Easter (or Spring Blooming) Cactus

I have a plant that I thought was a Christmas Cactus even though the leaves looked a little different than my other Christmas cactus, but it never bloomed in December. I just looked at it and it has lots of buds, but now I’m not sure what it is???

Hi Tony,

Deep pink Easter Cactus
Easter Cactus

Your plant is called an Easter Cactus (or Spring Cactus) and although it resembles a Christmas Cactus, it is a member of a totally different family. Christmas Cactus are members of the Schlumbergera family while the Easter cactus is a type of Rhipsalidopsis. Both plants have flat segmented stems with slightly serrated edges. The segments are really the leaves of the plant. An Easter Cactus blooms during the spring and is a little more finicky than a Christmas Cactus. Here are some care tips on how to grow an Easter Cactus.

Light: Medium bright light, but no direct sun. Too much light causes the leaves to get a reddish color (sort of pretty).

Water: Keep the soil barely moist but never soggy. If an Easter Cactus totally dries out, leaf segments fall off.

Plant Food: Feed monthly with a balanced plant food when the plant is actively growing and producing new leaves. Dilute your fertilizer to 1/2 the recommended strength. Do not feed once buds appear.

Potting: Re-pot every few years in the spring. These plants like to be root bound, so it may need new soil but not a larger container.

Temperature: Easter Cactus like cool temperatures, even during the day. These plants can bloom for months when nighttime temperatures are 55° to 60° F. (13°-16° C.).

Flowering: Easter Cactus, like Christmas Cactus, are photo-tropic plants. During the winter, the cool temperature, long nights, and fairly dry soil encourages buds to form around Easter. Around February, move an Easter Cactus to a place that is a warmer during the day but still around 65°F (18.3°C) at night if possible.