

The ideal temperature range for your Christmas Cactus should be between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that hugging cacti is generally not advised. Like any warm-blooded plant, try to keep it away from drafts and vents. For these guys, a constant temperature is optimal. Although bright light is preferred, excessive amounts of direct sunlight can burn the stems.

A life after ChristmasWhat to do with your Christmas Cactus after the season

Deadhead all the wasted blooms to keep your cacti looking their best during and after the Christmas season. Additionally, this stimulates the plant to keep on blooming. You can continue to enjoy your cacti after Christmas until it eventually stops blooming. But once it does, don’t get rid of it! Whether or not they bloom, these cacti make stunning houseplants. And chances are it will blossom for you once more the next year, and occasionally even in the midst of the year. (Bonus!)

You can prune it at the start of the summer by cutting back a few of the stems’ lankier portions. Similar to getting a haircut, this fosters further growth and allows it to blossom once more.

Whether or not it is the holiday season, your Christmas Cactus will stand out from the rest of your houseplants thanks to its tall stalks and vivid blossoms! Enjoy its distinctive design in your house.

What time of year should I prune my Christmas cactus?

After it has finished blooming, you can prune your Christmas cactus to make it larger and bushier, but never after late spring. Simply pinch off one or more of the parts to trim the plant. If you want to grow more plants from them, replant them in different pots.

How can I extend the blooming period of my Thanksgiving cactus?

Repotting your cactus every year in the spring will help it bloom more readily because Thanksgiving cacti prefer to be slightly pot-bound. The flowering season can be extended and more blooms can be produced by deadheading spent blossoms.

What should I do with a blooming Thanksgiving cactus?

The plants must have at least 12 hours of darkness each night and temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit starting in mid-September in order to determine when to set flower buds. Shorter fall days and milder temperatures typically cause this to happen spontaneously. The cactus can benefit from being kept in a cooler space with plenty of daylight and gloomy nights. In an ideal world, flowers would blossom right before Thanksgiving dinner.

Most Thanksgiving cacti require a brief rest following blooming season, which requires less watering. From April to September is when they experience their busiest growing season. It’s crucial to provide them with enough sunlight, a dose of all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, and weekly watering throughout that period. Additionally, it’s the ideal time of year to grow a cutting.

What distinguishes a Thanksgiving cactus from a Christmas cactus?

The holiday season has here, which not only calls for decorations but also festive plants! At this time of year, there are many lovely holiday plants to pick from, whether they are bought from a florist, nursery, or are grown at home. The Christmas cactus is one of the most popular plants to give or receive at this time of year. Or is it a Thanksgiving or Easter cactus?

The three cacti differ from one another in terms of how their leaves are shaped. The edges of the leaves of the Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumgera truncata) are very sharply pointed and shaped like claws. The leaf projections of the Christmas cactus (Schlumgera bridgesti) are more scalloped or teardrop shaped. The edges of the leaves of the Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertnerrii) are extremely rounded and centered.

These three cacti are all classified as short-day plants. Therefore, the plant needs low temperatures and 12–24 hours of darkness in order to bloom. If you overwintered your plant outside or bought it from a florist or nursery, you should keep it in a cold, dark place until the buds appear. The optimum location is an infrequently used bedroom or lower level. The Easter cactus gets its name from the fact that it takes 8–12 weeks of short days to bloom as opposed to the Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti’s roughly six weeks. It can be brought into a warmer environment once the buds start to form for your enjoyment. At this stage, a plant may occasionally start to lose its buds. That might be caused by air currents, warm temperatures, an abundance of water, or direct sunlight. Bright light is good for the plants, but not direct sunlight. Before watering, the soil should be completely dry to one inch below the surface. Fertilizing or repotting shouldn’t be done when the plant is in bloom. The plants appear to thrive when they are root-bound.

You might see the Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus bloom once more in the spring, though perhaps not as lavishly as over the holiday season. Simply restore the plant to its short day settings to promote springtime blooming.

Unless they are overwatered, these plants are generally disease-free. If the plant turns crimson, there is either too much sun, not enough phosphorus, or not enough water. There are rumors of plants that have been passed down from generation to generation for more than a century. Take advantage of these easygoing holiday plants and establish a new gardening custom. Call the Linn County Master Gardener Hortline at 319-447-0647 with any and all of your gardening inquiries.