Why Is My Thanksgiving Cactus Blooming In February

At the Information Desk, we occasionally receive inquiries that appear more complicated than they actually are. “Why is my Christmas Cactus flowering in March?” was this week’s riddle. This is actually pretty easy to answer: Because it is an Easter Cactus and not a Christmas Cactus.

Most people imagine Christmas Cactus when they see this plant. By the end of the year, you can get them almost anywhere – in grocery stores, big-box retailers, or even in white, red, or pink hues.

Three distinct cactus from the same family have collectively come to be known as “Christmas Cactus.” What most people mistakenly believe to be a “Christmas cactus” is actually a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter cactus. How do you distinguish between the two? Is it currently in bloom? Which month is it now? Is it early November, late December, or the end of winter/beginning of spring? You may get a major hint from that. The leaves, though, are where you can really tell them apart.

The leaf parts of all three plants are mushy and flat. The edges of the leaves on Thanksgiving cactus are longer and curled. The Easter cactus has only gently scalloped leaf margins, whereas the Christmas cactus has smaller, more right-angle-like projections. These succulents are part of the Schlumbergera genius of succulents (although Easter cactus has multiple accepted names: Schlumbergera gaertneri, Phipsalidopsis gaertnerii, Rhipsalidopsis gaetneri or Hatiora gaetneri). The Brazilian woodlands are home to all three.

These cacti have a very long lifespan and are frequently passed down within families from one generation to the next. This image is from a Bismarck Tribune article about a family’s cactus, which is 111 years old. Writer Ann Parr wrote about her family’s 150+ year old cactus in response to a news article about a 145 year old cactus owned by a family in Bozeman, Montana.

“Christmas Cactus” is a deceptive popular name. These plants are not drought-resistant, sun-loving cactus. Due to their native habitat of the treetops of Brazil’s coastal mountain ranges, they want bright, filtered sunlight and regular watering to prevent their potting soil from drying up altogether. They thrive in pots, which makes them much simpler to care for since they don’t need to be replanted.

They should be cared for like a houseplant once the blossoms have faded. They should be watered frequently and should be in bright light but not direct sunlight. If their pots are put in dappled shade, they are watered frequently, and they are taken inside before nightly lows of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they can be cultivated outside during the summer. You may have a healthy, happy plant by fertilizing it once a year in late spring or early summer.

How to get Christmas Cactus to bloom again after the first year is the most typical query people have about them. Cooler temperatures and extended nights are necessary for blooms. Because they are short-day plants, these cacti bloom when it is a long, cool, dark night. For between 3 and 6 weeks, they require between 14 and 16 hours of nonstop darkness and 8 hours of daylight to form flower buds. You can either choose a room in your home that is rarely used at night and install them near a window, or cover streetlights and interior lights each night to maintain their required darkness cycle. It will be much better if the room’s temps are a little lower. Their preferred overnight temperature ranges from 50 to 68 degrees. You can return the plant to its original location in your house as flower buds start to form along the leaf edges so you can enjoy the blossoms.

Be cautious while including them in drafts. Bud decline may result from drafts. A few buds falling off is typical, but if the plant loses all of its buds at once due to a draft, you’re out of luck for another year.

You may get a lovely, free leaflet about the maintenance and growth of Holiday Cactus from Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University here.

How often does a Thanksgiving cactus bloom each year?

A Thanksgiving cactus will bloom once a year in the late fall if the appropriate circumstances are met. Thanksgiving cacti: How Long Do They Live? Holiday cacti are frequently handed down through the generations due to their extraordinarily long lifespan. With the right care, a Thanksgiving cactus can live up to 100 years.

Is it normal for my Christmas cactus to bloom in January?

“What went wrong when my grandmother’s Christmas cactus was about to bloom?


Hello Martha In addition, I “Right now, the Christmas cactus is flowering, so I’m loving the flowers and referring to it as my Winter cactus. In Missouri, these tough tropical plants require a little assistance in order to bloom on schedule. They have meteorological triggers in their native Brazil that cause them to blossom in December, the start of the South American summer.

If it was a gift from your grandma, your cactus might be the more mature, authentic Christmas cactus. Today’s market’s majority of cacti are actually Thanksgiving cacti, which explains why they often bloom at the end of November.

Look at the green fronds to identify the type of cactus you have. Thanksgiving cacti (Schlumbergera truncata) have sharp, jagged edges while the original Christmas cacti (Schlumbergera bridgesii) have smooth, round edges.

Since I put it outside on my back porch in the fall, mine has begun to blossom. Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus are “short day plants,” which means they need fewer daylight hours and/or cool nighttime temperatures in order to generate flower buds. The plants begin to form buds as the days become shorter and the nights get cooler in the fall.

Place your Christmas cactus indoors in a cool, light area where daily temperatures are 65–70 F and nighttime temps are 55–65 F if you want it to bloom when you want it to. Plants will blossom in about 5 to 6 weeks if they are exposed to colder night temperatures of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, sometimes regardless of how long the days are.

Since they bloom whenever they decide it’s the proper time, I don’t mind if they do so out of season. Perhaps you could write a note to Santa Claus as well?

In February, what cactus blooms?

You probably enjoyed an abundance of vibrant flowers in November or December if you followed my beginner’s plant care guide for the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera), and now you’re wondering if you have to wait a full year before your plant blooms once more.

Christmas cactus may genuinely rebloom in February with the right care and environmental factors; the same is true for Thanksgiving cactus and other indoor plants simply referred to as “holiday cactus.”

Here’s how to continue enjoying your holiday cactus’ flowers long after the season has over.

Could a Thanksgiving cactus produce two blooms?

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 often do Christmas cacti bloom each year?

Whichever one you have, it’s possible for them to bloom more than once a year. For Your Reference, Here Are A Few Of Our General Houseplant Guides: Watering Indoor Plants: A Guide. Beginner’s Guide To Plant Repotting.