Grow an Easter Cactus for Festive Springtime Flowers
An Easter cactus is as gorgeous as an Easter egg! Here's how to grow one. Also learn to care for a spring blooming pincushion cactus.
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Easter Cactus Care
While some other types of cacti might bloom around Easter, they’re not technically an Easter cactus. That title goes to a different plant: Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri. With the common name “Easter cactus” or “spring cactus,” it thrives in cooler spring temperatures.
Easter cactus bears long-petaled pink, red, orange, white or purple flowers that open at sunrise and close in the evening. It likes bright, indirect light to grow its best, but won’t tolerate full sun. This drought-tolerant plant also requires loose soil so that its roots have access to air. Generally, this succulent doesn’t require much tending. Water it only when the soil is dry; water more often in the spring and summer than in fall and winter.
Interested in growing a succulent, but not sure how to start? Check out our guide to growing succulents—indoors and out.
Things get a little more granular, though, when it comes to getting your Easter cactus to produce those gorgeous flowers. In order to bloom between the months of March and May, it needs to be kept at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
As a fun fact, Easter cactus shares similarities with two other well-known holiday plants: Thanksgiving cactus and Christmas cactus. While they’re not in the same family, they all do best in cooler weather—notice they’re associated with winter or spring holidays—and sport angular, vibrant blooms.
Psst—check out pretty Easter flower arrangements we’re ordering this spring.
Rose Pincushion Cactus Care
Birds & Blooms reader Elizabeth Ann Mingus shared this photo (above) of another cacti that blooms around Easter and asked for help to identify it.
Horticultural expert Melinda Myers says, “This prickly beauty is a rose pincushion cactus that goes by the botanical name Mammillaria zeilmanniana. It is a prolific bloomer, as you’ve discovered, with pink to red or—occasionally—white flowers topping the plant. Like all cacti, it prefers full sun and well-draining soil. This particular cactus is only hardy in Zone 10 and milder climates. It can be overwintered indoors in colder regions or grown as a houseplant year-round.”
Next, check out cute cactus gifts for cactus lovers.