Holiday cacti

Mon. Dec. 14, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Holiday cacti

 Every year there’s a lot of social media chatter about those holiday cacti. Is it a Thanksgiving cactus, a Christmas cactus, an Easter flowering cactus?

Christmas cactus

The main thing we can all agree on is how lovely they are and it gets even better. Some of these plants have lived over 100 years! Can you imagine how many flowers they’ve shown off during that time!

Although true cacti, these plants are native to rainforests. The need for high humidity, bright but filtered light, and soil kept relatively moist most of the year sets these plants apart from the majority of cacti and succulents.

People often complain about the lack of flower blooms. It is important to understand how light, temperature, and overall plant health affects blooming. In comes the University of Minnesota Extension, once again!

My Thanksgiving cactus isn’t getting as much light as it should but it’s trying!

Holiday cacti are called “short day plants.” To produce flower buds, they require shorter days (fewer hours of light) and cool night temperatures. As for watering Place plants in a sink to drain when watering.

Christmas cactus U of MN

Remove excess water from saucers and decorative pots. Excess water may result in dropping flower buds, wilting and root rot. Allow soil to dry out between watering. After the plants have finished blooming, water less frequently, increasing again in spring or early summer when the plants resume more active growth.

Connie’s cactus – yes, it’s a Thanksgiving cactus

Once flower buds have started to develop, holiday cacti don’t like to be disturbed. Plants may drop buds due to drafts or sudden changes in temperature or humidity levels.