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By PlantMom84
Posts:  122
Joined:  Fri Mar 17, 2023 5:43 am
#440718
Hello beautiful souls! I just got a Thanksgiving cactus and have no idea what I'm doing. Any tips or tricks on how to care for it? Watering and such? TIA 💜

PlantMom84 :D
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By andynorth
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Posts:  1161
Joined:  Fri May 12, 2023 9:08 pm
#440728
Cactus being a desert plant, I would assume a sandy/peat media but I am not certain. I know they sell bags of pre mixed cactus/succulent soil at Lowes and Home Depot. Pretty sure once you plant you water just a little but here is a link to a cactus care site. https://cactusway.com/cactus-care-11-es ... beginners/

I am assuming a Thanksgiving cactus means it was a gift? How about a pic?
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By Intheswamp
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Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#440732
I I have a Easter/Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus. I've had it a few years now...and haven't killed it yet! (Amazing as that is!) It bloomed heavily at Christmas after we bought it but the following year the flowering was less but was at Thanksgiving...not sure what that's all about, thus my Easter/Christmas/Thanksgiving (I figure it may hit Easter this year! :lol: ). According to the leaf shape it is a Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncate). I really need to study up on it more...here's a good link that I just stumbled upon: https://www.thespruce.com/thanksgiving- ... de-5199419 .

One thing I do that keeps it looking pretty good is to set it in the kitchen sink and give it a good shower beneath the spray nozzle, spraying the tops of the leaves and then lifting the fronds/branches and spraying the bottom of them. I then let the soil sit in water overnight, let it drain good the next morning and don't water it again for a few weeks. It really seems to appreciate the shower...the foliage looks nice and fresh and seems to prompt some new growth. The care is different from desert cacti, as is the soil requirements. FWIW. :)
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By MikeB
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Posts:  1831
Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#440743
andynorth wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2023 6:14 pm Cactus being a desert plant, I would assume a sandy/peat media but I am not certain.
The Thanksgiving / Christmas / Easter cacti aren't quite what you expect when you hear "cactus":
Christmas cactus is a general name given to a small group (genus) of cacti called Schlumbergera that are native to the coastal mountains of southeastern Brazil, growing mostly in high altitude, moist forests where conditions are relatively cool, shaded and humid. In the wild, Schlumbergera are either epiphytic or lithophytic, meaning they grow either on moss-covered tree branches or in rock crevices filled with decayed leaves and other vegetation, rather than in the ground.

https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postde ... tnum=50947
"Jungle cactus" isn't a contradiction in terms. What passes for soil with these plants doesn't hold water worth a squat. They evolved the ability to store water in their clades (a stem/leaf combo) to carry them over from one rainstorm to the next.

@PlantMom84: The link above also has a good care guide.
andynorth wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2023 6:14 pm I know they sell bags of pre mixed cactus/succulent soil at Lowes and Home Depot.
Miracle-Gro cactus/succulent/citrus soil is lousy: gobs of peat moss, very little perlite, and no sand. I also bought some Hoffman-brand cactus mix, and it was hardly any better. If I have to use this stuff, I heavily doctor it with pine bark, perlite, and coarse sand.
Last edited by MikeB on Sun Oct 08, 2023 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By optique
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Posts:  1844
Joined:  Fri May 24, 2019 11:15 pm
#440750
I use normal potting soil with about 20% perlite for my cactus's and prefer a clay pot help dry soil quicker. This cactus is from a rain forest and likes moist well drained soil but i would let it dry some between watering. Give it as much light from a window as you can but it can live in just bright off light. It blooms around winter solstice naturally but can be forced into blooming by putting it in the dark. Make sure it is healthy and has built up some energy before you force flowering.
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By PlantMom84
Posts:  122
Joined:  Fri Mar 17, 2023 5:43 am
#440751
As long as it's healthy, I don't care if it blooms. Though, it would be nice

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By PlantMom84
Posts:  122
Joined:  Fri Mar 17, 2023 5:43 am
#440859
Intheswamp wrote:I I have a Easter/Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus. I've had it a few years now...and haven't killed it yet! (Amazing as that is!) It bloomed heavily at Christmas after we bought it but the following year the flowering was less but was at Thanksgiving...not sure what that's all about, thus my Easter/Christmas/Thanksgiving (I figure it may hit Easter this year! Image ). According to the leaf shape it is a Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncate). I really need to study up on it more...here's a good link that I just stumbled upon: https://www.thespruce.com/thanksgiving- ... de-5199419 .

One thing I do that keeps it looking pretty good is to set it in the kitchen sink and give it a good shower beneath the spray nozzle, spraying the tops of the leaves and then lifting the fronds/branches and spraying the bottom of them. I then let the soil sit in water overnight, let it drain good the next morning and don't water it again for a few weeks. It really seems to appreciate the shower...the foliage looks nice and fresh and seems to prompt some new growth. The care is different from desert cacti, as is the soil requirements. FWIW. :)
Do I do this just once or every time I water it?

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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3076
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#440861
If you’re talking about giving it a shower I do that every two or three…or six months.
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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3076
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#440871
Yes, it's just one of those things I do when I look at the cactus one day and think "it doesn't look as "clean and green" as usual"...then I'll give it a good shower. ;) I'm trying to decide whether to put it outside in the garage for a couple of weeks to let this cool weather give it a chill in hopes it will encourage more flowering this year. Kind of afraid of it getting molested by squirrels, though, being as the garage is an open-ended one and we do get "visitors" there. :x It's not showing any buddying yet. :|
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