Easter Cactus: How to Grow and Care for Them?

Al Ardh Alkhadra > Blog > Gardening > Easter Cactus: How to Grow and Care for Them?

easter cactus

If you are looking for plants that can help you add color to your home, you can have Easter Cactus.

Easter cactus is their perfect choice to add a little color to either your home or garden, especially around the Easter holiday.

This tropical cactus is popular for its gorgeous and prolific star-shaped blooms.

Easter cactus is native to Braalina rainforests that have flowers.

Its color ranges from white to red to purple.

Known as a long-lived, easy-to-grow plant, it is one of the most popular choices among beginners and even experienced houseplant lovers.

The fully grown cactus looks like a shrub.

However, in the wild, the cacti grow on trees or rocks only, so you will need to provide a special potting mixture to keep them healthy in your home.

Keep on reading to learn more.

Fast Facts about Easter Cactus

Some fast facts about easter cactus are:

Common Name Easter cactus, spring cactus
Botanical Name Rhipsalideae gaertneri
Family Cactaceae
Plant Type Cactus
Mature Size 2 ft. wide, 2 ft. tall
Sun Exposure Partial sun
Soil Type Loamy, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic (6.0 to 6.5)
Bloom Time Winter, spring
Flower Color Red, pink, orange, purple, white
Hardiness Zones 10, 11, USA
Native Area South America

Easter Cactus Care

Though they are a part of the Cactaceae family, an Easter cactus needs care that is different from a typical desert cactus.

It tends to thrive in cooler temperatures and is unable to tolerate direct sun.

Moreover, this plant needs nutrient-rich soil.

easter cactus 1

Easter cacti are epiphyte cacti, native to the rainforests of Brazil.

As an epiphyte, this cactus does not grow in the soil in its natural habitat, however, it grows on rocks, trees, and other plants.

While an easter cactus is grown in soil as a houseplant, it is unable to survive in dense, compacted soil, and requires loose potting mixes that provide adequate aeration to its roots.

Light, Soil, and Water Requirements

As a natural forest understory plant, this cactus is accustomed to growing in locations that are partly sheltered from the sun

Indirect sunlight is the best option to help this plant thrive in your home or garden.

Moreover, as an epiphyte, Easter cacti will do best in porous soil mixes that help to provide good airflow to their roots and are also rich in organic matter.

A mix of coco coir, peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark is ideal for this plant.

Therefore, you should regularly amend the soil with compost or other organic fertilizers that will help to keep the soil rich in nutrients.

On the other hand, you should make sure to allow the soil to dry out between waterings, then water thoroughly until the water begins to drain out of the bottom.

This plant cannot tolerate having its roots waterlogged.

Therefore, make sure that the pot has proper drainage.

Do not let water sit in the saucer after watering this plant.

Cut back on watering during the late fall to early winter as it will help to encourage blooming.

Temperature, Humidity, and Fertilizing Requirements

Unlike other plants in the Cactaceae family, the Easter Cacti plant loves to thrive in cooler temperatures.

In fact, this plant will need cold temperatures in order to bloom.

Moreover, the Easter Cacti tends to bloom at nighttime, at temperatures ranging between 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Easter Cacti enjoy humid environments and will do well in typical household humidity levels.

However, in case your home is especially dry, it is a good idea to provide extra humidity with a humidifier or a pebble tray.

It is important to note that planters or gardeners consider the Easter Cacti high feeder and will do well with regular fertilization.

About 2 months after your plant completely finishes blooming, you can apply a balanced fertilizer like a 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Do this once a month until you need to prepare it for its bloom phase.

Furthermore, amending the soil with the help of compost or other organic fertilizer on yearly basis will also help to keep the soil nutrient-rich.

Pruning Easter Cactus

It is important to note that pruning the Easter Cacti is an optional process.

However, it will help with reblooming for the next year.

The one rule you need to keep in mind is to prune them right after the plant flowers in the spring and while it is still in its active growth phase.

