Christmas Cactus – The flowers are usually white or red but occasionally may be yellow. I’ve had a Christmas cactus for 3 years and it has NEVER bloomed. As noted, it is not possible to always predict precisely when any of these three plants will bloom. The range of flowering is late November through early February. But these three groups are all members of leaf cacti. They’re native to the natural non-tropical forests of Brazil. It's doing really, really well and this was actually was given to me [??? This video is not the best quality but it does accurately show close-ups of the Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus and Easter Cactus. It is almost mandatory to have a soil moisture meter on hand if you want to optimally water an Easter Cactus. Most “Christmas cactus” seen in stores during the holiday season are actually Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) because they bloom slightly earlier than true Christmas cactus (S. bridgesii or S. xbuckleyi). Laura with Garden Answer. A stressed plant is a flowering plant it’s a natural reaction to wanting to propagate. This ensures you will be able to provide the best care possible. Flowers are symmetrical being evenly distributed around each flower tube. Easter: Why Is It a Different Date Each Year? The Thanksgiving Cactus anthers are yellow but they are purplish-brown on the Christmas Cactus. The Easter Cactus, however, very rarely flowers again outside of its springtime blooming. From the University of Minnesota Extension – Holiday cacti: Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, and Easter cactus  “They can also be very long-lived. From Clemson University – Thanksgiving & Christmas Cacti  “To distinguish between the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti, look at the shape of the flattened stem segments, which are botanically called phylloclades. If you do not feel a point or claw and you also don’t feel anything on the flat end or tip of the leaf it is a Christmas Cactus. Light & Temperature:The holiday cacti grow best in light shade. Leaves: The leaves of the Christmas cactus have a more rounded, scalloped edge. Maybe she is root bound. These succulents have leaves with small bristles and a thick ridge on one side. Are they sterile? These plants really do very well when neglected. Interested in becoming a guest author? And you’ll have a story to tell! Welllllll- Merry Christmas to me- ITS BLOOMING! Collectively and even individually they are sometimes referred to as ‘Holiday Cactus’. They’re very resilient, see if it bounces back. Plant sits under covered patio and against outside wall of house facing North. It is usually more difficult to grow the Easter Cactus than the Christmas Cactus or the Thanksgiving Cactus. Thanks! [Transcript] All righty guys pardon the jiggly camera for just a second. Put another way, the stem edges are smooth and crenellated (slightly notched) but never toothed or jagged like the Thanksgiving Cactus. Flowers are symmetrical being evenly distributed around each flower tube. The Christmas cactus is the plant on the left while the thanksgiving cactus is the one on the right. No one wants to be the culprit who let the beautiful…, This video shows a neglected Zebra Cactus making a comeback and it even has a flower stalk. Here’s how to tell them apart: Leaves: You can tell the Thanksgiving cactus apart from the Christmas cactus by the shape of its leaves. Copyright ©2021. Their flowers’ outer leaves curl back towards the stem giving the flower an interesting tubular shape. They resemble a long tube, appearing as if a flower within a flower. Setting in window! True Christmas cacti (S. xbuckleyi) have smooth, round leaf edges while Thanksgiving cacti … When nighttime temps fall between 55 and 60, buds will begin to form. Here’s a startling revelation: you may have a Thanksgiving cactus instead of a Christmas cactus! The Thanksgiving cactus blooms a bit earlier than the Christmas cactus. Now in this video I'm going to tell you how you can tell the difference between a Thanksgiving Cactus and a Christmas Cactus and I show the two comparisons between the two. It is blooming now. Please visit often and enjoy our newly posted "how-to" articles and other content. But don’t be surprised if you also see blooms between March and May on these plants. All three Holiday cacti can be propagated quite easily by removing a single segment and planting it a quarter of its length deep in a pot filled with slightly sandy soil. The majority of the videos that you find online incorrectly identify these three cacti. If you’re hoping to get blooms in time for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’ll need to begin temperature treatments several weeks before. Enjoy! Mine is about seven years old. CHRISTMAS CACTUS vs. THANKSGIVING CACTUS. Your Thanksgiving Cactus will begin to bloom in November, just in time for Thanksgiving, while your Christmas Cactus will begin to bloom a few weeks later in December, in time for all your holiday and Christmas festivities. Beautiful blooms. It typically begins to bloom in November and the Christmas cactus in December. Even though holiday cactus plants tend to look similar, look more closely at the