The holidays are fast approaching, and you may soon become the happy owner of your very own Thanksgiving Cacti. Schlumbergera truncata is the scientific name of the Thanksgiving Cactus. It blooms with a multitude of different colored flowers depending on the type that you get, including gold, white, orange, red, pink, and fuchsia.
Christmas Cacti are also popular at this time, though they are much less common. Most Christmas Cacti you find in stores during the holiday season are actually Thanksgiving Cacti.
The difference between the Thanksgiving Cactus, the Christmas Cactus, and the Easter Cactus lies in their leaves and their bloom times. The Thanksgiving Cactus blooms from November to February. Its leaves have pointing claw-like projections around the edges. The Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessii ) usually blooms around Christmas for less time. Its leaves are teardrop-shaped and more scalloped. Easter Cacti are well-rounded which are centralized at the leaf. Schlumbergera truncata is considered a short-day plant.
Short-day or long-day plants pertain to photoperiodism, which is the amount of light a plant needs in order to flourish. Short-day plants, which include poinsettias and Christmas Cacti, need no more than 12 hours of light exposure in order to bloom successfully. With photoperiodism in mind, here are some guidelines for taking care of your Thanksgiving Cactus: