Plant Care Holiday Cactus

Holiday Cactus

4.6 out of 5 (282 experiences)

Holiday Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Holiday Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

About Holiday Cactus

Did you know plants in the Schlumbergera genus are actually leafless? Instead of leaves, they use modified stems to capture sunlight! Unlike the Easter cactus, this species flowers in the later autumn or winter. They also have pointed wings at the corners, where its counterpart has more rounded edges. In the wild, they are epiphytes, meaning they grow on tree branches or rocks! 🌳 🪨

Taxonomy

Schlumbergera truncata
Schlumbergera
Cactaceae
Caryophyllales

Also known as

False Christmas Cactus, False Christmas Cactus, Crab Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus and False Christmas Cactus 'Thanksgiving'

How to care for Holiday Cactus

💦 Water

How often to water your Holiday Cactus

Water needs for Holiday Cactus
0.5 cups
every 12

Holiday Cactus needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Holiday Cactus

Water 0.5 cups every
12

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for False Christmas Cactus in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Holiday Cactus: 3ft from a window
3ft or less from
a window

Holiday Cactus may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.

Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Holiday Cactus in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Holiday Cactus

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Holiday Cactus: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Holiday Cactus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #thanksgivingcactus
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Holiday Cactus is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Benefits of Growing False Christmas Cactus →

Common False Christmas Cactus Problems →


💦 Water Needs

Holiday Cactus thrives in dry soil and should be watered sparingly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

False Christmas Cactus Water Frequency →


☀️ Sunlight Needs

Holiday Cactus may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

False Christmas Cactus Light Requirements →

False Christmas Cactus Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Holiday Cactus is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.

False Christmas Cactus Toxicity to Humans →


💨 Humidity

Holiday Cactus prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.

False Christmas Cactus Humidity Needs →


🪴 Soil

Holiday Cactus is very sensitive to wet soil, so choose a potting soil that drains very well and doesn’t retain too much moisture. A good soil will have lots of perlite or vermiculite for drainage and some organic matter for nutrition. A few handfuls of perlite added to regular store-bought cactus soil will do the trick!

When and How to Successfully Repot False Christmas Cactus →


💩 Fertilizer

Holiday Cactus grows very slowly and doesn’t require added fertilizer. Replacing your plant’s potting soil once a year should provide them with more than enough nutrition. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!


❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Holiday Cactus to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.


🌎 Native Region

Holiday Cactus is native to Southeastern Brazil.


🌸 Flowers

Yes, you may see your Holiday Cactus bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Holiday Cactus grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.

How and When to Prune False Christmas Cactus →


🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Holiday Cactus can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-12b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

False Christmas Cactus Temperature Tolerance →


🌱 Propagation

Holiday Cactus can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:

  • Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
  • To get the cutting to root, you can either:
    • Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
    • Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.

How to Propagate False Christmas Cactus →


🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


😖 Common Issues

Overwatering is a likely cause of issues with Holiday Cactus. These plants are very sensitive to wet soil so if you notice your plant becoming squishy or translucent, overwatering is the likely culprit.

Cut your plant just past where the rot ends and allow it to callus over for a few days before replanting it in fresh, dry soil. Download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!


Care Summary for Holiday Cactus

Holiday Cactus

Holiday Cactus


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 12 days

Placement

< 3ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Holiday Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 189
Holiday Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 98
Holiday Cactus has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 88
Holiday Cactus has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 87
Holiday Cactus has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 29
Holiday Cactus has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 5
Holiday Cactus has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 2
@tango avatar
@@tango
leaf-1 45 Plants
xp 6,050 XP
04/01/2022

Such an amazing plant!! Can get a little leggy and has inconsistent blooming, but overall nearly impossible to kill and very rewarding when it does decide to bloom. ♥️

Fast grower Fast grower
Blooms easily Blooms easily
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Kristin avatar
@Kristin
leaf-1 7 Plants
xp 612 XP
globe Edmonton, Alberta
03/20/2022

Easy to grow. Not fussy. Can take drought conditions.

