A Thanksgiving Cactus By Any Other Name Would Bloom as Bright

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s a day full of cooking and Thanksgiving cactus. I think I’ve seen a few dozen photos of humungous once on my succulent feeds lately.

Pink and cream Thanksgiving cactus.

I have 4 of them myself. They are different from Christmas cactus because the leaves have several points on the end. Christmas cactus are smoother- and harder to find in my experience.

Bright pink Thanksgiving cactus.

I don’t have to do much special to get them to bloom, although they bloom more prolifically if they spend a few weeks in the poinsettia bloom-forcing closet. They sometimes rebloom in spring under those lights. They like equinox length days.

Red Thanksgiving cactus bud.

Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus are clearly close kin. Siblings. Cousins to these two holiday bloomers are Easter and Orchid cactus. They are similar in that they grow in trees (epiphytes) and are fed by rain and the debris it provides.

Furry leaf tips on my Easter cactus.

I have had my Easter cactus a few years and it didn’t rebloom until I hung it in a planter from my outside plant hanger. It bloomed in June in the high desert without much water.

Easter cactus reblooming last summer.

Anyway, it almost looks furry at the joints. And the flowers look more like daisies to me.

Orchid cactus bloom.

My orchid cactus bloomed for the first time this year. (I started it as a cutting 2 years ago.) It tried to bud in August, but it shriveled. It budded again in September and bloomed after freeze in my kitchen.

Orchid cactus foliage (much larger than its colorful cousins).

My only recipe for success is summer outside in the brilliant Colorado high desert. And, the bloom closet for the holiday cactus. Honestly, they are kind of plain most of the year, but the bright blooms seem to make them worth the wait.

Do you have a Thanksgiving cactus? What is your favorite color?

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