Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

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Shule
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Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

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Post: # 41746Unread post Shule
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:29 pm

I just learned today that what I grew up thinking was a Christmas cactus is actually a Thanksgiving cactus, and what I grew up thinking was an Easter cactus is actually a Christmas cactus. I don't think I've ever actually met a real Easter cactus.

So, here's the guide to telling what you have:

* If there are pointy things on segments, it's a Thanksgiving cactus.
* If there aren't pointy things on the segments, but the flowers look very similar in shape to those of a Thanksgiving cactus, it's a Christmas cactus.
* If the flowers look kind of spiky and interesting, and the segments don't have pointy things, it's probably an Easter cactus.

To complicate matters, there are at least three types of Christmas cactus (and I don't mean the flower color), and at least a few kinds of cactuses that look like holiday cactuses, but I'm not sure if they are holiday cactuses.

To complicate matters further, you can hybridize the different species together, so you might actually have a hybrid instead of a pure Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter cactus.

Supposedly, it's easy to pollinate them, get fruit, and breed them! It takes about a year for the fruit to ripen, however.

Now, maybe you're wondering why people keep calling Thanksgiving cactuses Christmas cactuses (it's not just me). Well, it's probably because they sell them as Christmas cactuses (and they prepare them so they'll bloom at Christmas the year you buy them).

None of that explains why my Christmas cactus (that I thought was an Easter cactus) blooms for Easter, though. One of our Thanksgiving cactuses blooms for Thanksgiving. My other one bloomed for Christmas this last time (but it bloomed all year, once, one to three flowers at a time; usually just one).

One of my Thanksgiving cactuses is a lot more succulent than the other (it flowers pink), but the other is a much darker green (and flowers red).
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SpookyShoe
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Re: Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

#2

Post: # 41749Unread post SpookyShoe
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:47 pm

Does this help?

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Donna, zone 9, El Lago, Texas

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peebee
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Re: Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

#3

Post: # 41759Unread post peebee
Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:38 am

That's helpful @SpookyShoe :)
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Nan6b
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Re: Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

#4

Post: # 41777Unread post Nan6b
Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:04 am

For years we had one that bloomed at Christmas when we bought it, then switched to blooming on Thanksgiving AND Easter. If you can breed in multiple bloom times, why not breed a 3-season bloomer?
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Re: Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

#5

Post: # 41857Unread post rdback
Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:28 am

Interesting post!

I was looking @SpookyShoe 's post, and comparing the hand drawings to the actual photos. I think the Christmas and the Easter photos are flipped. The Christmas photo has the rounded leaf shoulder of the Easter drawing, and the Easter photo has the blunt-point shoulder of the Christmas drawing.

I know it's probably just me, but now I know how to tell them apart! (Maybe lol)
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Shule
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Re: Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

#6

Post: # 41880Unread post Shule
Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:20 pm

@rdback
The exact shape probably depends on the kinds of Christmas and Easter cactuses we're talking about, is my guess.
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Re: Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

#7

Post: # 45265Unread post SpookyShoe
Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:51 pm

These are Easter cacti. Saw them today. Spiky blooms.

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Last edited by SpookyShoe on Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Julianna
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Re: Holiday cactuses aren't what I've learned

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Post: # 45273Unread post Julianna
Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:11 pm

So there is Schlumbergera truncata, which has a bloom window from October to January, then Schlumbergera x buckleyii has a window from December through March, and then Schlumbergera gaertneri, fka Hatiora gaertneri, which has a window from Feb- May or so. Sg has way bigger phylloclades which makes it more distinctive than It would seem by those pictures. Schlumbergera x buckleyii is actually a cross between truncata and S. russeliana.
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