Do not wait to prune your plant in the fall or winter.

In order to prune your plant, focus on breaking off the top leaf pad from the stem at the joint.

For this, you can use fingers or a disinfected garden scissor.

If you, however, create an uneven break, make sure to trim that off.

Pruning will help to encourage the growth of new stems for a bushier plant with more blooms.

Learn more about Essential Garden Tools that You Must Have here.

Propagating Easter Cactus

You can grow Easter cactus from seeds or cuttings, while harvesting seeds can be challenging because you have to pollinate the plant.

Then harvest the seeds and keep your patience while waiting to see if the seeds thrive or not.

For this very reason, it is more convenient and much easier to propagate the Easter cactus with cutting.

You can propagate them two to three months after the blooming period.

propagation

Follow the steps below to do so:

  • gently twist the leaf off at the leaf terminal, while making sure to be careful not to break the base
  • once you separate the leaf, stick the bottom of the leaves back into a small cup or pot of soil, making sure that at least half of the leaf is in the dirt
  • lightly mist the leaves of the plant
  • place plastic bags over the cuttings to keep the moisture
  • wait to water the leaves until roots begin to sprout a few weeks and then repot them
  • water as you would a mature Easter cactus

Potting and Repotting Easter Cactus

Your Easter cacti will love being snug and pot-bound.

You will only need to repot them every two years to refresh the soil.

However, in case there is still room in the current pot, do not increase the pot size and just plant it back in the same container.

If you need to size up a pot, choosing a pot that is about 2 to 3 inches wider than the previous one is ideal.

Moreover, clay pots are best to help with both aeration and drainage.

Many experts advise that you should repot your plant in the spring after the blooming period.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Common indoor plant pests can be a problem for your Easter Cacti.

These include:

Moreover, root rot can also be a problem for your plant.

However, it is often a result of overwatering or improper soil that you are using for your plant.

How to get your plant to Bloom?

Easter cacti are popular for their stunning flowers and healthy plants will bloom if you provide the right conditions.

In most cases, the Easter Cacti flowers in the late winter to early spring.

They will require long nights and cool temperatures before blooming.

About two months before the blooming period in the spring, you can stop fertilizing the plant and give it equal amounts of darkness and indirect light.

easter cactus 2

Moreover, keep the cactus cool at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night and warm during the day in the light.

However, do not put the plant near a heater or other heating source.

The warmth will speed up the start of the blooming period.

After the blooming period, you can begin preparing for flowering during the next year.

Also, after your plant blooms and it is not in its active growth phase, you can cut back on watering until mid-winter when you will begin the dark and light process all over again.

These stress conditions will help to encourage prolific blooming come next year’s early spring.

Common Problems

It is important to note that the Easter Cactus is an easy-going plant, however, in some cases, you will spot a problem.

In most cases, the problem is from overwatering, so make sure to check for root rot, cut away any affected roots with sterile scissors, and repot.

And underwatering the plant can also cause problems, so begin with small sips of water if you are neglecting it. so it is getting too much light, so move your plant.

Dropping Leaves

Your cactus may look like it is falling apart if the pads fall off. The cause can be that your plant is stressed for either:

  • overwatering
  • underwatering

So, you can always take the pads that fall off and root them in potting soil for new plants.

Wilting

When your Easter cactus is wilting, it means that your plant is stressed from overwatering or underwatering, or it is getting too much direct sunlight.

common problems

Leaves Turning Yellow

You may need to repot your cactus.

When the leaves begin to turn yellow, this means that your plant needs new soil while in the previous one it is unable to properly drain.

Therefore, check for root rot and repot your plant.

The Bottom Line

With the help of hybridization, you can see beautiful and unusual plants for decorating your home. One of them is Easter Cactus.

The holiday plant is a hybrid of Brazilian forest cactus and these segmented plants bloom at certain times of the year, which is why they have holiday designations.

This plant blooms late in winter to early spring and has flat stems o segments that are lightly serrated on the edges. These segments are leaves of the plant.

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