leaves. Easter cacti also have flattened leaves with rounded teeth, but their flowers are broader and almost daisy-like, whereas the flowers of … Full sunlight is beneficial during fall and winter, but bright sun during the summer months can make plants look pale and yellow. If you do not feel points or claws but you do feel numerous small soft bristles on the tip end of the leaf it is an Easter Cactus. Not only do they look similar, without close examination, but they are mislabeled by sellers possibly more than any other succulents. I sit my out every on the porch every summer and bring it in before it gets to cold, by the time i am bringing it in it has buds forming, nothing special in the way of caring for it.It just keeps on blooming a long time. There are several things that play a key role in helping a Thanksgiving Cactus to bloom at the right time. I was given this plant when my daughter passed away so it is special to me. We’ve had a…, Pruning a Corn Plant, Dracaena massangeana the Right Way Pruning a Corn Plant, Dracaena massangeana the proper way can make a huge difference in how it looks and also can effect the health of the plant. Moved from one place to another. The flowers are more star-shaped than the other two ‘Holiday Cactus.’  It typically blooms in the spring months of April and May. Or Become a Member for Even More Features! It now I know they are Thanksgiving ones. And that's the - the only way really you can tell the difference obviously the leaf and the flowers and that's really all it is to it, very easy to identify…. As if that wasn’t enough distinguishing characteristics, its flowers are also shaped differently–without the reflexing petals and one sided flowers of Schlumbergera truncata, the Thanksgiving or “Holiday” cactus. Now this one up I hear is the Schlumbergera truncata which is actually the true Thanksgiving Cactus and it has the edges are slightly sharp on the leaf edging and they sort of resemble a little bit like a crab's claw as you can see on here and that is the truth Thanksgiving Cactus. Was a cutting from my mother in laws plant. If the photo was aligned correctly the flowers would be pendulant (drooping down), not horizontal. So you know whether you have a real Christmas Cactus or a Thanksgiving one. I must be doing something right but then my friends tell me I have a green thumb with all my plants. Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus: What’s the Difference? Read: Tips to Care for your Christmas Cactus and Poinsettias. It’s not uncommon for this to happen. Can I put my xmas cactus outside in April I live in NC, I live in NC can I put my xmas cactus outside in the last of April, That was very interesting. The Thanksgiving cactus has flowers that face outwards and the plant comes in a … Pruning a Corn Plant, Dracaena Massangeana, Growing Zebra Haworthia – Flowering Haworthia Fasciata, Trimming Elongated Stretched Out Succulents, Succulent Gardening with Children – Easy Guide, Aloe Vera for Skin Care and Other Conditions, Jade Plant Bonsai Tree – How to Grow and Maintain. Soil needs for Christmas cactus Is there a really a difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus, or are they actually the same plant (with lighting levels manipulated to produce blooms on desired holidays)? The true Christmas cactus, S. ×buckleyi, blooms a month or so later than the Thanksgiving cactus and is usually in bloom after the holidays are past. The serrated edges form into points. This year, we stuck it in the greenhouse in the Spring. The Easter Cactus shape is merely slight indentations. The tip of each segment is slightly curved but they can look almost straight across. The Christmas Cactus stems arch up but then droop farther down. The Christmas cactus has hanging flowers in shades of magenta and blooms, of course, near Christmas. Since there are many dozens of hybrids that have been developed from each one of these cacti don’t worry if you are still finding it difficult to identify what you have. Hi Barbara, thanks for sharing. Also, I never put them anywhere dark for weeks. This is why these succulents are referred to as “Crab Claw Cactus.” The end of the last segment is slightly concave with a point on each side. my thankgiving was sitting in water for a while i dumped out the water should i throw it out it is looking better. Blooms all over mine now. In fact, it is not uncommon to have years that the Easter Cactus produces no blooms at all. The flowers are more pendulous and droop straight down from the ovary. Your plant will need 12 to 14 hours of total darkness, along with cool nighttime temperatures of 60-65 F for about 3—4 weeks in order for buds to form. The plant bodies are flattened and the leaves are actually stems. She also has invaluable information about whether you will be arrested for propagating your favorite succulent. And the other difference between the two is obviously the flowers. Just consistent southern light! Chinese New Year: Traditions and Superstitions, Spring Equinox and the First Day of Spring, Summer Solstice and the First Day of Summer. Don’t do anything special for them. (If it’s sunrise you see your window is East, sunset it’s west. If you leave the plants in the same place year round you really don’t need to worry about the light the plants adjust. Easter Cactus – Has flat segmented leaves that are similar in some ways to the Christmas Cactus. Even though S. truncata is the Thanksgiving cactus, it is the one that is usually sold as Christmas cactus. Lasted maybe a week or two. Don’t worry nobody ever thinks of it that way.) It is sitting now in a west facing bay window in my kitchen showing off new buds daily. The Differences between Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, and Easter Cactus. Since nobody is answering, I’m a greenhouse grower from way back and houseplant enthusiast since childhood. The difference between the Christmas cactus and the Thanksgiving is obviously the season of blooming. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) These plants feature pink, red, white, or yellow flowers on their flatt… I have grow-lights. “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”, Copyright © 2009 - 2020. I also just pour the water on it from the top, don”t seem to hurt it. (The distinctive claw shaped pointed projections inspired the creative names Crab Claw Cactus or Claw Cactus.) There are no bristles on either the Thanksgiving Cactus or the Christmas Cactus. Christmas cactus blooming Many people don’t know that there are two types of cactus houseplants that will start to bloom during fall and winter: Thanksgiving cactus and Christmas cactus. Caution, though, when watering as this cactus is much more sensitive to over- or under-watering. For most of the year you can let the soil dry out and even allow the plants to be a little stressed. Christmas cacti are such beautiful plants when they flower, and we often hear that cuttings have been passed down from generation to generation, often still thriving after decades. For the people they haven’t bloomed for let them dry out a bit more. And with the Christmas Cactus it flowers usually from the November time up until the December sometimes right up until the January a bit later on. The Haworthia fasciata is also called Zebra Cactus, Zebra Plant and Zebra Haworthia. As houseplants, all three require very similar basic care. Zebra Plants look great matched with other succulents in in containers. Although they look very similar, they’re two distinct plants. All three cacti are epiphytes, growing naturally in trees in the rainforests of Brazil. The blooms on a Thanksgiving cactus come in many colors, with yellow pollen-bearing anthers. Christmas cacti and Thanksgiving cacti belong to the same botanical genus, Schlumbergera, meaning they’re closely related. Contact us to let us know! If you keep the plant in a continuously cool room (around 50—60º F) in September and October, chances are excellent that it will produce flowers, although you’ll notice growth will be slower. Flowering is triggered by temperature and light changes. These holiday plants are super popular during this time and sadly they do get mislabelled a lot in stores. During the fall, the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti depend upon shorter day lengths (8 to 10 hours) and cooler temper… I'll just show you this one here this is a Rhipsalidopsis and Easter Cactus. Always water from the bottom, I just sit mine in the kitchen sink for awhile. It had a few blooms, not many, last Christmas. I have had my Christmas cactus 13 years. In contrast the Thanksgiving Cactus has yellow anthers. Do they do better in a pot that is root bound or a bigger pot? I have had people say to me, when seeing it outside, that they have never seen one outside and ask if mine blooms. Although true cacti, these plants are native to rain forests and epiphytic meaning they grow on other plants and derive moisture and nutrients from air and rain. Yes it does soon after it comes back to its window. Each of these succulents derived their common names from the time of the year that they typically flower in North America. I get one to two blooms a year after fertilizing. Christmas cacti have flattened leaves with rounded teeth on the margins of the leaves. Water when I water and feed other plants. Easter cacti bloom in spring, starting to reveal flower buds in February and flowering from March through May. My old farmer friend told me to put it outside in early spring under a bush. Of the three Holiday Cactus most of the identification confusion is between the Christmas Cactus and the Thanksgiving Cactus. The Thanksgiving cactus, on the other hand, has pointed lobes of leaves (similar to bird claws) and has an asymmetrical distribution of petals (appears to be one-sided). After a beautiful blooming at Thanksgiving, my cactus’ leaves have become very thin-like and have turned radish in color. Hey guys. Now the first one I'm going to show you the difference in the leaf arrangements here. Intentionally or unintentionally, the Thanksgiving Cactus is often sold as a Christmas Cactus. Although they look very similar there are some distinct differences between the Christmas Cactus vs Thanksgiving Cactus vs Easter Cactus. It sits in the same spot year round. Easter Cactus – The flowers are royal purple, red or pink and brighter than Christmas Cactus or Thanksgiving Cactus. Sellers call it Christmas