Extension Logo
Extension Logo
University of Minnesota Extension

Easter cactus brings spring color indoors

Outdoors is not the only place you can enjoy spring flowers. Along with cheerful bulb gardens, there is the Easter cactus (Schlumbergera gaertneri), a snazzy spring-blooming member of the Cactus family and one of about nine species in the Schlumbergera genus.

Most people are very familiar with the Christmas cactus (S. bridgesii) and Thanksgiving cactus (S. truncata). Both of these winter-blooming favorites set bud in response to shorter days and cooler temperatures. However, the Easter cactus sets buds as days become longer and temperatures warmer. In other words, springtime.

How does it grow?

Easter cactus in well-drained soil

A perennial, native to Brazil and hardy to zones 10-12, the Easter cactus is an epiphyte: a non-parasitic plant that grows on other plants or structures and gets nutrients and water from rain, air, etc. It has branching stems comprised of segments called cladophylls.

The Easter cactus grows in light shade in nature. As a houseplant, it requires a bright window and well-drained soil.

These plants sometimes come double-potted in decorative pots that lack drainage holes, so be sure to remove the plant from the decorative pot so it drains well when watered.

See more on taking care of Holiday cacti.

Julie Weisenhorn is an Extension educator in horticulture.

Page survey

© 2023 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.