Thanksgiving Cactus Information

Thanksgiving & Christmas Cacti

April 9, 2014 – 04:26 am

Of Thanksgiving Cactus

Revised by Joey Williamson, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University, 11/11. Originally prepared by Nancy Doubrava, HGIC Horticulture Specialist and Al Pertuit, Extension Floriculture Specialist, Clemson University, 05/99.

HGIC 1554

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Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) and Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) are popular, fall- and winter-flowering houseplants native to Brazil, and are available in a wide variety of colors including red, rose, purple, lavender, peach, orange, cream, and white. These Schlumbergera species grow as epiphytes among tree branches in shady rain forests, and their pendulous stems make them a great choice for hanging baskets.

When grown under normal night length conditions, Thanksgiving cacti normally flower near Thanksgiving approximately a month before Christmas cacti bloom. Another member of the group sold as holiday cacti is the Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri), which flowers primarily in the spring and sporadically throughout the year with pink or red flowers. Because of its bloom time, the Thanksgiving cactus is most predominately encountered for sale during the winter holiday season. Flowering can last up 7 to 8 weeks if the plants are kept at 68 ºF.

To distinguish between the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti, look at the shape of the flattened stem segments, which are botanically called phylloclades. On the Thanksgiving cactus, these stem segments each have 2 to 4 saw-toothed serrations or projections along the margins. The stem margins on the Christmas cactus are more rounded. Note that there are no true leaves on either of these holiday cacti, so photosynthesis occurs within the green phylloclades.

A second method to distinguish between these two Schlumbergera species is based on the color of the pollen bearing anthers. The anthers of the Thanksgiving cactus are yellow, whereas the anthers on the Christmas cactus are purplish-brown.

Culture

Light & Temperature: The holiday cacti grow best in light shade. Full sunlight is beneficial during fall and winter, but bright sun during the summer months can make plants look pale and yellow. Ideal spring and summer growth occurs at temperatures between 70 to 80 °F during its growing season from April to September. During the fall, the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti depend upon shorter day lengths (8 to 10 hours) and cooler temperatures to set their flower buds. Do not let temperatures rise above 90 °F once the flower buds are set in the fall. Continuous warm temperatures can cause flower buds to drop. Do not leave these cacti outside if temperatures will drop below 50 ºF.

Source: www.clemson.edu


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Sounds like you will be traveling...

I suggest you have a live flower sent to their home to arrive just before you get there... something like an azalea or a Thanksgiving cactus plant, or a Christmas Cactus plant.
While there, I recommend you be very active in helping prepare meals, serve and clean up after the meals.
Offer to do things like peeling the potatoes, set the table, etc.
Since you are going to be there for 4 days, offer to run the vacuum before guests arrive, etc.
Offer to make quick trips to the grocery store as you see the need.
If there are children in the family, help entertain the children to give their parents a break

Christmas Cactus Unrooted Cuttings 'Lavender' Variety
Lawn & Patio ()
  • Easy to Grow.
  • A holiday and year round favorite.
  • Buds bloom from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
  • Three healthy unrooted cuttings are 2-4 segments each.
  • Roots can take 4 to 6 weeks to grow.

Related posts:

  1. Thanksgiving cactus (plant)
  2. Thanksgiving cactus Flowering
  3. Thanksgiving cactus Blooms when
  4. Thanksgiving cactus Origin
  5. Thanksgiving cactus Propagation