Easter Cacti (Schlumbergera gaertneri also called Hatiora gaertneri) are native to Brazil and hybrids can be found in a range of colors like red, lavender, rose and orange, as well as peach, cream, and white.
Cacti are referred to as “Easter” because they bloom at Easter time – between March and May.
In nature, Easter cacti get nutrients and water from air and rain. They have photosynthesis occurring in their green stems that are similar, but less spiny than the pads of pear prickly as well as cholla. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) , as well as Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera tricata), are closely related to Easter cacti that bloom in winter and fall.
Can the easter cactus be outside? The answer is yes, but you can only grow the plant outdoors year-round if you live in a warm climate because the Easter cactus is definitely not cold hardy. They can be kept in a shady location outdoors during the summer but must be moved indoors before temperatures drop below 45 degrees F. Soil should be well-drained.
Growing easter cacti outdoors is only possible in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and above.
Fertilize monthly between April and October with a complete houseplant fertilizer. Prune plants in June to encourage branching which encourages more flowers. Just remove a few sections of each stem with your fingers or a sharp knife. These can be rooted to create additional plants.
Easter cactus is considered a long-day plant and sets buds in late winter or early spring when days become longer.
How to grow an Easter cactus outside
If your home is in a cold climate, grow easter cacti in a pot or hanging basket, so that they can be brought indoors in the event that temperatures drop below 50 degrees (10degC). Choose a potting medium that is well-drained that includes a mix of potting dirt perlite, perlite, or orchid bark.
A spot in the mild shade or in the morning sun is ideal for growing easter cacti outdoors in warm climates. However, a more sunny place is best for fall and winter. Be cautious with bright lighting, as it can cause whitening of the leaves. Temperatures of 70 to 80 F. (21-27 C.) are optimal for the growing season. Beware of sudden shifts in temperatures and light that can cause buds to fall.
Outdoor Care Easter Cactus
In the course of outdoor Easter cactus maintenance, it is necessary to keep your easter cactus watered when your soil has dried but not totally dry. Don’t overwater your easter cactus, particularly during cold winter seasons. A rotting soil caused by dirt can cause which is a fungal disease that is often fatal.
Outdoor easter cactus care involves regular inspection for pests. Pay attention to mealybugs, tiny sap-sucking bugs which prosper in cooler, shaded conditions. If you see white, lumps of cotton, get them removed by using a toothpick, or a cotton swab dipped in the rubbing alcohol.
An easter cactus that is grown outside can be also at risk of aphids scale, and mites that can be easily removed by frequent spraying of insecticide sprays or Neem oil.
Cut back the easter cactus in the early summertime by cutting off three or two segments. Regular cutting will help promote an abundance of bushy growth.
If your ripsalidopsis fails to bloom at the right time (the time of blooming is between April and May), it is possible that you have been negligent in the care of your plant. The primary reason for this is a temperature that is too cold in the area where the plant is. The dormant time that runs from October to November the plant requires 13-15 degrees C however, from February onwards, it should be moved to a bright and warm area to lay buds. At this point, the amount of watering is increased (watering is not necessary for the dormant season) while top dressings are added using fertilizer for Cacti.
Plants that are still growing must be transplanted every year into the new soil. Make sure to do this after the plant has diminished. If not, the plant won’t have the energy to grow. Adults are transplanted every two years or sprinkled over new soil.
Lack of light or overflow can also cause a delay in flowering. Make sure the water doesn’t swell in the pan. Spray the plant daily with ripsalidopsis. Only a plant with energy will be a delight to you with a plethora of bright and abundant flowers for months.
Because ripsalidopsis thrive in the natural environment in areas with high humidity and good conditions for growth and blooming should be set. For these kinds of plants, the roots are typically fragile, weak, and don’t require soil with a lot of organic matter or a lot of soil-based moisture. They will simply die.
Plants need rough and loose soil. This includes coarse-grained sand, with debris without dust, clay-soddy ground with lumps, but no remnants of grass and roots, charcoal, and crushed bricks with no dust.
For these cacti from the forest, they require soil with a slightly acidic reaction is required. between 6 and 4.5. The superphosphate added to the soil will cause acidification. the soil.
The transplants are made immediately following blooming from the end of May to June. Because roots are tiny and they are in high demand of air. The dish must not be very long and not too big. In the event that the roots are in good health and well-developed The dimensions of the container will be multiplied by 1.5 times. If the roots are suffocated and small and squishy, the pot isn’t altered, or a smaller pot is used.
When you plant the roots, they’re equally distributed across the entire area of the pot. They are then filled with dirt. When you transplant plants, start by digging the stem into the soil before gently pulling it up, then filling it with soil, and then compress the soil by pressing the sides of the pot using your fingers. As you can see, soil can be gently compacted with your hands. The plant’s trunk is not able to be submerged into the soil. The green part of the plant is not completely covered in soil It will start to turn brown. The plant is then kept hydrated and put in a shaded area.
During the time of flowering, ripsalidopsis needs to be frequently watered, but in a way that the water doesn’t remain stagnant in the container. The excess water on stems isn’t an obstacle for epiphytes as they are awe-inspiring to spray daily and regular wash with water that is warm (until buds begin to appear). Ripsalidopsis get watered all the time throughout the year, but in dormancy, from October through February – the amount of watering is less and they don’t get fed.
In February (during the time before flowers) through March, watering is increased slightly.
Pests and Diseases
The plant is susceptible to pests and diseases. Symptoms of undesirable conditions can be subsidence and drying of the joints. Inspection begins from above, if a rusty coating and stripes are detected, then ticks can start. They are fought with hot water or 70% alcohol. It is enough to process the segments with one of the tools. Nothing will happen to the plant, but get rid of ticks.
Ripsalidopsis can wilt and lose a large number of segments due to poor roots. The oppression of the root system occurs in the following cases:
- Stagnation of water and excess moisture.
- Depleted soil.
- Root burns with poorly diluted dressings. They are used only after watering.
- The appearance of worms in the soil – white worms.
With such symptoms, the plant should be removed from the pot, and inspected the roots and soil. Diseased roots are removed, and healthy ones should be doused with hot water so that the hand can endure a little, remove the remnants of the earth in a solution of dark crimson manganese, dry it and plant it in a new substrate. To reduce the load on the roots, the upper part of the plant can be slightly shortened with scissors.
Temperature and Zone
Easter cactus is a short-day plant that forms flower buds during the cool days of fall, but unlike Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti, these buds must have a rest period before they’ll open. Nighttime temperatures around 55 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 weeks are ideal to satisfy this wintertime rest period.
Easter cactus is easy to grow so long as it receives bright light, but not necessarily full sun, during the summer growing period. Fertilize as you would any houseplant during the summer months. It’s very susceptible to stem rot if planted in heavy soil or overwatered, which is easy to do during the dormancy period when only occasional watering is needed.
Soil and Watering
The potting medium must be well-drained with good aeration, as these epiphytic cacti do not grow well in heavy, wet potting mixes. A good mix may contain 60-80% potting soil with 40-20% added perlite.