Thanksgiving Cactus

Schlumbergera truncata

Christmas Cactus, Claw Cactus, Common Winter Cactus, Crab Cactus, Holiday Cactus, Linkleaf, Lobster Cactus, Mayflower, 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. 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 with some humidity as these epiphytic species grow without the need for soil substrate on coastal rocks and trees around Mexico. Improve humidity by placing plants on stone or pebble trays filled with water.

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

Indoor plant

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

Pot plant

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

Drought resistant

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

Special features

Origin

Central and South America.

Natural climate

Temperate to Subtropical

Environment

Light

Partial Sun, Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand, Air

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Personality

Family

Cactaceae

Flower colour

Purple, Red, White, Orange, Pink, Yellow

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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