What about sprucing up your home with a dash of color? Choosing the Easter cactus is an excellent option! Long-lasting, easy-care plants like this one are a favorite of both novice and seasoned houseplant enthusiasts alike because of its wide selection of color options.
Cacti native to the Brazilian jungle are well-known for their stunning and prodigious blooms, which appear around Easter time. Aside from being closely related to the Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus, the Easter cactus (Rhipsalideae gaertneri) belongs to the Rhipsalidea family, which is separate from the Schlumbergera family. Easter cacti have smoother leaves with fewer ridges than Christmas or Thanksgiving cacti, which makes them easy to differentiate from the others despite their similar growth rates, leaf forms, and blooms.
What is the Difference Between a Christmas Cactus and an Easter Cactus?
The Schlumbergera family includes the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti, whereas the Rhipsalidopsis family includes the Easter cactus. Brazilian rainforests are home to the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti, whereas Easter cacti thrive in drier regions. It’s the time of year when Christmas cactus blossoms. Bloom time for Easter cacti is from mid-winter to early April. Segments, which are flattened stems, are serrated on the margins of both types. The plant’s leaves are represented by the segments.
About Easter Cactus Plant
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, known as the Easter cactus plant, is available in a range of colors. They are popular Christmas gifts because they are usually in bloom when purchased. There are many different shades of pink and lavender in the flowers that I’ve seen. Even after it has finished blooming, the plant’s distinctive shape continues to attract attention. A rickety stacked appearance is created by new growth being added to the segments. There are no sharp nodes on the leaf margins like in a desert cactus; instead, the leaves feature soft, rounded nodes. Because of the unique set of circumstances required for an Easter cactus to bloom the next year, it can be considered neglectful.
Rhipsalidopsis, or Spring Cactus, blooms in a rainbow of colors from March through May, bringing brightness to the landscape. Their long-lasting, star-shaped blooms open at dawn and close at dusk. In the eastern Brazilian forests, Easter Cacti are native epiphytes and grow in the higher stories of the trees. Gardeners can benefit from learning about a plant’s native habitat because it gives them insight into how to cultivate the plant successfully.
Adaptation to the Environment
Characteristics That Set You Apart
The Secrets of Flowering
There must also be a cool spell where nighttime temperatures fall into the upper 50s to just above freezing for a few months. The plants can be left outside later in the fall (as long as the temperature is above freezing) or they can be kept in a cool area of your home. Flower buds set when nighttime temperatures are kept at or below 60 degrees Fahrenheit for a few months.
The Right Time to Repot Your Plants
a collection of Easter-themed cacti from Logee
Easter Cactus Care
Cactaceae family members Easter cacti require a different level of care than desert cacti. In lower temperatures, they prefer nutrient-rich soil that is not exposed to direct sunlight. Epiphytic cactus native to Brazil’s jungles, Easter cacti are also known as Easter eggs. Easter cactus are a type of epiphyte, meaning they don’t grow in soil, but rather on rocks, trees, and other living things. However, while Easter cactus like potting mixes with proper aeration for their roots because they are commonly cultivated as houseplants, they cannot thrive in dense, compacted soil.
With the correct conditions, healthy plants will blossom lavishly, as is the case with Easter cacti. For Easter cacti to bloom, you need long nights and cool temps in the late winter or early spring. During the late summer, you should also stop fertilizing and watering your Easter cactus. Early spring blossoming will be encouraged by the stress conditions that have been put in place.
The Easter cactus, a native forest understory plant, is used to thriving in partially shaded areas. A bright, indirect light source is ideal for your Easter cacti. Because of the leaves’ spongy texture, direct sunlight can burn them.
Easter cacti thrive in soil mixtures rich in organic matter and permeable enough to allow good airflow to their roots as an epiphyte. Perlite, coco coir, peat moss and orchid bark are the best ingredients to use in your mix. Composting or using other organic fertilizers on a regular basis will keep the soil rich in nutrients.
Water thoroughly after allowing the soil to become completely dry between applications. Because the Easter cactus’ roots do not tolerate being soggy, it is critical that the pot have adequate drainage. It is best to reduce watering in the fall and winter to promote blooming.
Temperature and Humidity
The Easter cactus, unlike other members of the Cactaceae family, prefers milder temperatures. Cold conditions are actually necessary for them to bloom. When temperatures drop to 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit at night, the Easter cactus begins to bloom (13-16 degrees Celsius).
Easter cacti thrive under normal household humidity, despite their preference for humid settings. However, if your house is really dry, you may want to use a humidifier or a pebble tray to add additional humidity.
It is recommended to fertilize Easter cacti on a regular basis because they are high feeders. After the blooming time has over, use a 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer once a month. Composted soil or other organic fertilizers can be added to the soil each year to keep it nutrient-rich.
Propagating Easter Cactus
There are many ways to propagate the Easter cactus. Take care not to damage the base by twisting a leaf off at the leaf terminal. Upon separation, the leaves can be reinserted into the soil. With a grown Easter cactus, you would irrigate the leaves once the roots had sprouted. It’s preferable to start propagating a few months after the plant has finished blooming.
Potting and Repotting Easter Cactus
Easter cactus thrive in pots and just require repotting every other year or so to maintain their healthy roots. If there is still room in the current pot, don’t raise the pot size and simply replant it in the same container.. Choosing a pot that is 2-3 inches wider than the previous pot is good if you need to size up a pot. In spring, after the blooming period has passed, repotting is the optimum time.
Easter cacti are susceptible to common indoor plant pests such mealybugs, scale, and fungus gnats. Overwatering or the use of ineffective soil mixes can cause root rot, but this is more common than you might think.
Winter care and transplanting
How can a winter spring cactus be cared for? Plants must go into hibernation from December through March. By reducing watering and stopping feeding, you can encourage dormancy in your plants.
Transfer the plants from sunset to sunrise to a dark place with temperatures between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Spring cactus may also need to be relocated at some point. If the plant stops blooming after three years in its current pot, be careful to repot it in a larger, more suitable container.
Cacti mix should be placed in a new container that is larger than the prior one.
How To Propagate Spring Cactus
Leaf cuttings are the most popular method of propagating spring cactus. Because you may plant them right away, this procedure is simple. If your spring cactus is mature enough, you can also divide it.
Remove the entire leaf sections (i.e., the stem with two to three segments) and let them to dry for a week when beginning a spring cactus from leaf cuttings. A succulent and cactus mix can then be used to root these portions half an inch deep before repotting them a month later. ‘ Make sure their medium doesn’t dry out by now, as they should be well-established enough to survive the move to the next container.
Succulents and cacti are popular choices for home gardeners. Having a spring cactus in your home will give you something to look forward to in the spring, around Easter time. For the most part, the spring cactus is a simple plant to care for and may be grown indoors.
The greenhouse allows you to manage the light, temperature, and humidity in your home. Otherwise, look for a bright, warm, and humid spot in your home. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, water the cactus only when the medium is completely dry.
You don’t have to worry about spring cacti’s most prevalent issues because they can be avoided with a few simple precautions. During the winter months, encourage your plant to go into dormancy so that it can better survive. After a few years, you can either move it to a larger container or try leaf cuttings or division for further propagation.