Where Do Thanksgiving Cactus Come From

The popular Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti, Schumbergera truncata and Schumbergera x buckleyi, are native to Brazil and bloom in the fall and winter. They come in a wide range of hues, including red, rose, purple, lavender, peach, orange, cream, and white. These Schlumbergera species are excellent choices for hanging baskets because to their pendulous stems, which allow them to grow as epiphytes among tree branches in gloomy rain forests.

Thanksgiving cactus typically flower around Thanksgiving, about a month before Christmas cacti bloom, when planted under regular night length conditions. The Easter cactus (Hatiora gaertneri; synonym Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri), which blooms intermittently throughout the year with pink or red flowers, is another member of the group of cacti sold as holiday decorations. The Thanksgiving cactus is most frequently found for sale during the winter holiday season because of when it blooms. If the plants are kept at 68 oF, flowering can extend up to 7 to 8 weeks.

You can tell the Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus apart by observing the shape of the flattened stem segments, or phylloclades as they are known botanically. Each of these stem segments on the Thanksgiving cactus has 2 to 4 saw-toothed serrations or projections along the borders. The Christmas cactus has more rounded stem edges. Both of these holiday cactus lack genuine leaves, thus photosynthesis takes place inside the green phylloclades.

Based on the color of the pollen-bearing anthers, a second way to identify between these two Schlumbergera species. The Thanksgiving cactus has yellow anthers, whereas the Christmas cactus has purplish-brown anthers.

Where is the origin of the Thanksgiving cactus?

Schlumbergera truncata, originally known as Epiphyllum truncatum, sometimes known as the crab cactus, and S. russelliana. It is native to Brazil, where it grows as an epiphyte in rainforests, primarily on trees or bushes but also in shaded areas among rocks. It is a member of the Schlumbergera genus.

A Thanksgiving cactus’ lifespan is how long?

You may already be familiar with the magnificent Christmas cactus, which blooms at the end of the year among all other festive plants like poinsettias. The Thanksgiving cactus is another seasonal plant that blooms a month sooner. In fact, the Easter cactus, which blooms in the spring, is yet another related. The three cacti are all indigenous to Brazil’s rain forests, and they were given their names after the holidays that fall closest to when they bloom. Additionally, all of them have extremely lengthy lifespans of 40 to 100 years, making them absolutely worth including in your collection of flowering houseplants.

All of these Christmas cactus feature segments of flattened stems, but they differ slightly in appearance. On the outside of these segments, Thanksgiving cactus have saw-toothed or sharp projections. Easter cacti have more rounded edges with tiny bristles on the segments, while Christmas cacti have edges that are scalloped or teardrop-shaped. Thanksgiving cacti can also be recognized by their yellow anthers, which are responsible for carrying pollen, on their flowers. Look for these distinguishing characteristics to determine if the plant you’re purchasing is actually a Thanksgiving cactus as these might occasionally be sold as Christmas cacti.

What distinguishes Thanksgiving cactus from 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.

What exactly is a Thanksgiving cactus?

Thanksgiving Cactus Schlumbergera truncata is a succulent. Although it is not a genuine cactus, it is known as a leaf cactus. Instead, it is an epiphyte, a plant that grows on another plant. In contrast to the Christmas cactus, which has smoother edges, the Thanksgiving cactus has broad, flat leaves with faint serrations on the edges. Fall flowers have fuchsia-like blossoms and occur in shades of yellow, white, pink, and red.

These plants are categorized as zygocactus, which some academics argue is a misnomer and others proclaim loudly. The Thanksgiving holiday cactus is a tried-and-true winner no matter what kind of plant it is, with blooms that endure for 2 to 4 months and a laid-back disposition. The plant’s need to be tricked in order to blossom again the following year is the only serious issue.

Cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours are required to force the Thanksgiving cactus to bloom. This implies that if you are in an area without frost, you can leave the cactus outside to experience things exactly as they would be if they happened naturally. Those of us who live in colder climates will need to create artificial conditions indoors to be warm, but we may still face temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) and less light, including artificial light. In the late summer or early fall, start forcing Thanksgiving cacti to bloom.

What makes it a “Thanksgiving cactus”?

Due to its stunning and profusion of blossoms, the Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is a well-known tropical cactus that is offered throughout the festive season. The Thanksgiving cactus, as its common name suggests, is renowned for blooming around Thanksgiving and providing a splash of color into your home just when the weather outside is turning chilly.

