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.
Thanksgiving Cacti Love Water!
Contrary to popular belief, this cactus loves to be watered thoroughly. Thanksgiving Cacti should be watered or misted every time the soil becomes dry on the top. To gauge how much water you should give, you can push your finger 2 inches into the soil in a large pot. If it’s completely dry, water it well. On smaller plants, just feel the weight of the pot. When it is lightweight, water it thoroughly. If it is a bit damp, try misting your plant instead. Too much water will give the plant root rot, so water only when dry. Once your cactus starts transitioning to dormancy (early Fall), water less frequently.
Use quality soil that is rich in nutrients. We prefer Old Castle C/V Mix Potting Soil for our plants here at Mitchell’s.
Temperature and Humidity
Maintain an optimal climate of 65 degrees. The Thanksgiving and Christmas Cacti prefer a happy medium between 60-70 degrees and normal to high humidity. It would be smart to place your cactus on a plate with pebbles and a small amount of water to keep your plant healthy and happy but be sure the water is not touching the bottom of the pot. You could also invest in a misting bottle or a small humidifier.
Place the cactus in a north or east-facing window for moderate light. Get your holiday Cactus on a good schedule, making sure that it gets at least 12 hours of darkness in order to bloom. With attentive care, your Thanksgiving Cactus will be blooming again and again for years to come. Happy Planting!