Easter Cactus

Our Easter Cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertnerii) is looking good and promising to be glorious before much longer. It’s on our list of succulents to propagate probably some time next month, along with the other two “holiday” cacti – Thanksgiving (Schlumbergia truncata) and Christmas (Schlumbergia bridgesti). They are all short day plants and to be induced to bloom must have 12-24 hours of darkness and cool temperatures. We use our spare bathroom for this. Christmas and ThanksgivingĀ  require about six weeks of short days to bloom, and Easter requires 8-12 weeks. Telling the three sorts apart is down to the shape of the leaves.
We seem to have examples of each. Thanksgiving has very pointed and claw shaped projections on the leaf edges, Christmas are more teardrop shaped, and Easter has very rounded edges. It’s been interesting to stay out of the wind and do the research – thanks to Iowa State University!
Don’t overwater and they will last generations – there are reports of some examples being over 100 years old.

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