Christmas cacti are a very popular houseplant—and for good reason! When they bloom, they produce colorful, tubular flowers in pink or lilac colors. These beautiful flowers, their long bloom time, and easy care requirements make them a wonderful plant. We’ll bet someone in your family has a Christmas cactus!
Unlike many other cacti, Christmas cacti and their relatives don’t live in arid environments. Their natural habit is one of an epiphyte living in tree branches in the rain forests of Brazil! In other words, they prefer a humid climate, not a dry one, so it’s important to water these cacti more regularly than most succulents. (See more details below.)
How to Tell Holiday Cacti Apart
There are several types of holiday cacti: Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. They typically bloom closest to the holiday that they’re named after. For simplicity’s sake, we refer to all three as “Christmas cacti” in the Planting and Care sections of this page.
To tell the three cacti apart, pay attention to their leaf shapes and flowers:
- Christmas cacti have flattened leaves with rounded teeth on the margins of the leaves.
- Thanksgiving cacti have flattened leaves with pointed teeth.
- Easter cacti also have flattened leaves with rounded teeth, but their flowers are broader and almost daisy-like, whereas the flowers of the other cacti are more tube-shaped.
To confuse matters further, most of the Christmas cacti sold are actually Thanksgiving cactus. If you find your Christmas cactus blooming near Thanksgiving, guess what?