Christmas Cactus vs. Thanksgiving Cactus vs. Easter Cactus

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Jackson Roy

The Christmas period has arrived, which means decorations and seasonal plants. This is the time of year when there are a lot of attractive holiday plants to pick from, whether you buy them from a flower shop or grow them yourself as friends and relatives exchange holiday cacti.

But how can you tell whether you have a Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas cactus? You’ll need to know correctly which plant to care for your Christmas cactus. Unfortunately, such plants are frequently mistaken because of their striking resemblance. So, we’ll discuss the characteristics of each plant here so that you won’t have any difficulty later.

What is Christmas Cactus?

Christmas Cactus vs. Thanksgiving Cactus vs. Easter Cactus

Schlumbergera bridgesii is the scientific term for the Christmas cactus. This plant survives for a long time, and many people propagate the stems to pass the plant on to future generations. The Christmas Cactus flowers hang from late November to early February. Usually, the color of the flowers is white or red, but they can also be yellow.

The symmetrical blooms are uniformly spaced along the flower tubes, and the anthers are purple-brown. Because these plants slide down, they’re finest in a hanging basket. In addition, this cactus requires very little water; it’s best to keep the soil damp while the plant grows.

How to Take Care of Your Christmas Cactus?

Christmas cactus are not difficult to care for, but they have specific criteria that must be followed to keep them healthy.

  • This plant will need a boost of fertilizer in the early spring and summer, which you may provide using water-soluble fertilizer or slow-release beads.
  • However, stop fertilizing once you see new shoots until the plant has bloomed.
  • They may thrive in a variety of soil types but prefer damp soil.
  • The leaf projections of the Christmas cactus are more scalloped or teardrop-shaped.

Read More: Fruits vs. Vegetables – What’s the Difference

What is Thanksgiving Cactus?

Christmas Cactus vs. Thanksgiving Cactus vs. Easter Cactus

The Thanksgiving cactus is Schlumbergera truncata. When they hear the word cactus, most people envision a stubby plant with spines everywhere. Thanksgiving cactus does not go with this style. Although it is known as a leaf cactus, it is not natural. It’s an epiphyte or a plant that lives on another plant.

Thanksgiving holiday cactus is a tried-and-true winner, with blooms lasting 2 to 4 months and a laid-back personality. These plants are native to Brazil’s non-tropical forests, where they can be seen growing outside trees; however, dozens of Christmas Tree Alternatives are also used to decorate the houses during the event. Thanksgiving cactus takes root on trees in its native habitat and uses decomposing waste as a source of nutrition.

How to take care of Your Thanksgiving Cactus?

There are a few key considerations to keep in view when it comes to caring for this famous Christmas cactus.

  • Maintaining a good watering routine is one of the most crucial aspects of keeping a Thanksgiving cactus happy.
  • Use a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the spring, summer, and early fall.
  • The Thanksgiving cactus grows on trees in its natural habitat, surviving on decaying organic debris from the surface.
  • Also, the shape of the leaves is the distinction between the three cacti; on the edges of the leaf of the Thanksgiving cactus (there are exceedingly sharp and claw-shaped projections.

What is Easter Cactus?

Christmas Cactus vs. Thanksgiving Cactus vs. Easter Cactus

Easter Cactus (Rhipsalidopsis), also known as Spring Cactus, blooms in various bright colors from March through May. Their star-shaped flowers remain for several weeks, opening at daybreak and close at sunset. Easter Cacti are native epiphytes that grow in the highest branches of trees in eastern Brazil’s woods.

As they adapt to epiphytic life, Easter Cacti make great houseplants. They can thrive in partial sun and dry circumstances in their native habitat. It, in turn, is closely tied to their ability to bloom in trees. The Easter variant’s blossom is swirly and comes in many colors, including pink, red, and orange.

How to take care of your Easter Cactus?

  • Avoid exposing it to both deep shadows and direct sunshine for long periods.
  • Deep shadow produces little development and few if any, blossoms.
  • The Easter Cactus is not a desert cactus, so it must be shielded from direct heat exposure.
  • The leaves will become reddish-brown if exposed to too much sunshine.
  • It takes a long time to become pot-bound because it grows slowly. If needed, report after flowering in midsummer, but it’s unlikely you’ll need to do so more than once about every season.
  • The Easter cactus features a leaf with highly rounded margins that are centered.

Difference Between Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter Cactus

  Christmas Cactus Thanksgiving Cactus Easter Cactus
Introduction Schlumbergera bridgesii is the scientific name for the Christmas cactus. Schlumbergera truncata is the scientific name for the Thanksgiving cactus. Rhipsalidopsis gaetneri is the scientific name for the Easter cactus.
Family The Schlumbergera family includes the Christmas cactus, which is native to Brazil’s rainforests. The Cactaceae family includes the Thanksgiving cactus, native to Brazil’s rainforests. The Easter cactus belongs to the Rhipsalidopsis family and is native to Brazil’s natural woodlands.
Blooming season This plant begins to blossom in December. In November, this plant begins to blossom. In April and May, this plant begins to blossom.
Temperature The Christmas cactus requires chilly temperatures to thrive. The Thanksgiving cactus requires humid temperatures for development. Easter cactus requires hotter temperatures than other cacti.



The cactus for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter are all relatively identical. The Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus, which belong to the same plant family, is very popular. But fortunately, there are ways to distinguish between them. Looking at the structure of their leaves is the quickest and most reliable approach to tell them apart. Following our identification recommendations, you’ll be responsible for all seasonal cactus expertise. You could even impart some knowledge to shop employees and online plant dealers.