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How to care for an Easter cactus

Want to keep your Easter cactus as healthy and happy as possible? Here are my best tips on how to care for an Easter cactus!

My mom has had a big Easter cactus for as long as I can remember. It’s huge and lush and she claims impossible to kill.

It’s easy to enjoy its unusual shaped leaves and gorgeous blooms in the spring.

If you are interested in an Easter cactus, it’s a really great plant for keeping in your home.

Let’s chat about the Easter cactus and what you need to know to help yours thrive!

ultimate guide to easter cactus care

How to care for an Easter cactus

Easter Cactus is the common name for Schlumbergera gaertneri. It’s called Easter Cactus because it usually blooms at Easter time, in Spring.

These plants are actually not a cactus but epiphytes. This means that they grew on other plants – naturally they grow in the crooks of trees in the rainforest!

Easter cactus light requirements

Easter cactus prefer bright, indirect light. In order for them to bloom, they need distinct day and night with dark and cooler temperatures in the night.

Mature easter cactus

Easter cactus watering requirements

Easter cactuses do not need much water. Only water them when the top 3 inches of soil feels dry – every 2 to 3 weeks.

The main growing season for these plants is April through September. They will need more water during that time – but still don’t need much!

Do Easter cactuses like being misted?

Yes! These tropical plants like to be misted or sprayed with a spray bottle lightly.

Mature easter cactus

Easter cactus soil and potting requirements

Easter cactus actually likes to be a bit root bound. You can re-pot it with fresh potting soil – but it’s ok staying in a tighter pot.

The best time to repot Easter Cactus is after its blooms have fallen off. In general you don’t want to mess with a plant while it is blooming or risk dropping the blooms!

Best soil for Easter cactus

Make sure that you choose a well draining soil – such as an orchid soil mix. This plant definitely doesn’t like to get soggy!

Easter cactus close up

How to get an Easter cactus to bloom

Easter cactus wants equal amounts of light and darkness (day and night) for the 8 weeks leading up to bloom time.

Otherwise, you will need to move them in your home. They actually like at least 12 hours of darkness leading up to blooming season.

What to do with a Easter cactus after it blooms?

Remove all of the dropped buds from your cactus. Then, let it sit in indirect light and water as normal!

Are Easter Cactus indoor or outdoor plants?

Easter Cactus cannot go below 50 degrees. So, if you live somewhere warm, you can keep it outdoors. Otherwise, you can put it outdoors in warmer months and bring it indoors over the winter.

If you keep it outdoors, keep it out of direct sunlight as that can burn the leaves!

Easter cactus

Common Easter cactus problems

Why is my Easter cactus dropping leaves?

The most common problem with an Easter cactus is over watering. They really don’t need much watering at all.

Be sure that the pot has good drainage and only water it a little bit once a week (or every other week) to keep it happy. If it’s dropping leaves from over watering, let it dry out completely before watering again!

Here’s a complete guide on what to do if your holiday cactus is dropping leaves!

Are Easter cactus poisonous to cats and dogs?

Easter cacti are non-toxic to humans and pets. However, they can cause stomach issues if you eat a lot of it. Be vigilant about picking up dropped blooms – they all tend to drop off around the same time.

Should I deadhead an Easter cactus?

You won’t need to deadhead an Easter cactus as it naturally drops blooms when they are spent – they can last as little as 2 weeks or as long as 8 weeks.

How long does an Easter Cactus live?

These plants have been known to live over 100 years and be passed down from generation to generation if cared for properly!

How do you propagate an Easter cactus?

You can propagate the plants via cuttings in water or soil or via division. They root super easily! Here’s my complete guide on how to propagate a holiday cactus!

Any questions about Easter cactus care?

Thanks for reading!

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