Thanksgiving Cactus

Schlumbergera truncata

Crab Cactus, Common Winter Cactus, Lobster Cactus, Christmas Cactus, Holiday Cactus, Mayflower, Claw Cactus, Linkleaf, Yoke Cactus

profile iconSchlumbergera truncata (1)
by Dwight Sipler (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 3
profile iconSchlumbergera truncata (1)
by Dwight Sipler (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 3
Schlumbergera truncata is often confused with the related Christmas and Easter Cacti. It's a frost-tender, epiphytic, perennial cactus that produces deep red or sometimes pink, purple, orange or white flowers in late autumn and winter, its leaves growing in oblong sections, with long tooth-like notches. This plant can provide a wonderful Christmas display, blooming around thanksgiving, hence the common name Thanksgiving Cactus. It is easy to propagate from cuttings and best grown as a houseplant in a well-lit spot, out of direct sunlight. Ideally it likes some humidity - this epiphytic species can be found growing without the need for soil substrate on coastal rocks and trees around Mexico. Improve humidity at home by placing plants on stone or pebble trays filled with water.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Winter

Harvesting

Take cuttings well after flowering.

Propagation

Cuttings

Take stem segments in spring and place upright in moist compost, sand and perlite mix. Push the bottom of the cutting into the soil about 1cm or just deep enough to keep them upright.

Special features

Drought resistant

Fleshy stems store water for drier times - and flower formation depends on a dry time!

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Pot plant

A good container plant. If properly repotted, it can be passed on from generation to generation.

Indoor plant

A houseplant that makes a great addition to nearly any indoor setting. Make sure they get a night rest without light though, to ensure flowers forming.

Special features

Origin

Central and South America.

Natural climate

Temperate to Subtropical

Environment

Light

Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand, Air, Compost

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Personality

Family

Cactaceae

Flower colour

Red, White, Orange, Pink, Purple

Scent

None

Problems

Pest and disease free with only mealybug being a common pest. Flower bud dropping is usually cause by fluctuating temperatures. Too hot by day too cold by night. However, overwatering can also cause flower buds to drop.

Related Problems

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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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