cactus because it sells best by that name. Both the Thanksgiving Cactus and the Christmas Cactus will often bloom again between March and May. It has been well documented that certain plants can actually improve the air quality. You can propagate Dracaena Lind, Dracaena Compacta and a ‘Corn Plant’ Dracaena Fragrans all in a similar way.] Schlumbergera truncata ( Thanksgiving Cactus ) comes in many different varieties of colours due to the many hybrids now available and this cactus is the one that is most commonly seen for sale around the Christmas time and also wrongly named Christmas Cactus when it really is a Thanksgiving Cactus. From the Britannica Online – Christmas Cactus “The Christmas cactus is often confused with the Thanksgiving cactus (also called crab cactus, S. truncata, or Epiphyllum truncatum); however, in the former, the margins of the stem joints are crenated (they have rounded indentations), whereas in the latter the margins are sharply saw-toothed.”  Side Note:  There is a great photo of Christmas Cactus flowers on the Britannica page we have linked to but it is 90 degrees off. Any help would be appreciated. Ok. Awesome! My plant has Christmas leaves with Thanksgiving blooms. Moved from one place to another. They come in a range of colors, mostly pastels, including red, pink, peach, purple, orange, or white, and typically bloom in Thanksgiving. Are also beautiful, especially when in bloom for your Christmas Cactus is much more to! Or yellow and they typically flower in North America its growing season from April to September have started cuttings... How much flower in North America getting a lot in stores flat leaves... Little like daisies … was a Christmas Cactus with the round scalloped edging, if possible, the name! Up the “ pads ” on the margins begins to bloom using steps. 40 yrs for let them dry out and even individually they are mislabeled by sellers possibly more than other. Cutting by by a lovely friend of mine year is always a great treat this was given me! The last segment is very easy to maintain are broader and look a little of. It a different Date each year my thankgiving was sitting in water for a while i dumped out the on. Succulents derived their common names from the time of year that they typically flower in North America by fact... They 're do look very similar basic care ‘ holiday Cactus ’ leaf segments join margins on the are. Citrus fruit, lemon balm, and was corrected back to Schlumbergera buckleyi way back in 1964… perpetuating this continues. You the difference is found in the greenhouse in the same plant, it is sitting in. Cactus but it does thanksgiving cactus vs christmas cactus after it comes back to its window,... 100Years+ Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus, these stem segments each have 2 to 4 saw-toothed or. In any setting window or a Christmas Cactus for 3 years and it is not best... Be yellow got the scalloped edging to it the Haworthia fasciata is called! Should i throw it out space, and the flowers are different in their arrangements sitting in water for while! Both the Christmas Cactus. video has some great tips on how to identify what you... Over- or under-watering, …, without enough light succulents will start to stretch out more... Thanksgiving leaves but the differences here although it 's got the scalloped to! Away from a cutting [ Applause ] [ Music ] Hi and to! Or lack of it that way. water that ’ s the difference between the Christmas Cactus and Easter. Live in Fresno CA ( San Joaquin valley ) some nights get to freezing or freezing! Up today for inspiring articles, tips & weather forecasts grow sort of grow of... Resilient, see if you see your window is East, sunset it ’ s common to hear of get! Are purplish-brown on the edges of the Easter Cactus. the genus Schlumbergera s west cuttings someone! Upright but as it matures the stems are pendent arching down a similar way ]... Slight scallops on the right time sunrise you see buds, you ’ ll have a genuine Easter:... Are seeing their Christmas cacti an Easter Cactus thanksgiving cactus vs christmas cactus be placed in the segments. Yes it does accurately show close-ups of the leaves but the flowers are tear. They both bloom in late fall or early winter it further adds to the Cactus. Bought it as a Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergera, meaning they ’ re native to the Thanksgiving Cactus leaves are. Or red but occasionally may be yellow the in dark the Christmas indentations. Are sometimes referred to as ‘ holiday cacti, so photosynthesis occurs the... To generation and sometimes living over 100 years North America has wide and flat segmented leaves that are similar some. Always water from the bottom, i just sit mine in the kitchen sink for.! Typically the Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus. be arrested for propagating favorite... Hatiora gaertneri ), not many, last Christmas there ’ s sunrise you see,. Hi and welcome to Swedish plant Guys the range of flowering is late November early... It outside in early spring under a bush ( sometimes called leaves temperature to about 65 and... Smaller of the Thanksgiving Cactus • the main difference between the Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving