The Easter Cactus is native to the Brazilian rainforest and is prized for its large blooms, which typically appear around the time Easter is celebrated. Also known as a spring cactus, the plant is considered long living and a great choice for beginner house plant growers.
Easter Cactus Appearance
The Easter flowering cactus is a low-maintenance house plant and is adored for its blooms of either red, pink, orange, purple, or white. The spring cactus’s stems are segmented and feature a middle rib running the length of each leaf. The plant matures to a size of 2 feet wide by 2 feet tall ( 60 cm x 60 cm). Flowers appear from late winter to early spring and feature several long, slender petals with a pronounced stigma.
Easter Cactus Light Requirements
Proper Easter Cactus care requires bright, indirect light. Filtered sunlight through sheer curtains is also acceptable. Avoid prolonged exposure to full sun as it fades the plant’s green stems to a pale yellow and will inhibit growth.
Follow the soak and dry method, watering your Easter cactus when the soil has dried out. Soak the soil until the water runs into the drip tray. Discard excess water to avoid root rot. Decrease waterings, beginning in late fall, and continue to water sparsely through the winter. Provide just enough so the cactus does not dehydrate. Good Easter cactus care includes a period of dormancy, when the plant stops growing to rest and requires very little water as a result.
Temperature and Humidity
The spring cactus requires less heat than most cacti. It tolerates average household temperatures for most of the year but blooming is triggered when night temperatures dip to between 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit ( 12 to 15.5 Celsius). The Easter cactus, just as the Christmas Cactus, prefers more humidity than other cacti. Homes with an average humidity of around 50 percent are enough but drier conditions, such as in winter, may need supplementing. Use a humidifier or place a tray filled with small pebbles and water placed under the plant’s pot.
Soil and Fertilizer
An essential of Easter cactus care is providing a well-draining soil with organic matter. Create a mixture of coco coir, peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark. A succulent soil amended with perlite and orchid bark will also suffice. Amend the soil on a regular basis with compost or organic fertilizer. The extra nutrients work to aid in growth and blooming. The spring cactus is a high feeder and benefits from extra fertilizer. Feed with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer once a month up until blooming time is near. Resume feedings two months after blooming is done to prepare for the next flowering season.
Propagation by cuttings is the easiest method of creating new Easter cactus plants. Gently twist off a leaf at the terminal, ensuring you don’t break the base of the stem. Plant the leaves in a small pot or cup filled with the recommended soil mixture or a succulent soil. Submerge half the leaf in the soil for proper rooting. Mist the leaves and cover the container with plastic wrap to retain moisture. Withhold full waterings until roots form, then repot in a larger pot. Water as a mature plant from this point forward. Propagation is best done two to three months after blooming is finished.
Easter Cactus Blooming
Withholding fertilizer two months before spring blooming. Provide equal hours of dark and light until late winter. Keep the cactus at temperatures near 50 degrees Fahrenheit ( 10 degrees Celsius) during the night and average household temperatures during the day. After blooming has finished, decrease waterings until it’s time to prepare the plant for next season’s blooming.
The Easter cactus is a rewarding house plant to own and provides a splash of color earlier than most indoor plants. While more sensitive to sunlight than other cacti, its care needs are simple, making it an easy addition to your house plant collection.
Easter Cactus FAQ
Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale are common pests that infest the spring cactus. Treat infestations with an insecticidal soap to rid the plant of these pests.
Root rot is caused by overwatering your plant. Decrease waterings and trim back any black or mushy roots. Follow up by treating the soil with a water and hydrogen peroxide mixture to kill any remaining bacteria.
Changes in color from green to yellow or red indicate too much sun exposure. Place the plant out of direct sunlight and into dappled light or an area that receives only a few hours of full sun per day. Once sunlight is reduced, the plant should return to its normal, green color in time.
Generally, yes, the Easter cactus will bloom every year in late winter to early spring if the growing conditions are right. Sometimes, a plant may even bloom twice in one year.
While not entirely necessary, deadheading expired blooms helps encourage new blooms and makes the plant look tidier.