A beautiful succulent can change the whole look of your garden. Spring is the ultimate season for blooming flowers but have you ever thought about the spring cactus? Yes, a succulent named spring cactus exists.
Want to know more about this cactus? Let’s have a voyage through the insights regarding this cactus.
Are you confused between the Spring Cactus and Easter Cactus – the answer is both the cactus plants are the same species with different names.
I am sure you must be wondering what the spring cactus is all about and why it is called so. This cactus specifically blooms in March-April which is the springtime and that is why it is called so. Since it is also the time for Easter, it is also known as Easter cactus.
The scientific name of this plant is Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri. It is an easy-care plant that can be grown as an indoor or even as an outdoor plant.
If you are planning to get a spring cactus and trying to educate yourself about how to care for this cactus, then this article is made for you. Let me guide you to know the process better.
This article regarding the spring cactus will be helpful for both experienced gardeners and beginners.
How to identify?
Need help to identify spring cactus? Before we learn about that, let’s spot the differences between spring cactus Vs Christmas cactus? They both belong to the floral family of Schlumbergera.
The main difference lies in the leaf’s structure. The leaves of the Easter cactus are more of a rounded shape while the Christmas cactus has quite pointed leaves appearing like claws.
The flowering time of spring cactus is March-May and the flowers are quite different from Christmas cactus flowers or thanksgiving flowers which blooms during the winter season.
Now, I am going to tell you some of the identifying characteristics of this cactus. As I just mentioned, the leaves have rounded edges that roll back on the central part of the leaves. The leaves of the plant are flat and dark green in coloration.
The rickety stack-like structure of the plant gives it an unusual appearance. The spines of this cactus are usually soft.
How to care for this cactus?
Want to know how to successfully do spring cactus care? The caring process of every cactus is more or less the same. Here, I am going to elaborately tell you how to take care of a spring cactus and what are the requirements.
Let’s find out what the requirements are and how to grow the spring cactus.
This is an outdoor plant. So, they grow best in bright sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause damage like sunburn. If you are planning to place it in your room, then place it beside a big window, maybe on the eastern side of the room.
Remember, I have mentioned bright sunlight and not direct sunlight. So, if the plant is placed outdoors, keep it under shade.
This cactus can tolerate very high temperatures. Usually, a temperature between 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for it. Warm condition is great for its blooming.
If you find your spring cactus not blooming, that is because it is not getting enough warmth. But keep it away from heaters.
A secret to its blooming is the temperature, so try to keep it in a warm surrounding to have the blooms appear quickly.
Water & soil requirements
This cactus is an epiphytic cactus which means it enjoys water and is quite different from other cacti. That is why it does require much watering in the young phase but when the cactus starts blooming you need to water it frequently.
Now the question is how often do you water a spring cactus? Water it on alternative days. Do not overwater it. Otherwise, the roots will be rotten.
The natural habitat of this cactus is the rainforest where they naturally grow on the rocks. A succulent mix or cacti mix will work fine to grow it. The mix should be porous that the roots can breadth.
It requires more humidity as it is an epiphytic cactus. I would suggest keeping it outside your house so that it can get more amounts of moisture according to its choice.
Do not forget to water its soil mix every day.
Using fertilizer is totally optional. If you want a fast result then you can use it. Use any organic compost and worm compost instead of any artificial fertilizer. Use it during spring or summer. Use 1 part of compost with 4 parts of water and spread it all over the soil.
You can try some organic fertilizers even. Worm compost or other organic compost can be a good option.
Last but not least you must try to keep your cactus in a good shape.
You can trim the unnecessary stems and other growths occasionally. Gardeners also prune their plants sometimes to propagate them.
Propagation is the process of growing a plant from an existing plant.
If you are interested to grow a plant from an existing plant then you will need these accessories like – a pair of heavy gloves, newspapers, perlite or pumice, coarse sand & gravel, a sharp knife or a blade, a well-draining cactus mix, 4 – 6 pot, water-soluble fertilizers.
Once you have all these accessories handy, you need to follow the below-mentioned process of Easter cactus propagation. So, here it goes.
- Clean the sharp knives with soapy water and also disinfect them. Put on your heavy gloves. Follow this ritual every time you perform cutting.
- Then take out a healthy and unblemished stem of your existing spring cactus and cut it off about 5-7 inches long.
- Now hold the cut end under a tap or running water to stop the flow of sap. This is process is known as stop sap flow. Also, spray some water on the mother plant.
- After this, leave the cutting for air dry at least for 3-7 days on a paper towel. This will promote the formation of a callus and will prevent the cutting from rotting. Do not leave it in direct sunlight.
- You can also dip the cutting in the rooting hormone. This is step is totally optional.
- After 7 days, place the cutting into the potting mix which has good drainage. You can buy it for the market or you can prepare it at home by simply mixing sand, perlite, or pumice.
