One of the best things about Easter is undoubtedly the cactus that blooms in so many homes. Easter is all about plants, flowers, and leaves decorating the dining room. However, the catch here is that a lot of people get confused between the easter cactus and the Christmas cactus. Keep in mind that the easter cactus and the spring cactus are the same!
If you are looking to get yourself an Easter cactus this year, ensure that you know all about the plant that will decorate your side patio. Read along to find out all of the tips that you employ to ensure your holiday cacti is safe, healthy, beautiful, and afresh with different colors.
Difference Between Easter Cactus And Spring Cactus
When it comes to the differences between the easter and Christmas cactus, it can be quite easy to confuse these two plants. However, remembering a few key differences will always help you tell one from another and help you decide which one you wish to bring home.
1. Shape Of Leaves
This is the first key distinction that will help you get familiarized with these houseplants. The easter cactus was formerly known as the Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri but is now called the Hatiora Gaertneri. It essentially has quite rounded edges that merge to then become centralized on the leaves.
They differ from the Christmas cactus because the latter has scalloped or sometimes teardrop-shaped leaves. Therefore, when you buy the Easter houseplant, you will instantly recognize whether it is the right one by looking at the leaves or the leaf section.
2. Blooming Period
Another tip would be to look at how long it takes for the cactus to bloom. It would not come as a surprise to know that every cactus blooms at a different rate and requires different amounts of light, soil, water, temperatures, and conditions.
The Christmas cacti and its members start to bloom before Christmas time, whereas the spring cactus begins to produce the buds towards the end of February. This is also the reason why you bring them home in different seasons and at different timings. Regardless of when they bloom, they sure do look wonderful in a garden.
Both of these cacti are recognized as short-day plants. When it comes to the Hatiora Gaertneri, it requires almost 8 to 10 weeks of short days for it to completely bloom, thus staying true to its name of an easter cactus. On the other hand, the plants that bloom around Christmas only require six short days.
One thing that remains common between these houseplants, though, is that they require the same amount of light and nighttime temperatures. Only when you leave them for a good time in the evening temperature will they bloom properly and look great inside your house.
4. General Care
No matter what sort of holiday cactus you are bringing into your house, the first thing you should ensure is that it is being taken care of well. Be it the Rhipsalidopsis, the thanksgiving cactus, or the Christmas plant, all of them will fail to bloom without the proper conditions and shade.
Since the spring cacti is not a desert cacti, it does not essentially need a lot of water. However, you do need to remember to water it regularly. However, if the area around or inside the house is too dry, ensure that you provide some humidity and keep watering it regularly and in abundance.
When it comes to watering, also remember to focus on the stems, roots, leaf segments, and everything else as thoroughly as possible. The Easter cactus is used in rainforest habitats where the water is bountiful. Therefore a lack of water should not be a huge issue here.
Furthermore, keep the soil moist so that the soil spring cacti can get everything it needs from the water and soil before drying out again.
6. Sunlight And Temperatures
When it comes to sunlight that the easter cactus needs for the cactus to bloom, make sure you are a little careful. This is because it blooms best when they are not directly under the sun. Therefore, ensure that you keep them in bright natural light so that no direct sunlight can get anywhere near them.
Another essential factor when it comes to this houseplant is also the temperatures that you introduce it to. Like water and light, it does not need too much of this as well. Any temperature around 50 to 60 degrees is perfect for this houseplant. Under these temperatures, the stems and the roots can grow and develop quite wonderfully.
When it comes to whether to use a fertilizer for the spring cactus, the responses are quite mixed. Every cactus is different, and while some might need an amended soil mix and houseplant fertilizer, the others might not.
Most of these easter plants do just fine without a cactus mix. However, if you truly are interested in changing it during the spring or the summer, there is absolutely no harm.
Ensure that you are using a balanced liquid mix container so that your easter plants can grow and look beautiful. Some experts also suggest that a peat moss potting mixture works wonders. You can also make your own mix!
Is It Safe For Pets?
Many of us do not wish to let our pets wander around our plants so that they do not knock down the pot, mess up the soil, or eat up all of the leaf matter.
If you were worried about all of these aspects messing up your easter cactus and its flowers, then you are safe! It would please you to know that worrying about pets is not something you need to care for under easter cactus care.
While there is a lot of right and wrong information around this, the bottom line is that the cactus and all of its flowers, segments, and buds are safe to eat by your dog or cat.
You can let them do so without any danger to their health. However, that is not to say that you force it upon them. As much as possible, keep them away from the cactus and near the other trees.
This way, not just your pets but your buds and flowers too will remain unaffected and safe to celebrate Easter!
Common Diseases And Prevention
It would not be an overstatement to say that the easter cactus is notorious for diseases. However, that is, unfortunately, the case with several categories of houseplants.
For this reason, it is imperative to know the different diseases and how to ensure you do not bring them close to home.
While some of these names and information about the plant could be a lot to take on, do take care if you wish to avoid pests and ensure your easter cactus and everyone around it stays safe.
Some of these diseases could also ruin the flowers or leaf segments directly. Hence make sure that you remember the tips and keep the plant and yourself out of harm.
The most deadly of them all is the Pythium Rot, wherein the easter cactus fades into a dark grey color.
Furthermore, all of the flowers, as well as everything within the pot, can get affected as well. Another disease is the Drechslera Cladophyll Rot, wherein circular black lesions begin to appear on all of the segments of the easter cactus.
The prevention for the cactus, the pot, as well as all of the segments can be quite a trouble to take care of early on. However, once you get used to all of the tips, names, and subsequent cure, then things will fall into place.
When it comes to the easter cactus, it is saddening to observe that almost all of the diseases mentioned above are incurable.
Unfortunately, it is time to give the easter cactus a heave-ho in case things get too bad. However, to ensure that this does not happen at all to the plant, give the plant the right temperature, enough bright sunlight as well as humidity. Ensure that they are aware of cold drafts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Do I Get My Easter Cactus From?
When it comes to this plant, the search for it can sometimes seem endless. However, ensure that you are doing thorough research before getting your easter cactus.
Search and finalize upon a good store and visit their website directly. If possible, do pay a visit to them in person to check out the plant.
Why Is My Plant Dying?
In the search for the best easter cactus, we often forget to take care of them. The most probable reason why your plant is dying is due to the fact that you have forgotten to water them for a long, long time. Regardless of the kind of plant, you must always ensure to take care of it.
Now that you know all about the plant, it is time to get yourself a brand new pot in time for Easter! Keep in mind that you take utmost care of it so that your plant can live a long, healthy, and happy life. Happy Easter to you and your Easter Cactus!
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.