How to Take Care of an Easter Cactus

Overview

The Easter cactus is an unusual plant that literally grows on trees in its native South America. It has flat stems that droop as the plant grows, making it an attractive choice for hanging baskets. In spring it becomes covered in pink or red flowers and remains in bloom for about four weeks. The Easter cactus does best in a room that is very bright, but should be kept out of direct sunlight. This cactus grows between 12 and 24 inches tall and will spread to fill the container it is planted in.

Step 1

Fill a potting container three-fourths of the way with cactus growing mix. Plant the Easter cactus at the same level it was growing when you purchased it. Replace the potting mixture and pat down firmly. Add warm water until the soil feels moist, but not wet.

Step 2

Place the container in a location that receives several hours of bright light each day. Use warm water to moisten the soil whenever it feels dry to the touch. Mist with a spray bottle once each day to increase humidity.

Step 3

Fertilize once every month, from spring until fall, with a water-soluble fertilizer.

Step 4

Provide the plant with 14 hours of darkness for 8 to 10 weeks, beginning about two months before spring's arrival, to encourage blooms to develop. If necessary, cover the plant with a paper bag or box to block out light. Daytime temperatures during this time should be between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and night temperatures should range from 45 to 55 degrees.

Step 5

Reduce watering for a one month period after the blooms have faded. Stop fertilizing during this time as well, but continue to mist the plant lightly each day.

Step 6

Water and feed regularly again once the month-long period of rest has passed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not move the plant to a new location after the flower buds have developed, as changes in temperature can cause the buds to fall off.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting container
  • Cactus growing mix
  • Spray bottle
  • Water-soluble fertilizer

References

  • Texas A&M University: Easter Cactus
  • Plant Care: Easter Cactus
  • Guide to Houseplants: Easter Cactus
Keywords: easter cactus, easter cactus care, grow easter cactus, plant easter cactus

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.