The Thanksgiving cactus, the Christmas cactus, and the Easter cactus are the three popular holiday cacti that are frequently mixed up. Although they all have a similar appearance, Schlumbergera really consists of three separate species, each of which has different maintenance needs. Finding out how to take care of your Thanksgiving cactus can reward you with a display of beautiful flowers just in time for the holidays.

Do Thanksgiving cacti have two blooming seasons?

On occasion, in March, Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti bloom profusely. This sort of thing does occur occasionally. Even while these flowers are typically more sparse than those you’ll see during the holidays, don’t be shocked if you see them from March to May. The majority of holiday cactus bloom more than once per year, which is the cause. Look for any buds that are developing in the spaces between the leaf segments. Using the methods mentioned above, you can encourage them to blossom, or you can just watch to see what occurs.

At any time of year, take advantage of the vibrant blossoms and post images to our Facebook page!

How frequently do I need to water my Thanksgiving cactus?

Never water until the soil seems dry to the touch. The plant can die if it is overwatered. Aim for 60 to 65 degrees F in the room’s temperature range and plenty of indirect light. If you already have a Thanksgiving cactus from the previous year, you should start temperature and light treatments in mid-September to ensure that it blooms on schedule.

Cold hardiness for false Christmas cactus :

The Thanksgiving cactus is frequently referred to as a house plant. In the warmer zones 10 and up, you can grow it outdoors, in partial shade, all year round.

You should cultivate crab cactus as an indoor plant if your climate is colder than this. It will benefit from being moved outside during the summer.

Should I mist my cactus of thanksgiving?

The most frequent queries regarding raising a Thanksgiving cactus are addressed here. If yours isn’t addressed here, post a comment below with your query.

How fast does a Thanksgiving cactus grow?

A Thanksgiving cactus can develop quickly. They can reach their full size of 24 in just a few years with the right care.

It might be time to repot yours if it is growing extremely slowly, or you could try fertilizing it in the spring and summer.

Are Thanksgiving cactus indoor or outdoor plants?

Depending on where you live, Thanksgiving cacti can grow as either indoor or outdoor plants. In areas where the winters are frigid, they are frequently kept indoors as houseplants.

When the nighttime temperature is over 50°F in the spring and summer, they can be moved outside. In zones 9 through 11, gardeners may leave them outside all year.

Should I mist my Thanksgiving cactus?

If the air in your house is particularly dry, you should mist your Thanksgiving cactus. Humidity is crucial because they absorb moisture from the atmosphere. However, after sprinkling, don’t leave water on the leaves for too long to prevent decay.

How often should I water my Thanksgiving cactus?

Only water your Thanksgiving cactus frequently enough to maintain equally moist soil. Avoid over-drying it out to prevent shriveling or drooping leaf segments. To prevent the roots from rotting, do not allow it to become so wet that there is standing water.

How much light does a Thanksgiving cactus need?

Thanksgiving cacti require 8 to 10 hours of indirect, strong light each day, with 12 to 16 hours of total darkness in the early fall to stimulate flowering. They thrive outside in locations with dappled sunlight or partial shade.

It’s crucial to learn about Thanksgiving cactus maintenance so you can consistently enjoy the stunning, vibrant flowers. You’ll be able to raise Schlumbergera truncata for many years if you get the hang of it.

Get a copy of my eBook on winter houseplant care if you want to learn even more about how to keep your favorite indoor plants alive during the year’s coldest and darkest months. It will teach you everything you need to know to maintain their health all year long. Get your copy right away.

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

Contrary to your expectations, the Christmas Cactus enjoys water (swimming, water polo, and perhaps even a little skinny dipping!) and likes to be watered constantly, making sure to wet all of 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.

Are dogs poisoned by Thanksgiving cactus?

  • Holly (Ilex sp.). This shrub, which is frequently found around Christmas, can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Depression of the mind is also possible.
  • Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp). Abdominal pain, tremors, drooling, sadness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can all be brought on by ingestion.
  • Mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.). Another Christmas plant, this one can also produce considerable diarrhoea and vomiting. Additionally, this plant has been linked to respiratory problems, slowing heartbeats, collapse, and, in extreme cases, death. Even more bizarre behavior and possible hallucinations may be displayed by some animals.
  • Poinsettia (Euphorbia). This plant may cause nausea, vomiting, and mouth and stomach irritation. It is overrated as a toxic plant while having a low level of toxicity. Many individuals believe it to be essentially non-toxic.
  • Easter cactus, Christmas cactus, and Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera or Zygocactus). Large doses of this herb have been known to cause mental depression, mental vomiting, and potentially even bloody diarrhea in dogs. Usually, there are no toxicity symptoms with minor ingestions. These plants are regarded as low-toxic ones.