How to Prune an Easter Cactus  (A to Z Guide)

How to Prune an Easter Cactus 

A spring cactus, also known as an Easter cactus, often bloomed in the spring. Easter cacti are one of three-holiday Cacti that bloom in autumn and winter. The stem-like leaves of Easter cacti are covered in pink or red flowers.

Once the holiday season is over, you might notice that your holiday plant looks a little droopy. In many cases, these plants are rather resilient and it’s just that they take a little while to bounce back fully. 

However, with a little bit of care, you can help perk them up again in no time. Pruning your Easter cactus to keep the shape of the plant and to remove spent flowers from the stems.

Watch for Easter cactus flowers as they burst onto the plant. Easter cacti bloom between the months of April and July. When the flowers start to fade, it’s time to prune the cactus.

The most common time to prune the Easter cactus is between spring( February and March), when new shoots appear from growing tips without flowers or buds. This way, your plant will have time to grow new branches before it blooms again during springtime.

The first step in pruning your Easter cactus is to remove all of the spent flowers with the secateurs. Cut off the stems where each segment splits into two smaller segments. You can also pinch these segments if you like; however, this may prevent new buds from forming. Use your hand or forceps to bend back all the leaves and stems except for two or three of the newest ones around the top of your cactus plant’s stem

After trimming, fertilize the Easter cactus by adding the fertilizer to water in accordance with the package instructions. This is based on the container size. The fertilizer should be evenly spread over the soil, avoiding splashing it on the cactus’ leaves.

Is It Possible to Prune a Cactus 

Some varieties of cacti do not have a need for this activity. In general, they are more like trees, and they do not require pruning.

But if your cactus has a need for this activity, be careful with it. For example, if you have already found out that the root system is rotting or has other problems, then you will have to prune it. 

Otherwise, it will be better for you to leave your plant alone and let it live and grow on its own.

If you have noticed that one part of the stem is rotten or injured, then don’t hesitate and cut it off. 

Other than that you can use pruning shears if you notice that some branches are too long or wide in comparison with others. But try to be careful! Don’t harm the remaining part of the plant by cutting off too much at once!

Pruning Is Necessary If: 

The shape of the plant has noticeably changed; asymmetric development is observed; the stem is thinned, and stretched out. 

 Pruning is needed if rotting has begun as a result of neglecting proper care:

  •  excessive watering;
  •  use of unsuitable soil; 
  • lack of drainage; large pot size. 

Trimming Rules 

It is essential to prepare all sterile materials before you begin pruning. A clerical knife is a good choice for the job. It’s sharp enough to cut straight through delicate tissue and make a clean cut.

You must disinfect the tool with alcohol before cutting.

It is important to make sure you have a towel or a piece of plain paper that has multiple layers to avoid introducing thorns to your skin.

You can remove the plant from its pot using plastic tweezers.

How Should You Cut the Easter Cactus?

The Easter cactus is easy to care for and therefore rarely needs pruning. There are usually two reasons for cutting: it is either too big and needs some support, or you need cuttings for propagation.

The Pruning of Plants That Are Too Large

When a plant has grown too large for its container, it should be repotted. Pruning is actually only a last resort, and should not be used as the first attempt to make a plant fit into its container.

 If it is necessary to prune, only one or two branches should be removed from the plant with a sharp knife.

“The cut-off cactus parts can be used as cuttings and planted directly in the ground,”

Cutting Off Cuttings

The Easter cactus should be cut with a sharp knife if it is to be pruned. The ideal is a cutting length of approximately 10 cm. The cuttings must have at least two members.

 They are then inserted into the ground directly after being cut. This makes propagation easy.

When Is the Right Time to Cut?

However, this plant has one dark secret: its limbs are very delicate and can break easily. Therefore, you should always proceed very carefully. It is particularly sensitive during the flowering period. Therefore, it should never be pruned once it has flowered. If you cut off a piece during the flowering period, the cactus will probably not flower again at all.

“The ideal time for pruning is after flowering.”

Remove Damaged Limbs

The Easter cactus can be damaged in many ways, but the most common damage is done by too much sun or too little water. If this happens to your plant, you can either remove damaged limbs or let them dry up and fall off on their own.

Removing Damaged Limbs

If a burned limb still has its roots attached, then it can be removed by pulling it off. Use the same technique for limbs that have dried out due to insufficient watering: simply pluck them off with your fingers.

When cutting off damaged limbs, make sure to cut them as close to the base of the plant as possible. This way, the Easter cactus will receive less stress and will have less to repair when it starts regrowing new limbs.

When to Cut? – Best Time

Now in spring is the ideal time, as they will soon sprout again.

However, pruning is usually possible all year round without damaging the plants.

How to Cut? Best Practices

Shortening, pruning

With a vital  Easter cactus, you can shorten the shoots almost as much as you like by simply twisting them between two limbs with your fingers. The more lignified the bottom of the plant is, the less radical you are when pruning, ie you cut back less deeply, if necessary, spread the cut over several years.

Thin out

In the case of very densely growing Easter cacti, you can also remove entire shoots directly at the base for thinning out.

How Many Years Old Can an Easter Cactus Live? – Lifespan, Age

That’s a pretty long lifespan for a plant that you can easily repot every spring, so you might wonder how such a slow-growing plant can last so long. And you’ll probably also wonder what’s the secret to keeping your own plants alive for such a long time.

 Well, here it is: regular pruning, preferably from the beginning, of course, can delay the aging of the plants for a very long time, and it often takes well over 30 years for an Easter cactus to be exhausted.

But even then you can save him and basically let him live forever by throwing his shoots into the “fountain of youth”:

Features of Care

Easter cactus likes bright, but not too much light. Northern windowsills are the best for ripsalidopsis.

It needs to be humid in summer. It is possible to achieve this by using a pallet and placing peat or pebbles on it. However, the pot must not be in direct contact with water.

Regular spraying of the leaves is a good idea to create a bathing effect. It is a good idea to remove ripsalidopsis from the room during the hot season.

It is important to use ready-made mixes, following all instructions and not using organic substances.

Rest Period

To ensure lush spring flowering, it is important to care for your cactus properly during its dormant phase.

Ripsalidopsis is able to thrive in conditions during autumn and winter at temperatures between 12 and 15 degrees Celsius. It doesn’t require much watering.

It’s enough to ensure that the soil inside the pot doesn’t dry out.

It is best to temporarily transfer the plant to a cooler room in order for flowers to form.

It is best to wash your leaves with warm water before the buds appear. Watering should be decreased from the beginning of flowering in the spring to avoid overwatering.


Ripsalidopsis can also be propagated at the start of summer by simply tearing off (without cutting!) A pair of segmented shoots with roots.

Place them in a cactus garden in a raised position and allow them to dry for at least two days.

The roots can then be transplanted into the same soil but not too deep. Otherwise, they may rot.

It is easy to get ripsalidopsis seeds from seeds by scattering them on moist soil in January. This will hide them from the light and provide a comfortable temperature (21-24 degrees C).

Once you have waited for sprouts to appear, move them to the sun and transplant the largest ones.

Pests and Diseases

Ripsalidopsis is very resistant to pests, but the mealy scale insect, which attacks both the aerial part of the plant and its roots, poses a danger to it. Its stains are usually removed with a sponge dipped in alcohol. It is advisable to treat the roots with a solution of a systemic insecticide: you need to wipe them and lower them into the solution for a couple of hours.


As long as you water it frequently and keep it warm, your Easter cactus should continue to grow for several years, producing flowers each spring. When it comes time for you to prune again, you will be able to remove more segments than before, as there will be more buds along the stem.

Once you have removed these dead or dying leaves, you can either paint the wound with pruning sealer to prevent infection and rot or simply let it air dry. You may find that your Easter cactus does not produce as many blooms if you do not remove spent flowers each year. While the flower stems are upright in your home, the rest of the plant is resting underneath its soil surface. Pruning it ensures that it will have enough energy to produce fresh, new buds and flowers next spring.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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