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How to Care for an Easter Cactus

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017

Easter cactus (Hatiora gaertneri) is a member of the family Cactaceae and is a succulent native to Brazil. The tropical plant thrives in warm environments with high humidity. Its flowers arrive around Easter and come in colors of pink, rose or scarlet. It's easy to grow as a houseplant, providing you meet its growing requirements. The basic problem a gardener will encounter is watering the plant too much. Easter cactus will do well planted in containers or grown in hanging baskets.

Plant the Easter cactus in a cactus mix soil that drains well, or make your own. Mix equal parts of peat, humus, coarse sand or perlite together and place into the growing container that has holes in the bottom. Place pea gravel into the bottom of the container to create more drainage.

Water the Easter cactus when the soil begins to feel dry. Pour enough water into the plant until it runs out of the bottom of the container. Empty any standing water from the container after two minutes.

Fertilize the Easter cactus monthly starting in the spring and ending in the fall. Use a water-soluble cactus fertilizer.

Situate the plant in an area indoors that receives bright, indirect light, especially during the morning and afternoon hours. Place it outdoors in an area that receives partial or filtered sun.

Place the Easter cactus in a cooler location of approximately 59 degrees in January to have blooms by Easter. Allow the plant to remain in that location for eight weeks without fertilization, and allow it to almost dry out. Replace it in its old location once the flower buds have reached 1 to 2 centimeters in length.

Check the plant for mealy bugs or spider mites, which might pose a problem for Easters cactuses grown indoors. Wipe the leaves off with a damp cloth regularly to rid any insect infestations before they start. Use an insecticide designed specifically for Easter cactus plants.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Cactus mix
  • Peat
  • Humus
  • Sand
  • Perlite
  • Cactus fertilizer

Tip

  • Easter cactus can be grown outdoors in the ground in U.S. tropical zone 10.

About the Author

 

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.