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Easter cactus: care, cultivation and how to make a cactus cutting. Useful tips for flowering.
TheEaster cactusis among the succulents that should not go unnoticed. The practice of hybridization has given us a myriad of plants with an unusual appearance, perfect for decorating the home or for growing in the garden. The Easter cactus (Rhipsolidopsis gaertneri or Hatiora gaertneri) features many hybrids, just like the more popular Christmas cactus. Their names are related to the flowering period that falls close to their respective holidays. The Easter cactus, in fact, presents its own floweringmore or less during the Easter celebration.
If the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) belongs to the family ofcactusSchlumbergera, theEaster cactusbelongs to the Rhipsalidopsis family. The Christmas cactus is native to the Brazilian rainforests, while the Easter cactuscomes from drier areas.
It blooms between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Like the Christmas cactus, the Easter cactus also features flattened stems, made from individual segments.
TheEaster cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri or Hatiora gaertneri) is a speciesepiphyte.In particular, the hybrid Hatiora x graseri is often identified with the name of "Easter cactus". The H. x graeseri hybrid presentslarger flowersfrom the color that may vary. To know exactly the scientific name of the plant sold as "Easter cactus", it is advisable to ask for more information at the nursery where the purchase is made.
Characteristics of the plant
The species is native to south-eastern Brazil, Paranà and Santa Caterina. It is a plantepiphyteand that means it grows on other plants. Only rarely does theEaster cactusit grows on rocks as lithophytic plants do.
Its natural habitat is represented by the subtropical rainforest.
It develops like a leafless shrub, the stems are "hanging" and consists of many segments, most of which flattened. The stems are the photosynthetic organs of the plant. The youngest segments are dull green, measuring about 4 - 7 cm in length by 2 - 3 cm in width. The more mature segments are a brighter green. THEcactus flowersof Easter are a scarlet red, have a funnel shape and with a diameter ranging from 4 to 8 cm.
If the flowers are fertilized, oblique red fruits develop.
Cultivation and care
Let's face it right away: theEaster cactusit is more difficult tocultivatecompared to the classic Christmas cactus. Thecareto dedicate to this cactus include:
- Temperate temperature
The optimal range sees summer temperatures around 25 ° C and winter temperatures that should never drop below 10 ° C.
It is an epiphytic plant, the substrate must be extremely draining.
No epiphytic plants are exposed to direct sunlight. Place the Easter cactus in partial shade or in areas where sunlight is filtered.
The Easter cactus can be multiplied by cuttings. The cactus cutting should be done in late spring. Just cut a segment and place porn in slightly moist soil.
For acultivationoptimal, thecactusit should be placed outside in spring and brought back indoors in late autumn.
In Southern Italy and in areas with a particularly mild climate, it is possiblegrow Easter cactusin the garden, outside. In this case, in early autumn it is essential to give the plant a potassium-based fertilizer. Potassium makes succulents more resistant to cold and humidity.
Every year, in view of the spring, theEaster cactusit should be fertilized with a specific fertilizer for cacti. It is advisable to avoid the classic fertilizer for green plants as it could damage the plant. The classic fertilizer for green plants, in fact, is excessively rich in nitrogen and would be counterproductive for cacti.
Cactaceae are acidophilic plants. Like any acidophilic plant, it should not be irrigated with tap water. Calcareous water increases the pH of the soil. TheEaster cactusit should be irrigated only with rain water or distilled water (also obtained from the air conditioner).
Multiply the cactus
For the multiplication of this cactus, just take a couple of segments and root them in a substrate for cacti plants. The substrate must be kept moist and the cutting must be kept in an extremely bright position. The multiplication by cuttings is very effective for the cactus and the chances of rooting are high even without using any rooting hormone.