Thanksgiving cactus

muffin1358(6/MA)October 12, 2013

I think my Thanksgiving cactus has buds!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I just checked and I see one bud so far. It's nice to have some flowers to look forward to.

Claire

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggerdee zone 6 CT

What is a Thanksgiving cactus?

I've heard of a Christmas cactus, and often tease my co-worker, who has a gorgeous one on her desk, that it is really a Halloween cactus because sometimes it blooms early, but is a Thanksgiving cactus similar to a Christmas cactus?

Dee

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
muffin1358(6/MA)

Thanksgiving cactus is very similar to Christmas cactus.

This is a great article that describes the difference: http://cactus.biology.dal.ca/paulS/christmas/christmas.html

The key differences include:

1) leaves
Thanksgiving cactus leaves are pointy while the Xmas cactus leaves are more scallopped.

2) flowers
T'giving cactus flowers are asymmetrical; looking like birds in flight. Xmas cactus flowers are symmetrical and look like ballerinas. :)

Xmas cactus:

This post was edited by muffin1358 on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 17:07

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
muffin1358(6/MA)

And here's a pic of the Thanksgiving cactus:

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggerdee zone 6 CT

Ah, thanks muffin. I don't think I would have ever noticed a difference if you hadn't pointed it out. We have a bunch of these at my workplace besides the big "halloween" one. I'm going to check them out more closely to see if they really are Christmas cacti or perhaps a few may be Thanksgiving.

Dee

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

There's also an Easter Cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri) that's similar to the above but blooms in late winter.

Claire

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
persimmons(6b Southern Mass)

Mine's budding too, pics to come soon.

What a lovely surprise it was to check on the pots this morning and see that my new transplants have begun to bloom!

I can't wait for the Xmas and Easter cacti to begin their transformations too...

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 10:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Thanks, Muffin. For years I've called mine a "Christmas Cactus." Your information explains why my Christmas cactus had always seemed to bloom so early for me. Always figured it had to do with my error ---- when I brought it in ---- how much light it received outside, etc. Mystery solved!

I picked mine up years ago in a grocery store. But, as the link explains, it's logical that retailers would be selling the Thanksgiving cactus prior to the holidays, since the Christmas cactus wouldn't be in bloom so early.

Molie

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

My Thanksgiving cactus are budding too! They are bursting with buds and I expect a good show this year. :)

Thxgiving and Xmas cactus are 2 different species:

Thanksgiving cactus = Schlumbergera truncata

Christmas cactus = Schlumbergera x buckleyi

Here's a pic from a few years ago - these are S. truncata.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 9:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
muffin1358(6/MA)

Oh, is that a light pink one in the back? Pretty!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 6:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Hi muffin, yes that one is a large light pink. It is an old plant, I inherited it from a previous job years ago. I've done a lot of pruning and taken cuttings from that one in the last couple years. It is fabulously healthy but looks like blooms will be a bit reduced this year because of the pruning. The cuttings have rooted, and I've already gifted one pot to a friend.

Also, in the far background of these pictures is a mature hot pink that is in the budding stage, and blooms later than the others. I've got several other pots of smaller plants, in colors like peach and red that will likely bloom modestly this year. I love these plants! So cheerful for the holidays.

I would love to get a cutting or 2 of your true Christmas cactus. Would you be interested in a trade with anything I've got?

Here's the light pink momma -

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
muffin1358(6/MA)

Terrene, I sent you an email. Please let me know if you didn't receive it.

This post was edited by muffin1358 on Wed, Oct 30, 13 at 6:35

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 6:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Christmas cacti are native to tropical and subtropical American rain forests. They are epiphytes, growing in trees or rock crevices in organic debris rather in soil on the ground. But they (obviously) adapt well to pot culture. They do prefer cool temps at night to initiate blooms, and in the mountains can regularly experience temperatures into the 40's. They also need a long dark period when budding, so if they are in a window that might have a streetlight or maybe a living room lamp shining on it, it could inhibit or reduce bud production. I actually had a large plant that bloomed on the side that was shaded by a heavy lined drapery, while the side that got light from the street had no flowers. Easter cactus blooms are also very different from the others, looking more like a daisy shape. But they are all easy to grow and easy to propagate.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
persimmons(6b Southern Mass)

Would anybody be into trading with me, also?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
muffin1358(6/MA)

I have a question...when you do cuttings do you make the plant from one cutting? Or do you use multiple cuttings to fill out the plant? I've seen some a pot filled with numerous cuttings but I would think that over time there would be crowding issues...

