The scientific name for the Easter cactus is Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri. This is a cactus that grows in the branches of trees in its native habitat in the rainforest. This cactus is part of the epiphytic cacti, which have slightly different growing requirements from other cactus. They are similar to the Christmas cactus. The Easter cactus tolerates being root-bound. They need to be transplanted every two or three years to replace the nutrients in the soil. The Easter cactus can be repotted into the same-size container.
Wash the container in hot soapy water and rinse with a mixture of one part bleach and nine parts water. This will kill any organisms that cause plant disease. This is an important step, especially if you are planting in a used container.
Place a piece of wire mesh screen over the drain holes on the inside of the pot. A broken piece of clay pot can be used instead. This is to prevent the soil from leaking out of the bottom of the container.
Fill the bottom of the container with 1/2-inch of small gravel. This will prevent any water from standing in the bottom of the container and help prevent root rot.
Mix two parts peat moss, one part potting soil and one part sand to give the Easter cactus a growing medium that contains more organic materials than ordinary cactus soil.
Place 1/2-inch of soil mixture along with the Easter cactus in the pot and fill in around it with the soil mixture. Firm the soil down around the cactus and leave the soil 1/2 to 1 inch below the container rim.
Things You Will Need
- Wire mesh screen
- Peat moss
- Potting soil
- Leaving an Easter cactus root-bound helps produce flower buds. Allowing the temperature to fall in the evenings will help induce flowers as well. Shorter days and a nighttime temperature of around 55 degrees F. will encourage the Easter cactus to produce flowers. If the nighttime temperature exceeds 65 degrees F. the Easter cactus may not flower.
- Scales and mealy bugs may infest your Easter cactus. Wipe the cactus leaves down with rubbing alcohol to control these infestations.
- Over-watering will kill your Easter cactus, so let the soil dry out between waterings. Humidity is important to your Easter cactus. Place the cactus in an area with medium humidity to prevent the stems from shriveling.