- Place the cutting 1 inch deep into the pot. Cover the soil surface with coarse gravel to hold the plant straight.
- Water it daily for few weeks. Water the soil whenever it feels dry. After the establishment of rooting, decrease watering. It will take 2 months to root.
- Avoid harsh sunlight during this time. Place it somewhere it could get medium sunlight. Once the roots are established place them in your garden.
The sticky latex inside the stem of the euphorbia cactus is toxic. So, protect your skin and eyes by wearing gloves and eye protection. Keep away your children and pets from this plant.
Potting & Repotting
As of now you already know how to propagate spring cactus. Now, I am going to discuss how to plant spring cactus in pots and also how to re-pot them simply.
You can get a huge variety of fancy mixing pots out there or you can make your own pots in your home according to your needs.
After some years, you should repot the plant because a full-grown plant needs more space to grow more. To re-pot your cactus you need to follow the below steps.
- Firstly, remove the full-grown spring cactus plant from its existing pot.
- Then remove the soil mix from the roots very carefully.
- Place the cactus in the center or wherever you like to place it.
- Fill up the pot with a new soil mix.
If you have not changed the soil for more than 2 years, change it immediately.
Spring cactus is very famous for its flowers and it is its main attraction. The spring cactus flower is star-shaped and appears in peach, red, orange, or violet color. The growing and blooming time of this cactus are March-April, during the spring season.
How to get a spring cactus to bloom? The basic condition of blooming is warmth.
That is why March-May is the ideal time for their blooming. The temperature should be between 50 &65 degrees F. At night spring cactus requires 50-55 degrees F of temperature and a longer period of darkness.
How to make spring cactus bloom again? If you want your cactus to bloom again, you have to provide it equal amounts of light and darkness before its dormancy. Water it 3-6 weeks depending on the temperatures.
Where can I buy it?
Are you wondering where to get Easter cactus for sale? They are available in any plant store during the spring season. But if you buy it for cheap, I would suggest you check the online stores as you can get exciting offers and discounts.
So, if you want to buy the spring cactus online, you can have a look at some of the best-selling websites like Amazon, Etsy, Plantsguru, Natureslive.
Through this link Spring Cactus in Amazon
Not only this plant but also you will get varieties of plants on those websites at a very cheap rate with free shipping on selecting plants all over the world.
Disease and Pest Control
Disease and pests do have an adverse effect on the spring cactus. But if you are planning to grow this cactus at your home, you should be aware of the Easter cactus diseases.
Mealybugs are the cotton-like thread that forms on the leaves of the plant. If you see something like this then simply wipe it off with a towel soaking with rubbing alcohol.
Plant Scale insects are too tiny and are covered by an impenetrable brown shield which makes them difficult to remove. Like, mealybugs wipe it off with a towel soaked with rubbing alcohol. If it does not work out take a sharp knife and scrape them off very gently.
You can also spray neem oil to avoid both of these insects from re-appearing.
Cork disease is a fungal infection that causes patches of cork-like material on the stem. It is a sign of overwatering or the soil is too rich. Repot the soil into the new cactus mix, paint the cut areas, reduction of watering the plant will help to avoid this disease.
Gardeners often ask – why is my spring cactus wilting? This is a sign of underwatering and you need to immediately change the watering routine for your cactus or you will find Easter cactus leaves wrinkled appearing soon.
If you find the spring cactus dropping leaves during the winter season, you need to immediately check the soil. It usually occurs due to poorly draining soil. Remember, too much dense soil can cause your cactus to shred leaves.
Toxicity to Pets & Children
Now, let’s discuss the toxicity of spring cactus. Most of the succulents are non-toxic which is why those are safe for pets and children.
So, spring cactus is safe for your pets as well as your children. Either keep your plant outside or keep it somewhere far from your children. You also have to be very careful during cutting the plant. Maintain a safe distance from it.
I hope you found all the solutions to your questions regarding this beautiful cactus. In brief, spring cactus is a good plant to grow in your house for your room as well as for your garden. Spring cactus can be a good gifting option as well.
But before buying it, be aware of Easter cactus problems. I have tried to share the solutions for the common problems, but if you face some odd situation with your cactus, do not hesitate to contact the experts.
I have already mentioned the caring process of spring cactus. You can blindly rely on the methods. It will sustain more if you follow these steps religiously.
I hope this article is helpful for you. Go and buy spring cactus, keeping all precautions in mind. I totally recommend this plant which will add uniqueness to your garden.
Before we end, let me share a fun fact with you. Did you know there is a sports event named cactus league which is relevant to the spring cactus? League schedule for the practice matches starts in the spring season and that is why people relate it to the spring cactus sometimes.
You can get more facts about some similar Cactus plants like Spring Cactus through- Amazing facts about 10 best Cactus Flowering Plant