Easter Cactus

Easter Cactus

ORIGIN

The Easter Cactus (Hatiora x graeseri) is a flowering succulent native to the tropical rainforests of southeastern Brazil, where it largely grows on tree trunks or possibly on the ground in rocky areas. It's able to do this due to its epiphytic nature - this is where a plant grows on top of another plant without being parasitic in nature, they use the 'host plant' for physical support only and derive their nutrients from the air instead.

This plant is actually a hybrid created by crossing Hatiora gaertneri and Hatiora rosea. The Easter name comes from the fact that they bloom in the springtime.

Unlike the similar-looking False Christmas Cactus, the Easter Cactus has leaves with rounded edges instead of spiky ones. These are actually not really leaves - the green parts of the Easter Cactus make up the stem, which becomes segmented and flattened, making them look a bit like leaves. They can also show red edges which compliment the bright colors when the plant flowers.

Easter Cactus 2

CARE

Like other succulents, your Easter Cactus doesn't like too much water - make sure not to leave it standing in water. Always plant your Easter Cactus in a pot with drainage holes in a well-draining soil mix, and be sure to empty out any excess water that collects in the dish under your plant. Too much water can quickly lead to root rot, which will easily kill your plant.

Aside from watering, Easter Cactus plants also like plenty of sunlight and a warm climate. They won't tolerate frost, so it's important to protect them from colder temperatures.

Take care not to move your plant around once flower buds start to appear, as the plant is quite delicate at this time and so any movement could cause them to fall off.

Easter Cactus

OTHER

The original version of this plant had red flowers, but it has since been cultivated to produce pink, white or orange blooms.

Compared to the Christmas Cactus, these plants can be a little more finicky. They prefer cold nights, and as we tend to heat our homes at night time the ideal conditions aren't always achieved in an indoor environment. It also prefers higher humidity than most succulents / cacti where dry air isn't typically an issue. Your Easter Cactus will thank you for boosting the humidity around it by, for example, using a pebble tray.