All About Easter Cactus
The Easter cactus is a tropical cactus native to Brazil where it grows in rainforest. As the name suggests, these bloom right around Easter and are often given as spring gifts. Under the right conditions, they will bloom every spring. Once you learn all about caring for Easter Cactus, you’ll have blooms for years to come!
Of the three Holiday Cacti, Easter is the only one with star-shaped flowers and bristles on the leaf segments. Flowers can be white, pink, red, or purple. It also grows the smallest and is slightly more difficult than the Thanksgiving and Christmas Catus to care for.
As aside from the beautiful flowers, another feature that makes this plant highly desirable is that it is non-toxic and Pet Safe.
How To Care for Easter Cactus
All Holiday Cacti are epiphytes and grow from trees and rocks in their native Brazilian Rainforest environment. Unlike terrestrial plants, they prefer airy, loose soil and will struggle to survive in compact soil mixes. This is easily accomplished by adding orchid bark and perlite to traditional potting mixes found in most stores.
You can pot them up an inch or two once the roots start growing out of the bottom of the pot. Keep in mind that the Easter Cactus does remain relatively small and won’t require potting up very often.
The average temperature and humidity in most home environments is perfect for these tropical plants. They love a bright, sunny window, especially during the cooler months but avoid direct summer sun.
Read on to learn more about caring for Easter Cactus ……
USDA Zone 10-11
They don’t like to completely dry out like desert cacti so water when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. If you are unsure, stick your finger in the soil. Too much water can cause root rot.
These are medium-sized plants growing to around 2 feet wide. They can be kept compact and full by pruning. Read on to learn how.
They prefer bright, indirect light but can grow well in medium-light situations. They will survive in low light but not thrive.
Use an airy potting mix that drains well. Incorporate orchid bark and perlite into regular soil to create more airflow.
They are native to South America and like 50% or higher humidity levels.
Easter Cactus is non-toxic and safe for children and pets. Find more pet-safe plants here.
Fertilize every three months during the growing season with Green Grub Insect Frass. You can either make a compost tea to water with every time or sprinkle a layer of fertilizer on top of the soil. If using synthetic, use an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer with a balanced ratio.
Propagate by stem cuttings. Read on for propagation instructions.
How to propagate Easter Cactus
Propagating Easter cactus is easy and encourages bushier growth! It’s best to wait until after your plant finishes blooming in the spring to take cuttings.
1. Take a stem cutting from your plant that has two to three leaf sections on it. Make your cut where the two sections meet.
2. Place the cuttings in a dry, well-ventilated place for 24 hours while the cuts callus over.
3. Place the stem one inch deep into a potting mix or into a cup of water for water rooting.
4. Keep the soil moist and warm for best rooting conditions and you should have root growth in a couple of weeks. You can use this method to create new plants from cuttings or to fill out a current plant and make it larger and bushier.
Getting Your Easter Cactus to Bloom
All of the Holiday Cacti are triggered to bloom when temperatures drop or rise due to seasonal changes. The Easter cactus blooms when temperatures and sunlight increase during the spring.
Depending on where you live and the temperature inside your home, you may need to remind your cactus that winter has passed and now it’s spring and time to bloom.
If you keep your house on the warm side, your plant may not realize it’s winter. It may be necessary to move it to a cooler, darker spot for a few months. Easter Cacti will need temperatures that drop to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night and roughly 9 hours of sunlight per day. Just make sure the temperatures don’t drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit which can cause cold damage.
After your Easter Cactus has experienced winter, move it back to a warm, sunny spot for spring. Once it senses the change in temperatures and sunlight, it’ll bloom!
Another tip, these bloom better when they are slightly root bound.