Thanksgiving Cactus, Holiday Cactus, Crab Cactus
Schlumbergera truncata

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Schlumbergera (shlum-BER-ger-uh) (Info)
Species: truncata (trunk-AH-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Zygocactus truncatus
Synonym:Epiphyllum ruckeri
Synonym:Cactus truncatus
Synonym:Epiphyllum ruckerianum
Synonym:Epiphyllum truncatum

Category:

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Epiphytes

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pink

Rose/Mauve

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Red

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Coral/Apricot

Orange

Red-Orange

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Mid Winter

Foliage:

Succulent

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, Alberta

Fontana, California

North Highlands, California

Reseda, California

San Anselmo, California

San Diego, California (2 reports)

Bartow, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Boston, Massachusetts

Royal Oak, Michigan

Lake George, Minnesota

Carrollton, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Lancaster, Ohio

Zanesville, Ohio

Mercer, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

Louisville, Tennessee

New Caney, Texas

Alderwood Manor, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

5
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Dec 16, 2009, krishnaraoji88 from Ocala, FL wrote:

I have had one of these nestled in an oak tree in my yard for about four years, never any damage and the flowers cascade out of the tree. