Types of Christmas Cactus

Did you know that there are different types of Christmas cactus? The holiday cacti are often named based on the time of year when they would bloom. So, the Christmas cactus got its name because the flowers usually appear in the winter season during the Christmas holidays.

The flowering species of the holiday cacti are beautiful plants that you can add to an indoor or outdoor garden. Since the holiday cacti grow easily in containers, you will have more control of their soil conditions and environment. The holiday cactus needs bright light throughout the day and must be kept between 55 and 65 degrees at room temperature. Christmas cactus strives best in well-drained soil, so you need to ensure that the soil is dry before the plant buds and then you can start with light watering.

Types of Christmas cactus

There are three main types of cacti which are classified as Christmas cactus. These are the Thanksgiving cactus, Easter cactus and of course, the Christmas cactus; all of which are called holiday cactus because of their names.

The Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus are categorized in the Schlumbergera family. The Christmas cactus is from the Schlumbergera x buckleyi species, which is a cross between S. russelliana and S. truncate, while the Thanksgiving cactus belongs to the Schlumbergera truncate species.

Christmas cactus produces vibrant reddish-pink blooms between late December and March. The Thanksgiving cactus bloom flowers with red, pinkish-orange and light purple colors from late November to December. Easter cactus produces flowers from March to May with blooms in shades of red and pink.

The Easter cacti are also classified among the different types of Christmas cactus. But, unlike the Christmas and the Thanksgiving cactus, Easter cactus only produces blooms one time for the year during the spring. Generally, these cactus plants are difficult to grow because they are susceptible to water conditions and often drop blooms and buds if the soil is under slight water pressure. The rainbow and crimson giant (R. gaertneri) Easter cactus produces red flowers, while the rose (R. rosea) cactus produces red and pink flowers.

A Brief History Of The Christmas Cactus

Now, the true Christmas cactus, (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), was created from two other plants as a hybrid during the nineteenth century. The buckleyi produce flowers with pinkish-purple and white colors. These cactus plants can live for long time and they can produce flower annually during late and mid winter. Even though the Easter cactus and the November cactus are classified as Christmas cacti at times, there is just one true cactus with the buckleyi name.

In conclusion, as long as you take good care of your holiday cacti houseplants they will grow easily and produce beautiful flowers every year. Regardless of the types of Christmas cactus that you choose, these beautiful flowering plants can compliment your holiday festivities.