The easy-care plant can be brought to life by taking maintenance. The wild forms of it live on the trees of the Brazilian rainforest. Here in the United States, we have the Hatiora gaertneri is at home on the rows of windows when the lighting is at its peak and the Easter cactus gets repotted frequently. The Easter Cactus is almost exactly similar to the Christmas Cactus. But, the cactus belonging to the Rhipsalidopsis family have distinct maintenance requirements compared to the desert Christmas Cactus.
To repot your Easter cactus, remove the plant from its existing container and separate any roots that are clumped together. Place your new container next to your old one and examine how much room there is for roots at the bottom of the new.
Here’s how to repot your Easter cactus:
1. Fill the new pot with soil so that it rises 1/3 inch above the rim; make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the new pot.
2. Remove soil from the roots of your Easter cactus using a sharp knife or scissors; you want to remove about half of them (the roots won’t grow back). Place the plant in the new pot, using some of the removed soil to cover any exposed roots; don’t use too much, though, or else water will pool around them and cause rotting.
Do I Have to Repot My Easter Cactus Regularly?
Repotting your Easter cactus is not something you will need to do very often. If you bring it inside for the winter, repotting will be a task you do every two to three years, because the plant does not need a lot of room for its roots. The Easter cactus has no spines, so there is no risk of injury if you are repotting it.
The Easter cactus only needs to be repotted every two to three years
In addition to making sure there is plenty of room for new growth from the roots, repotting also encourages branching along the stem and keeps the shape of your plant healthy. When you repot your Easter cactus, choose a pot with an opening just slightly larger than the current pot.
If the pot is too small for your cactus, repot it sooner. Be sure to wait until the end of the flowering period, otherwise, the beautiful splendor will probably come to an end quickly. During this time, the Easter cactus is very sensitive to any change. Unfortunately, it also reacts to a change in location, so a cactus bought in bloom usually loses its flowers.
What Should I Pay Attention to When Repotting?
Be careful when repotting your Easter cactus, its limbs can break off very easily. It’s not a drama, but your cactus should still be handsome afterward. Your Easter cactus only needs a larger pot if the old one is too small and you want the cactus to continue to grow. Otherwise, just swap out the old earth.
The Easter cactus prefers cactus soil, but will also thrive in a mixture of regular potting soil and sand in a ratio of about 2:1. If there is no drainage layer yet, create one. All you need is a few broken pieces of pottery or coarse gravel because you put them in the bottom of the pot.
What Do I Do with Broken Cactus Limbs?
The cactus pieces that have been broken off are ideal for cuttings. You can thus multiply your Easter Cactus with little effort. But, the cuttings you get through this method must have at minimum two links and are approximately 10 centimeters long. It is possible to place this cut directly into the substrate or let it dry a bit before placing it into the substrate.
The Essentials in Brief:
- Do not choose a too large pot.
- Be sure to ensure that you use a pot with drainage holes.
- It is recommended to make use of Cactus soil.
- alternatively, you can use sand and potting soil 2:1
- Incorporate a drainage layer into the pot that you are using.
- Cactus limbs are easily broken.
- Broken links make good cuttings.
“When repotting, the sensitive cacti limbs break off easily, so work carefully. However, the broken-off links do not belong on the compost but can be used as cuttings.”
When Should the Easter Cactus Be Repotted?
Easter cacti are easy to grow as long as their basic needs are met.
In general, they should be repotted every year to two years, depending on the variety and condition of the plant. In spring, Easter cacti begin to grow again after a long period of rest. Therefore, it is the best time to repot them.
The time after the end of flowering is recommended for repotting the Easter cactus. If repotted during the flowering period, the beautiful flowers are quickly lost. The cactus is very sensitive during this period and does not like changes. Changing the location after repotting during this time also has a negative effect. For this reason, Easter cacti that have been bought in bloom often react to the new location by dropping the flowers.
“If your Easter cactus does not bloom all year round, it may be in a room that is too warm. Leave it in semi-shade on the balcony in summer and from October until flowering it should be housed at room temperatures of 15 to 20 degrees.”
What to Watch Out for When Repotting?
When repotting an Easter cactus, keep in mind that it doesn’t have any spines or thorns. It also doesn’t have any deep roots. So don’t worry about putting on gloves or getting dirty. When repotting, just remove the plant from its container and gently separate the roots from the container’s bottom. Use a pot that’s one size bigger than the current one—but only if you want to continue growing your plant. Otherwise, swap the soil between two pots of equal size.
If you’re planning to grow your Easter cactus in a new pot, don’t fill it with water yet. Wait until all of its roots are out of its old pot before you do so. If you put water into a pot with roots still attached to it, they might rot and die off already before their new home is ready for them.
Which Soil to Use?
The Easter cactus can be a beautiful addition to your home and it is easy to care for. But this flowering plant is picky about the soil in which it grows. The most important thing is to find soil that drains well, as the Easter cactus does not appreciate soggy soil. The Easter cactus also requires good airflow. If you place your plant in an area with poor airflow, the leaves of your plant will begin to turn brown and fall off.
The ideal soil for growing an Easter cactus is a cactus mix (normal potting soil) that has been mixed with sand in a ratio of 2 parts sand to 1 part potting soil. Place a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot before filling it with soil. You can also use coarse gravel or small pebbles.
Flower Induction or Not?
If you want your Easter cacti to flower exactly at Easter, you can force it like trading, which is then called flower induction. What the varieties and hybrids have in common, however, is that as short-day plants they need a period of short days to flower, with no more than 10 hours of light a day.
The cactus, which is scheduled to flower at Easter, goes into dormancy for flower induction sometime between late fall and winter. It gets its second dormant phase immediately after flowering, then it is watered little and not fertilized for six weeks.
You can also save yourself the whole game and simply give your cactus a long rest period in winter and maybe a short one after the flowering period otherwise just let it bloom when it wants.
When the cactus starts to flower, it also wants to be treated like the prima donna it is about to become: it doesn’t want to be rotated and it certainly doesn’t want to be moved, otherwise it could really happen that it simply sheds its flowers discards.
It is very likely that with proper light deprivation you could get an Easter cactus to flower at Christmas and a Christmas cactus to flower at Easter.
The Other Care of the Easter Cacti
The rest of the maintenance of the Easter Cactus is not difficult at all:
- Bright spot with no direct sunlight Best outdoors between May and September.
- Easter cacti can be grown in cactus soil. It is a well-drained soil for potting.
- The watering should be done in a controlled manner and only after your pot’s soil is dry again.
- In the case of the epiphytes used to rain, the leaves can be sprayed more frequently.
- During the course of the season (growth and blooming time) it receives fertilizer for cactus once per month.
- In spring, you can replant the Easter Cactus as you need to, in a pot that is slightly bigger and using new soil.