Put your Easter cactus somewhere that gets plenty of bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight since the fleshy leaves can burn easily. Pick a space with a lot of natural light coming through.
Without direct sunshine, strong natural light is ideal for them. The thick leaves of a spring cactus will burn in the hot sun. For reference, mine is growing on a buffet in my dining room, which has three sizable east-facing windows. It is positioned about 10 feet from the windows, where it receives lots of light (Tucson is famed for its abundant sunshine!).
They prefer bright shade while growing outside. As you can see from the video, my covered side patio’s northern exposure offers the best exposure.
These are epiphytic cacti, which are different from the desert cacti that Tucson is covered in. They grow on other plants and rocks rather than soil in their native rainforest settings. The roots must be able to breathe.
Give yours a big swig of water and let the entire contents of the saucepan completely drain. Before you water the plant again, make sure it is completely dry. The roots should not be kept wet all the time because they will eventually rot.
In between waterings, let the soil to dry out. It depends on a variety of things how frequently you water it. You should find this guide to watering indoor plants helpful.
Water your Easter Cactus more frequently when it is blooming. At this point, you don’t want it to become fully dry.
They can withstand a variety of temperatures. Your Easter Cactus will feel comfortable in your home if you do. Just be aware that the blooming season will occur more quickly the warmer your home is. Keep children away from heaters and, in the opposite direction, from drafty areas.
The evening temperature must be chilly for blooms to set. It is best between 45 and 55 degrees F.
Although this epiphytic cactus favors humidity, it can survive in our homes despite their tendency to be dryer.
I’ll put mine on a saucer with stones and water if it starts to appear less “plump & a bit on the dry side.” To prevent any rotting, make sure to keep the pot’s bottom out of the liquid.
In their natural habitats, spring cacti grow on other plants, rocks, and bark. In soil, they do not grow. They eat leaves and other trash in the natural world. This indicates that they like a fairly porous mixture with considerable richness.
I usually mix in compost and coco coir with a fairly chunky local succulent and cactus mix. This peat moss substitute is better for the environment since it has a pH that is neutral, can hold more nutrients, and enhances aeration.
None of my spring cactus have ever received fertilizer. Every spring, I always supplement with worm compost and organic compost. They’ve always had no trouble blooming. I’ll modify mine again in the summer here in the desert when it’s much hotter and dryer.
Every spring, I lightly apply worm compost to the majority of my indoor plants before covering it with a thin layer of compost. Easy, right? For a larger houseplant, use a 1/4 to 1/2 layer of each. Right here, you can read about how I feed my composting worms.
You can use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer (such 10-10-10) in the spring, early summer, and mid-summer even if yours might not require it.
My friend gave his Christmas and Easter cacti (20-10-20) all-around orchid fertilizer in the spring and again in the summer, and they both looked fantastic. It needs to be diluted to 1/4 strength. Water your plants with 1/4 of the fertilizer’s suggested dosage. If necessary, I might try using my collection of orchids, which I have quite a number of.
Wait to fertilize your Spring Cactus until it has completed blooming entirely, which should take 1-2 months. Before hitting it with the good stuff, you want it to relax!
Here, you can see the leaf from my Thanksgiving Cactus (which, by the way, is frequently advertised as a Christmas Cactus) on the left and the leaf from my Easter Cactus on the right. The Easter Cactus leaf is noticeably smoother, as can be seen.
Speaking of propagation, leaf cuttings or division are both fairly simple methods.
By chopping the terminal leaf parts off, you can take individual leaf cuttings. It is simple for me to twist them off. I select a few pieces, which I consider to be a stem. After that, I let the leaves or complete stems recover for about a week. They are then planted in a straight succulent and cactus mix with about half of the leaf’s end sticking out, and after a couple of weeks, they begin to take root. I repotted them after one month has passed.
Pests / Problems
Mealybugs, spider mites, and possibly scale are common although mine have never experienced any of these.
Another issue is the fungal disease known as root rot. By not overwatering and/or utilizing a soil mixture that is properly aerated and free drainage, you can prevent this.
Yes, this plant’s blossoms are quite attractive. Compared to the Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti, whose flowers I think somewhat resemble Shrimp Plant flowers, these are more star-shaped. They come in vivacious violet, peach, red, orange, and that calmer Easter color, white.
These plants are timed by the farmers to bloom around Easter. Although they can bloom long into or throughout May, they are primarily sold in March and April. The flowers will open more quickly and their overall blooming period will be shorter the warmer your home is.
Similar to what you do to get the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti to bloom once again, you may get them to flower once more. Make sure your spring cactus receives an equal amount of sunshine and absolute darkness each day six to eight weeks before you want it to bloom.
At this time, keep them dry to force them into dormancy. Depending on the temperature, the mix they are in, and the size and type of pot they are planted in, they may need watering every three to six weeks.
Keep the temperature between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, 50 to 55 degrees is ideal. Your need for more darkness will increase if your temperatures are warmer.
