Why Is My Thanksgiving Cactus Blooming In March

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.

In March, can a Christmas cactus bloom?

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 blooms on Thanksgiving cacti?

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.

Can a spring blossom on a Christmas cactus?

Yes. In contrast to many other succulents, If the Christmas cactus is given the right conditions, it can bloom again in the spring. Christmas cactus can be encouraged to bloom once more by placing it in the east-facing window, which gets plenty of light during the day and 12 hours of darkness at night. &nbsp

As soon as the buds start to appear, which should be at least six to eight weeks from now, make sure your succulent is kept dark and cool.

Your Christmas cactus may experience bud growth followed by bud drop if it is exposed to drafts, excessive heat, sunlight, or water.

It can take up to twelve weeks for flowers to fully develop after the bud stage. Make sure to move the plant to a bright, draft-free area once it blooms. Put it somewhere that doesn’t get direct sunlight, though. You will see more blooming when it receives indirect bright sunlight. As your Christmas Cactus blooms, you should give it more water; the amount will depend on the temperature, the lighting, and the humidity.

Why is the Easter bloom on my Thanksgiving 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 causes the blooming of a Christmas cactus?

Thanksgiving cactus, holiday cactus, and crab cactus are all names for the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata). The leaf-shaped stem segments with curled, pointy teeth or claws around the margins are known as crabs. The leaf segments of the Easter cactus (Schlumbergera buckleyi) have rounded edges. They all came from wet, dark forests around the southeast coast of Brazil. Because they reside above ground in trees, where branches meet and decaying leaves and moss amass, they are categorized as epiphytes.

Although this plant has the moniker “cactus,” the maintenance it needs has nothing to do with its relatives in the desert. It is regarded as a type of woodland cactus. Its needs can be traced back to its beginnings. It is recommended for Christmas cactus to grow in “Potty trained That entails storing it in a small container for as long as possible before transferring it to a pot that is only marginally larger. They should not be allowed to dry out and like a thick organic potting mix. When the plant is blossoming, increase the watering. They favor direct, bright light. As the plants start to burn in full light, the leaf segments might turn a dark red color.

The “The two factors of light and temperature are the key to getting Christmas cacti to bloom in the years after purchase. These two hold the secret to the realm of flowers. Flowers are produced by Christmas cacti during a chilly, brief day cycle. It takes at least eight days of 16 hours of darkness and 8 hours of light every day for flower buds to begin to form. No matter where the plant is located, avoid using the lights at night, even for a little time. That ends the necessary dark cycle. Around 61 degrees should be the ambient temperature. Place the plant away from drafts of either cold or hot air.

All that is required is to set the Christmas cactus on the window sill in a chilly area without turning on the lights. In a brightly lit space, a plant’s side towards the window will frequently sprout buds, but not the other way around. It usually has to do with either receiving too much or not enough water or with there being insufficient humidity in the air if the plant sets flower buds and then they fall off. The good news is that if their temperature and light needs are met, Christmas cacti are thought to be rather simple to induce to bloom once more.