Blooms easily Blooms easily
Survivor Survivor
Cathy avatar
@Cathy
leaf-1 6 Plants
xp 126 XP
globe Middlebury, IN
03/19/2022

It blooms in the winter, with small colorful dots which turn into big colorful blooms.

Fast grower Fast grower
@UnsulliedLentil avatar
@@UnsulliedLentil
leaf-1 26 Plants
xp 1,073 XP
03/06/2022

I find the Cece.Helmers@gmail.com’s to be easy to grow. Blooms, well that’s different. Mine requires complete darkness for about 7 days then it will bloom.

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
@YesSalad avatar
@@YesSalad
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 69 XP
globe Augusta, ME
02/27/2022

One of my long time friends

Fast grower Fast grower
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
@geemcolo avatar
@@geemcolo
leaf-1 11 Plants
xp 1,460 XP
02/05/2022

It’s incredibly sensitive!!! It likes room temperature and not direct light and not to be moved around a lot.

@MariansOasis avatar
@@MariansOasis
leaf-1 91 Plants
xp 18,471 XP
globe Solana Beach, CA
01/23/2022

Find these to be tricky. Mine dropped all its buds when I brought it home. Evidently they don’t like changing environments. Settled in now but all blooms for the holidays were wiped out. Better luck this year.

@VeteranBanana avatar
@@VeteranBanana
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 172 XP
globe Cumming, GA
01/18/2022

my grandmother had one, I have one

Survivor Survivor
@dylan1stokes avatar
@@dylan1stokes
leaf-1 36 Plants
xp 3,495 XP
globe Witham, England
01/10/2022

This is another new plant of mine which I had never seen before but decided to rescue it and it has plenty of flowers that will be ready to bloom soon

Blooms easily Blooms easily
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
@mossycabbages avatar
@@mossycabbages
leaf-1 66 Plants
xp 3,455 XP
12/29/2021

Very easy to prop but medium rate of growth using grow lights. Overall a very cute plant that’s pretty simple to care for though- just have to watch out for underwatering as the plant wrinkles up

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
@KaylieS avatar
@@KaylieS
leaf-1 36 Plants
xp 9,032 XP
globe Leawood, KS
12/27/2021

Very pretty when it blooms! Fun even when it’s not!

Blooms easily Blooms easily
@Poohbie212 avatar
@@Poohbie212
leaf-1 30 Plants
xp 1,271 XP
globe Orlando, FL
12/11/2021

Blooms in fall/winter 🍂🌸

Fast grower Fast grower
Blooms easily Blooms easily
@NRTOMEGA8880 avatar
@@NRTOMEGA8880
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 140 XP
12/10/2021

Only blooms for a short time.

Survivor Survivor
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
@catladiekatie avatar
@@catladiekatie
leaf-1 17 Plants
xp 176 XP
globe Chattanooga, TN
12/05/2021

Can’t get to bloom for nothing. But easy to continue to grow lol

Survivor Survivor
Ellen avatar
@Ellen
leaf-1 18 Plants
xp 1,032 XP
12/04/2021

Water sparingly

Survivor Survivor
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@Dovergardener avatar
@@Dovergardener
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 590 XP
globe Dover, FL
11/21/2021

They seem to like to be neglected

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Blooms easily Blooms easily
@Greg2005 avatar
@@Greg2005
leaf-1 66 Plants
xp 11,028 XP
globe Gaithersburg, MD
11/18/2021

Love it so much

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Diana avatar
@Diana
leaf-1 31 Plants
xp 4,236 XP
globe Swampscott, MA
11/16/2021

Gorgeous showy red blooms in November brighten up the room.

Blooms easily Blooms easily
Survivor Survivor
@R_L15748 avatar
@@R_L15748
leaf-1 76 Plants
xp 17,681 XP
10/23/2021

Likes indirect light!

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
@anielah04 avatar
@@anielah04
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 91 XP
10/23/2021

Very cute and grows really well, easy to maintain :)

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