Christmas cactus confusion

IMG-1726 (1).JPG

Holiday vs Spring Cacti

It’s Thanksgiving and I’m oh so grateful to the plant community for your support! It truly keeps me motivated and inspired to keep growing (pun intended).

Only a couple years ago did I discover there was a difference between Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cacti. I reasoned it was due to the time of year of the blooms, but there’s actually physical differences I had never noticed. Let’s sort out the facts and myths.

Fact: There are distinct differences between Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cacti. Edges go from jagged, to rounded to scalloped. Only the Easter cactus has fuzzy tips!

Fact: They’re members of the Epiphyllum family, not the cacti family. True cacti have sharp spikes and a fuzzy areole at the insertion site.

Fact: Epiphyllum have smooth leaf segments and prefer bright, indirect light attaching to trees protected below a tropical canopy. Cacti are sun-loving, prickly plants preferring dry desert conditions.

Does this clear up the confusion? I’m looking forward to adding an Easter cactus to my collection.

Next month’s article: Indoor humidity.

houseplants, LearnJeanne Serrano