Holiday Cactus Easter Thanksgiving and Christmas Care

There is some confusion between the different Holiday Cacti, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Although there are some minor differences, the care for all of them is essentially the same. 

Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter Cacti Differences

Thanksgiving cactus and Christmas cactus belong to the same family of plants, but they bloom at different times.

Thanksgiving cactus usually blooms from November through December. Christmas cactus usually blooms from December into January.

Even though they look similar, the Easter cactus actually belongs to a completely different plant group. They also bloom around Easter, and they have more scalloped leaves.

Christmas Cactus Lighting

You want them in an area with lots of bright natural light. You don’t want them placed in a spot the gets direct sunlight though; that can bleach out the foliage and cause it to burn.

Low-light situations are also acceptable but they bloom the best with more light. The is also healthier under well lit conditions. 

Christmas Cactus Watering

Check them weekly and see if they are due for a watering. This type of cactus is very different from other cacti that you may be familiar with.

They are an epiphytic cactus which means they grow off of rocks and plants, not in soil, allowing their roots to breathe.

Water your plants thoroughly and allow the water to drain away from the pot. Since they do not tolerate sogginess, if you have your cactus sitting in a saucer and water collects in the saucer be sure to pour it out before placing it back under the plant.

The temperature where you have a cactus will determine how frequently you should water it. The size of the pot, the season, and the amount of water the cactus receives will all influence how often you should water it.

Generally, indoor cactus plants need watering from one to three weeks depending on various factors mentioned above.

I just check mine about once a week and water the soil when it dries out.So, if the weather’s humid, you’ll probably use a little less water, and if the weather’s dry, you’ll use a little more.

Christmas Cactus Soil Mix

Plant them in a cactus mix. The roots need to breathe, so using a very porous and fast draining mix such as cactus mix will ensure their longevity.

Christmas cacti actually tend to bloom and perform better when pot bound. That is why they are usually not repotted often.

You should repot them every two to three years. To repot, simply make sure to wait until a couple of months after their bloom cycle is over. This usually happens in early spring.

Christ Cactus Temperature

Christmas cactus likes temperatures in the 65 to 75 degree range with slightly cooler nighttime temperatures.

They need cooler temperatures so they can establish and maintain their flower buds.These are also not a hardy cactus, so if you keep them outside during the summer, then make sure to bring them inside before it gets really cold.

Christmas Cactus Humidity

Maintain a higher level of humidity around your cactus. If you live in a humid region, you’ll probably be alright. On the other hand, if you live in a dry region, you’ll need to create false humidity.

Your Christmas cactus can be placed on top of a saucer filled with pebbles and water, just make sure that the pot’s bottom is higher than the water and they don’t touch.

Humidity builds up around your cactus, as the water evaporates, creating an ideal humid growing environment. This is a cheaper option compared to buying a humidifier. 

Christmas Cactus Fertilizing

Don’t skip fertilizing. Holiday Cacti don’t really require a lot of fertilizer, but it helps them grow a lot during their regular season.

I’ll start fertilizing once per month once the new growth emerges in the spring through mid-summer.

Do not fertilize during the bloom cycle, usually from late summer through winter.

Start this process about 8 to 12 weeks before you want your flowers to bloom. This usually happens during late September or late October.

Place them in complete darkness for 12 to 14 hours and at temperatures of about 50-55 degrees. The other 10 to 12 hours they can spend out in the light at temperatures between 50-65 degrees.

How to Get Your Holiday Cactus to Bloom. 

When growing Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus, and Thanksgiving Cactus you have to give them a hand to help them set new buds in bloom. 

To bloom, your cactus needs longer periods of darkness, cooler temperatures, and less moisture.

Once buds begin to appear you can bring your cactus back out to the place where you want to display them and resume a normal care routine. 

Provided there is sufficient light and some cooling at night, the flowers should develop normally. However, any drastic changes in light, temperature, or humidity can cause bud drop. 

The buds will simply fall off the plant and will not blossom which is a common problem for holiday cactus owners.

In order to bring your plants back into a warm bright spot, acclimate them slowly into the light.

Christmas Cactus Pruning

Prune your plant yearly, if necessary. If your plant has a nice, beautiful shape, you don’t need to worry about pruning; however, if you have a gangly looking plant, you might want to prune it back to encourage branching.

During pruning, cut between two leaf segments. If you have a super out-of-control plant, you can actually take your whole Holiday cactus down by nearly one third each year without causing any damage.

Christmas Cactus Propagation

Propagating Holiday cactus is easy. You can even use the cuttings you made when pruning and propagate them. 

Let those cut ends heal and callus over for a few days. Put them in cactus soil mix about a half inch deep, keep them lightly moist, and after about two weeks they’ll sprout new roots.

Christmas Cactus Diseases and Pests

Watch for stress, disease and pests. Over-watering is probably the biggest stressor for Holiday cactus. It can cause a host of problems, mostly root and stem rot.

You’ll notice your plant’s foliage get shriveled and limp, then the whole plant will wilt, or you’ll see whole branches die and fall off.

An overly wet soil can attract fungus gnats. Avoid all of the problems by not over-watering. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. 

Keeping your cactus in its plastic nursery pot is not recommended, keep it in a breathable terracotta clay pot. 

Holiday cacti aren’t prone to insect problems, but if you notice pests you can use insecticides. 

If your cactus starts to turn reddish it’s getting too much Sun or it’s not getting enough water. Providing it with these elements will help it get healthy again. 

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your plants so that you can notice the problems early. 

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The three cacti are tropical epiphytic cacti native to the rainforests of Central and South America. 

The three cacti are tropical epiphytic cacti native to the rainforests of Central and South America. 

They are beautiful plants that plant owners should consider adding to their collection. I hope this post on Holiday Cactus Easter Thanksgiving and Christmas Care guide helped you. Don’t forget to pin it and also follow me on Flowerthings Pinterest. 

Holiday Cactus Easter Thanksgiving and Christmas Care guide



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