Holiday Cactus

Posted by Hannah Brand on Nov 1st 2021

October 19th, 2021

Holiday Cactus

Hey Plant Friends!

This week we talking about Schlumbergera sp., commonly known as the holiday cactus. This plant is native to coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil and is in the Cactaceae plant family consisting of 131 different genera. You may equate Schlumbergera varieties with specific fall and winter holidays because this is when you usually see them in the garden center. However, with proper care and a little bit of love, you will know and love this plant for years to come.

Known for their brightly blooming flowers Holiday Cactus are sure to add a pop of color to your space, but only when the days are short. Holiday Cactus are signaled to bloom when they are exposed to 12 hours or more of darkness for a prescribed period of time. This is called photoperiodism. Each variety is easily identified by their leaf shape. The Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumgera truncata) has very pointed and claw shaped projections on the edges of the leaf. The Christmas cactus (Schlumgera bridgesti) has leaf projections which are more scalloped or tear drop shaped.

Let’s talk about care. Holiday cactus are quite drought tolerant, but do like a bit of extra watering during bud formation and bloom. This ensures that the buds and blooks will not desiccate and dehisce (dry out and fall off). When not in bloom, you can allow the soil to dry between watering. Holiday cactus love bright light, but don’t necessarily need full sun. Dappled or indirect light is just fine. Plant in a cactus specific soil such as Espoma’s Cactus Mix as they do prefer a grittier mix. As always, make sure your plant has great drainage; sitting in standing water is not an option as it will lead to root rot.

We currently carry Holiday Cactus in 2”, 4”, 6”, and 8” pots and in an array of colors. If you have any further questions feel free to reach out to us by phone, Instagram, or email us -

Happy Planting!