The Easter Cactus blooms may be seen in the two lower pictures. The Thanksgiving Cactus flower in the top photo is much different from these flowers.
Good To Know
When Easter Cactus is minimally pot-bound, it thrives. Every two to five years, I repot my.
Yippee! These plants are said to be safe for both cats and dogs. If your pet consumes the leaves or stems, they may irritate their stomach.
I urge you to use an Easter Cactus to commemorate Spring, the season of fresh beginnings and vivid hues. Those lovely flowers will certainly make your house cheerier!
Exist any Easter cacti?
You recently talked about Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti. Could you elaborate on the Easter cactus, the third plant you mentioned?
In addition to the previously mentioned Thanksgiving and Christmas species, an Easter cactus is sometimes referred to as a spring cactus, Rhipsalidopsis gaetneri, or Hatiora gaetneri. Easter cacti often bloom in the spring, close to Easter, in honor of their namesake.
All of the holiday cacti are native to South America’s tropics, where they can be found growing on trees in their natural state. Because of this, they all go by the label “jungle cactus” in addition to “holiday cacti.”
There are ways to distinguish an Easter cactus from the other holiday kinds despite how similar they are. The season of blooming is one simple technique to identify the species. Easter cactus flower in the spring, with flower buds first appearing in February and blooming from March until May. Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti often bloom one month earlier than Christmas cacti in the late fall or early winter.
Examining the edges of the leaf segments of the holiday cactus is another way to distinguish them, in addition to their various bloom seasons. Easter cacti are distinguished by the bristles that can be seen on the margins of their leaf segments. In the previous piece, I mentioned that Christmas cactus have smooth, round edges and Thanksgiving cacti have pointed, jagged ones. The spring variety’s flowers have a more star-like appearance, but they still have the vibrant hues that are common to all three species: reds, pinks, and purples, with some cultivars also showing a completely white blossom.
The same growing parameters apply to all holiday plants, which are shorter days, longer stretches of uninterrupted darkness to encourage flowering, and well-drained soil. One thing to think about is how much water they require, especially with Easter cacti. Overwatering can seriously harm plants and is especially harmful to Easter species. Prior to watering the plant, make sure the soil in the pot is dry.
All three offer stunning displays of vibrant, tropical beauty, sure to spread a little festive cheer throughout the holiday seasons, whether you select an Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving cactus. With the Spring Gardening Digital Value Pack, you can be sure that your garden will flourish in the spring.
With help from the Smart Gardening Techniques: Houseplants and Houseplants 2 book, learn how to maintain your indoor plants in good health.
Use the environmentally friendly Eco Watering Spouts, which come in eye-catching hues of lime green, hot pink, and orange, to water your indoor and outdoor plants.
Have more inquiries about how to recognize plants? You can confidently name plants with the help of The A to Z of Plant Names.
In Succulent Container Gardens, you may learn how to maintain lovely succulent plants, including other cacti, as stunning container gardens.
What distinguishes a Christmas cactus from an Easter 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 time, 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.
Easter cactus grows outdoors or indoors.
Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri), a bushy plant with lavender-pink or red blooms at the end of each flat, segmented leaf, produces a profusion of flowers every spring. Even though Easter cactus is a real cactus, it grows in the forest and needs more attention than its desert-dwelling relatives. According to Clemson University, this, along with the other holiday cacti known as Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus, prefers humid circumstances and is called “rain forest cacti” for this reason.
Easter cacti often thrive for many years and mature at a height of around 24 inches. They require little maintenance. Although Easter cacti are often planted indoors, they may survive outside in USDA plant hardiness zones 10b through 11.
Unless they are overwatered, Easter cactus infections are uncommon, according to Iowa State University. If a plant starts to turn reddish, it may be an indication that it has received too much light, not enough water, or lacks phosphorus.
How is an Easter cactus maintained?
You might be startled to learn that there is an Easter cactus that blooms in the spring after spending years encouraging a Christmas cactus to do so on time. I know I was when I stumbled upon a tiny potted plant in a nearby nursery that had adorable, tiny flower buds.
The Easter cactus, also known as Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri by knowledgeable horticulturists, is distinct from its relatives the Christmas cactus and the Thanksgiving cactus mostly due to the season in which it blooms and the nature of its leaves. They can be picky, demanding, and resistant when it comes to flowering on command until their expectations are met, yet these various plants also share a lot in common.
Care and Feeding: To get the Easter cactus to bloom on schedule, place it in an area where daily and nighttime temperatures vary by as much as 20 degrees. It will grow in bright, indirect light (sun or shade). Give it a balanced fertilizer twice a month and water it when the soil seems dry to the touch.
Design Advice: Match a white Easter cactus with a creamy-colored planter that matches its flower buds in hue. My-shaped Ben Wolff White Clay Pot with Saucer costs $62.50.
Easter cactus won’t bloom again until the following spring when its current flowering period is over. If it’s root-bound, you can repot it in the interim, and you can prune it anyway you like.
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