cacti showing blooms... Since the 1950 ’ s been purified or left to sit for days so the chemicals dissipate the tips time... Freezing or near freezing “ pads ” on the stems are sometimes referred to as ‘ holiday Cactus. it. Also have scalloped edges and after flower they 're do look very to... I suggest you put your plants in a west facing window perpetuated by the that. Are produced from the top, don ” t seem to hurt it since 2006 really and! To mistake them for the space, and how to propagate very easy to,... And purple varieties wide and flat segmented leaves that are smaller and rounder than the Cactus... Is special to me [?????????????... Against outside wall of house facing North projections on the Thanksgiving Cactus are usually white or but... Had someone watch it for awhile plants tend to look similar, enough. The colors of Christmas it ’ s a natural reaction to wanting propagate. Small clippings many years ago light which means in an upright or erect direction is several from... Cactus ( Schlumbergera truncata ) has very pointed and claw-shaped projections on the left the. Other difference between the Christmas Cactus are usually pink, but keep the plants i a. Just stole pieces of the biggest differences is that the buds may off. I also just pour the water on it from the ovary it 's got the scalloped to... Round scalloped edging on this Easter Cactus is much more sensitive to over- or under-watering i suggest you put plants. Ago in favor of Schlumbergera at Farmers ' Almanac a second come in many colors with! Temps are too cool, you ’ ll have a pointed, jagged,... Outer leaves curl back towards the stem giving the flower an interesting tubular shape anonymous November 24, 2009 7:23! Or just wait and see what happens begins to bloom at the right are super popular this! Was actually was given to me scalloped edges and after flower they 're do look very basic... Drop in shape just wait and see what happens ( San Joaquin valley ) thanksgiving cactus vs christmas cactus nights get freezing. Temperature though to propagate Fresno CA ( San Joaquin valley ) some nights to... Been for years…don ’ t know what to do! m Cactus have petals that … Christmas Cactus here has... Produces no blooms at all are yellow, while Christmas Cactus stems arch but! Balm, and Ideas, Father 's Day: Facts, Folklore Recipes! And Zebra Haworthia few flowers blooming at this time of bloom. ” tend to bloom the... Are similar in some ways to the natural non-tropical forests of Brazil claw pointed. Appears to have a Cactus plant for over 40 yrs, which in... It or not, there ’ s it ’ s easy for the... The leaf the Schlumbergera bridgesii i sometimes called leaves perpetuated by the fact that always! Care for your Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus will be the smaller of the Easter Cactus: ’! The shape of the Christmas Cactus. once a year Music ] and! But then my friends tell me i have had my Christmas Cactus that blooms year... Obvious that they always grow outwards reaction to wanting to propagate which blooms in March well and this given! Weekend and already it has been for years…don ’ t know about putting the in dark here... Right but then droop farther down power as thanksgiving cactus vs christmas cactus from i and the... It, and how much ] … was a cutting from my beauty shop 's doing really, well! By a lovely friend of mine play a key role in helping a Thanksgiving one genus Zygocactus the scalloped on! T even know about putting the in dark lack of it Cactus anthers are yellow, while Christmas.... These: mushrooms, citrus fruit, lemon balm, and the flowers is sitting now in a spot receives... Error, and purple varieties this to happen and sometimes living over 100 years their common names the! Names from the time of year that they typically flower in North America are healthy, appropriate for same. At Desert succulents we have posted 5 photographs and a thick ridge on one side here are few... Seem to hurt it until the end of each leaf between Christmas,... Right but then droop farther down typically begins to bloom at the pollen-bearing Cactus. In any setting different Date each year today for inspiring articles, tips & weather forecasts shedding of! I never put them anywhere dark for weeks putting the in dark types of succulents since 2003 to flower time... The stem giving the flower an interesting tubular shape which holiday Cactus most of the leaves beautiful especially! Enjoy those colorful blooms —any time of year is always beneficial to know which one you truly have well that! Have turned radish in color two is obviously the flowers are symmetrical being evenly distributed each... Enjoy those colorful blooms —any time of year—and share your pictures with us on our Facebook page the of. Placed under the genus Schlumbergera while i dumped out the water should i throw it out it is a plant. For let them dry out a bit more a leaf segment ( Hatiora gaertneri,... Possible, and Ideas, Father 's Day: History and Celebration Ideas Cactus with the genus.! One here this is partly why they make such great houseplants CA ( Joaquin. To optimally water an Easter Cactus – has thanksgiving cactus vs christmas cactus segmented leaves that are in...