Thanksgiving Holiday Cactus Plant: Tips For Growing Thanksgiving Cactus

by johnah on November 11, 2020

Thanksgiving Cactus Plants are very popular in the United States. Thanksgivings are celebrated throughout the year with many different foods and drinks. They are considered to be one of the most important holidays in America. There is no doubt that thanksgiving cacti plants will grow well under these circumstances. These plants require high humidity levels to thrive and they need plenty of sunlight during summer months to produce their fruits.

The best time to plant Thanksgiving cacti is in spring or fall. You may want to consider planting them before the first frost if your area does not get much snowfall.

If you live in a warm climate, then it would be better to wait until winter when temperatures drop and the nights become longer. However, remember that they do not like cold weather so you have to make sure that they can survive the winters in your area.

If you are growing Thanksgiving cacti indoors, then it is recommended to place them in a sunny location where they will receive enough light. When choosing a spot for your houseplant, look at the amount of natural light available and the temperature range.

Some plants like succulents prefer bright windows while others like pines do best in shady locations.

You can also choose to use artificial lights such as fluorescent tubes or LED bulbs. These lights will make your houseplants grow faster and you can expect to see flowers and fruits faster.

However, you may want to place them away from the plants as they can dry them out if placed too close.

Thanksgiving cacti need a well-draining soil which contains equal parts of coarse sand, potting soil, and peat moss. To prepare the soil, first spread a layer 3 inches (8 cm) of coarse sand at the bottom of the pot.

Then add a mixture of potting soil and peat moss, until the container is half full. Make sure not to compress the soil as this will prevent air from flowing into the roots.

If you like, you can also add some orchid bark chunks or small stones to improve drainage. After adding these materials, fill up the rest of the container with the soil mixture until it is level with the rim.

Thanksgiving Holiday Cactus Plant: Tips For Growing Thanksgiving Cactus -

Make sure that there are no air pockets inside the container.

Once you have filled the container with soil, you can now plant the Thanksgiving cactus in it. Use a pencil or clay pot to make a hole in the center of the soil.

Slide your finger around the edge of the hole to make it wider. This is necessary so that you will be able to easily place the rootball into it. Carefully remove the rootball from its former container and place it into the hole.

After placing the rootball into the hole, spread soil around it and firm it gently with your hands. If the rootball is small enough, you can place it in the center of the container and mound soil around it to support its growth.

Make sure that there are no air pockets around the rootball.

Water the Thanksgiving cacti well to help the soil settle and then wait for about a week before watering them again. The goal is to water them enough that the soil is wet but the container is not flooded.

You can tell when they have enough water when you press a finger into the soil an inch down and it makes a dent.

Place your Thanksgiving cacti in a location where it can get plenty of sunlight. If you live in a hot area, you may want to place the plant on a windowsill with the pot facing away from the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Feed the Thanksgiving cacti every two weeks during the spring and summer with an all-purpose cactus fertilizer. However, do not feed it during the fall and winter months.

Thanksgiving Cacti can be propagated from stem cuttings. Wait until there is new growth and then remove a 4-inch piece of stem.

The top 2 or 3 pairs of joints should be removed with a knife or clippers. Then dip the cut end of the stem into a rooting hormones and then insert it into a container that contains a mixture of peat moss and perlite.

Thanksgiving Holiday Cactus Plant: Tips For Growing Thanksgiving Cactus - Picture

Cacti, in general, are known to be difficult to grow indoors as many require different conditions than what tends to exist inside homes. However, Thanksgiving cacti are fairly easy to keep alive if their basic needs are met.

These needs include a well-draining soil, proper watering, and an environment that is sunny during the summer months. They also need to be fertilized every couple of weeks.

The process for repotting a Thanksgiving cacti is the same as any other cacti. Pick a time when the soil is dry to the touch.

If you pick a time when the soil is wet, then it is likely that the soil will compact and the rootball will be hard to remove.

To remove the rootball from its pot, gently push on the sides of the pot until you can get your fingers underneath it. Then, carefully lift it out.

If you have very heavy soils, then it may be necessary to tap the pot on the edge of your garden table to help the rootball release from the soil. This will prevent you from jarring the rootball and causing it to break off.

Once you have the rootball out of the pot, cut or pull away as much of the old soil as possible from the roots. Then inspect the rootball for any areas that look unhealthy or dead.

Also look for areas where there are a lot of roots and give the rootball a haircut to even out the thickness.

Place the rootball into a new pot that is one size larger than the one it came in. Fill the pot half way with a well-draining cacti medium.

Then place the rootball into the hole you dug. Firm the soil around it and add more soil until the rootball is at the top of the pot. There should be no standing water at the bottom of the pot when you are done.

Never let the roots of any type of cacti sit in stagnant water. This is a sure-fire way to kill a plant.

Be sure towater the Thanksgiving cacti well and then wait for all evidence of moisture to evaporate from the top half of the pot. This will ensure that the roots are not sitting in water and will prevent rot.

Find a spot where your Thanksgiving cacti will get at least 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you do not have this type of location, then you can use grow lights to provide the extra light that the plant needs.

It is also a good idea to give it some indirect sunlight during the day and the most from the grow lights at night.

Thanksgiving Cacti prefer temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. So do not expose it to extreme heat or cold.

Also keep it away from any type of drafts as this will cause the plant to have damaged or dead tissue.

Fertilize with a cacti fertilizer once every two months during the spring and summer months.

It will take three years for your Thanksgiving cacti to bloom. After it does bloom, it will continue to bloom every two to three years.

When it stops blooming, it is time for it to be repotted into a larger pot.

Buying Tips

Thanksgiving cacti can be found at most garden centers or home improvement stores around the fall. They are sold in small pots and can be placed outside right away.

Be sure to pick a bright sunny location.

If you cannot find one at your local store, try looking for one online. The “go to” online nursery is going to be Burpee.

They sell Thanksgiving cacti plants year-round.


Thanksgiving cacti are not intended for human or animal consumption.

Thanksgiving Holiday Cactus Plant: Tips For Growing Thanksgiving Cactus |

Note: This description is based on the Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi). There are other types of Thanksgiving cacti available such as S.

truncata, S. russelliana, and S. x buckleyi. These may have different care instructions that are based on research that I have not seen. Always defer to the care instructions on the actual label or look for another source of information if there is any difference in the care instructions from what is listed here.

Sources & references used in this article:

The influence of watering, shading, and nitrogen levels on the growth of container-grown Schlumbergera x buckleyi by MI Spurway, MB Thomas – … International Plant …, 1992 –

Diversity and distribution of isozymes in a Schlumbergera (Cactaceae) clonal germplasm collection by MC O’Leary, TH Boyle – Journal of the American Society for …, 2000 –

Cacti by T Boyle – Flower Breeding and Genetics, 2007 – Springer

Schlumbergera spp. (Thanksgiving cactus) by KS Sastry, B Mandal, J Hammond, SW Scott… – Encyclopedia of Plant …, 2019 – Springer

Holiday Cacti Production Tips by RJ McAvoy – Connecticut greenhouse newsletter-University …, 1991 –



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