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 5:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Muffin,

First off, you can make cuttings as small as one leaf section, or nearly as large as you want from the original plant. They root very easily. In fact, since they are epipytes, you can sometimes see tiny roots at the leaf joints on the plants. So you can plant several small cuttings to fill out a pot, or a few larger ones (if the original plant is big enough to spare therm). Bottom line is I don't think overcrowding will be an issue. They actually like being a little pot bound as it seems to encourage flowering. They are, overall, very easy to grow. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 6:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
persimmons(6b Southern Mass)

Muffin,

To echo what Bill has said: often times when I'm making new pots to place around my house, I will trim down my older plants for their less healthy looking leaves or leaves from sides that have grown in too full. I add all of these into new pots (about 3-4 per 8 inch pot, usually) and always have enough extra segments that if any die they can be replaced.

The method is foolproof and allow them to grow to be potbound much quicker. Like Bill mentioned, they seem to enjoy being a bit pot bound. Usually the stems all become a single, larger plant in the pot after time passes.

-Persimmons.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 11:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
muffin1358(6/MA)

Thank you....good to know!

Persimmons, I just sent you an email. Please let me know if you don't receive it...

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Hi guys, I got your email Muffin, sorry I have out of town for a few days. Can you email again and include your real email address? GW messaging seems to lose the reply.

The peach is still small but I can trade a few pieces. I have plenty of the the red in the pic above (has a pink highlight), the light pink, or the hot pink. I am looking for true Xmas cactus as a trade.

I usually take cuttings with about 3-4 segments. I stick 6-8 in a small pot, and put the first 1 1/2 segments under the soil. I use damp coarse potting mix and a light plastic tent over the pot with holes punched in, and spritz periodically. Most of the cuttings root, 1 or 2 might rot.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

PS That is interesting, that they like to be pot bound. I got the light pink at least 10 years ago and haven't repotted it yet. Who knows when it was last repotted. It blooms like crazy.

I did transplant the hot pink though, didn't use a different pot, just replaced the soil. It has responded well.

Give them a little dilute fertilizer once in awhile.

I read that these are not true cactus, they tolerate much moister soil than a cactus would.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Terrene,
They are true cacti, but they did adapt to moist conditions and so would not survive in the desert for sure. I don't know if you read my previous post in this thread, but they are epiphytes that grow up in trees or crevices in rocks in the wild. The grow in decomposing organic matter that collects in the crooks of branches and so forth, much like many tropical orchids. But they (obviously) can be grown in any good potting soil with decent drainage.

There is another member of the cactus family named Pereskia, which has several species. They don't resemble a desert cactus at all. They have branches and leaves and some are like shrubs or small trees. They can survive fairly dry climates, but not the really hot and dry deserts. Only the flowers would make you think they are cacti. A few of the species have spines in areoles (groups) like the better known cacti that we all know.

I just thought I'd throw out all this information because I happen to think the cactus family is interesting. As you may or may not know, I grow a few types out in my xeric garden and they love it there. I posted a few photos in my post "End of season color".

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 12:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
persimmons(6b Southern Mass)

Here's a shot of my Thanksgiving cacti, red and fucshia/pink.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
persimmons(6b Southern Mass)

Just to show the "standing" of the flower and also to highlight its asymmetry. Definitely a Thanksgiving cactus, not to mention the time of year it's blooming...

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 5:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
persimmons(6b Southern Mass)

And finally, this cactus is budding, but is nowhere close to blooming! I'm curious if it will surprise us all on Thanksgiving day/week and open at once, or if it's brooding until Christmas... Notice the deep red color of the buds--the flowers of this Cactus are always very vividly red. More so than the red Thanksgiving cactus.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 5:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
persimmons(6b Southern Mass)

Here's to a successful trade!

Thank you to muffins for the Christmas cacti clippings (potted on the right side of the image) and one marvelous kalanchoe.

The Christmas Cacti was traded as a large clipping from which I made a few smaller divisions. Each seems to be taking to their homes well. As for the kalanchoe: a few of the branches snapped during it's transport to Boston. I've repotted those as 'baby' kalanchoe plants.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 3:35PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hummingbird Spring Migration 2015
I've been checking regularly and finally today there...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2015 #4
This thread is intended to give people a place to post...
claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
Snowdrops
Yes, I know you think they're just cute little white...
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b
Mason Bee House - - Where to position?
I could go to the Bee Forum, but thought I would ask...
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
Ferjulian's, Brigham Nursery, & Gerards's
Ferjulian in Hudson, MA I discovered this nice hidden...
mrtulin
Sponsored Products
Laelia Purple 18 x 18 Floral Throw Pillow
$57.95 | Bellacor
Moooi | Elements 001
$461.00 | YLighting
Safavieh Santa Fe Brown Faux Leather Table Lamp (2 Piece Set)
$207.90 | LuxeDecor
Illume Cactus Green Gallery Glass Candle
$49.50 | FRONTGATE
Cactus Reflections Beige Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Cactus! Mug by Alessi
$82.00 | Lumens
Vitra | Tip Ton Chair
YLiving.com
Hang Pot - Turquoise - Wallter
$125.00 | HORNE
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™