Caring for the Easter cactus properly: This is how it is guaranteed to bloom at Easter

It develops magnificent flowers and is therefore an absolute eye-catcher: the Easter cactus. Unfortunately, the houseplant doesn’t always bloom at the time it should. We explain why this is so.

overview
  • Why is it called the Easter Cactus?
  • Why does it bloom in May?
  • How do you make it bloom on Easter?
  • When does the cactus bloom in its homeland?
  • Easter cactus and Christmas cactus
  • Care: You should pay attention to this

He belongs next to that Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) one of the most popular types of cacti because it brings color into the home with its flowers: the Osterkaktus (Hatiora graeseri, fruit: Rhipsalidopsis graeseri).

The large flowers with the pointed petals can be reddish and tapering into purple. In their wild form, cacti from the Rhipsalidopsis family also like to appear on trees or in mountainous areas: The plant has the ability to climb.

Why is it called the Easter Cactus?

The houseplant got its name because its flowers develop during Easter: therefore on March 22nd at the earliest and April 25th at the latest.

However, this only applies to the copies that can be bought from us in Germany. The reason: With special lighting techniques – for example with no more than ten hours of light a day – the trade ensures that the plant in the flower shop or hardware store blooms exactly at Easter. The perfect sales strategy.

Why does it bloom in May?

In the living room at home, the Easter cactus has to make do with natural and artificial light. In the absence of certain light impulses, the houseplant will bloom in the course of spring, sometimes in May. When exactly, the Easter cactus decides for itself.

Easter cactus (Hatiora graeseri): Its flowers are star-shaped. (Source: imago images / blickwinkel)Easter cactus (Hatiora graeseri): Its flowers are star-shaped. (Source: blickwinkel / imago images)

How do you make it bloom on Easter?

A so-called flowering induction, i.e. an artificial initiation of flowering, is very complex. With short-day plants like the Easter cactus, the length of the night is decisive. Based on the period of darkness, the plant can estimate the right season to bloom.

When does the cactus bloom in its homeland?

In its Brazilian homeland it does not develop its flowers on time for Easter, but at any time between April and May.

Easter cactus (Hatiora graeseri): its flowers are only open during the day and close at night. (Source: imago images / imagebroker / günter fischer)Easter cactus (Hatiora graeseri): its flowers are only open during the day and close at night. (Source: imagebroker / günter fischer / imago images)

Difference: Easter cactus and Christmas cactus

The two types of cacti can be easily distinguished. The flowers of the Easter cactus are star-shaped and only open during the day, those of the Christmas cactus on the other hand are elongated and pushed into one another like a staircase. In addition, the leaves of an Easter cactus are rather smooth and round. The leaves of a Christmas cactus, in turn, have small tips pointing upwards at the edges.

Care: You should pay attention to this

Easter cactus (Hatiora graeseri): An older specimen with red, star-shaped flowers. (Source: imago images / Leemage)Easter cactus (Hatiora graeseri): An older specimen with red, star-shaped flowers. (Source: Leemage / imago images)

If you want to cherish and care for the Easter cactus for the rest of the year, you should only pay attention to a few small peculiarities. Place the potted plant in a bright place where the sun does not shine directly.

In summer and early autumn, the representative of the Rhipsalidopsis genus feels comfortable outdoors, later it should be brought into the house.

Only rarely give the cactus water, and in the vegetation phase also give some cactus fertilizer. The leaves, on the other hand, can be sprayed with water more often.