How to Make an Easter Cactus Bloom

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Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri) blooms in late winter and spring, around the Easter holiday period. Each jointed leaf on the cactus has an attractive scalloped edge and small spines, but it's real beauty lies in the pink or red blooms that form at the ends of the leaf segments. Easter cactuses belong to the tropical cactus family, so they grow best in the constant temperatures found indoors and they require more moisture than desert cactuses. Easter cactuses require cool days and ample sunlight to bloom.

Place the Easter cactus near a sunny window but out of direct sunlight. Bright, diffused light leads to the best blooming on the cactus. The Easter cactus produces flower buds during the normal day length of spring, so supplemental lighting isn't necessary.

Keep the temperature near the cactus near 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and as low as 55 F at night. Easter cactuses require cooler temperatures to set flower buds successfully.

Allow the top 2 inches of soil in the pot to dry slightly before watering until the plant begins to set buds. Once buds form, increase watering frequency so you water when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry. Mild drought stress encourages the cactus to set buds.

Begin fertilizing the cactus after the buds open and blooming begins. Apply a soluble houseplant fertilizer once monthly following the rate recommendation on the package. Continue to fertilizer through summer. Easter cactuses don't require fertilization in fall or winter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Easter cactuses flower best when slightly root-bound. The plants rarely require repotting.

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