How do determine if you have a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter Cactus.
Other than the bloom time, you can determine what type you have by the shape of the leaves. Thanksgiving cactus have pointed claw like leaves, the leaves of a Christmas cactus are more scalloped, while Easter cactus leaves are more rounded.
General care tips
Water only when the soil surface is dry and increase the watering slightly when the plant is in bloom. Bright light such as a south or west window is ideal year-round or move outdoors during the summer months. During the winter months your cactus should be fertilized once a month and every other week during the summer when it’s putting on new growth.
How to set flowers
Two things are needed to set flowers on holiday cactus – cool night temperatures, and short days. In the fall expose your cactus to night temperature of 40-55° for several weeks and make sure they receive 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night. Having your plant outdoors in the fall or in a room indoors that has the right conditions will start the process of setting blooms. If your plant is outdoors, don’t expose it freezing temperatures. Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus should set blooms in 4-6 weeks after the cool temp and darkness treatment. Easter cactus should follow the same treatment but for a longer period and will bloom much later.
Holiday cactus prefer to be root bound and can go years without transplanting. If you do need to transplant, do it in early June and increase the pot size only slightly. It’s very easy to root cuttings from the plant. Remove a stem with 3 or more leaves and let it sit on your countertop for at least one day to callus. Place in perlite filled container, water occasionally and it should be rooted in 4-6 weeks. This new plant can then be planted in a small container with a drainage hole using cactus soil.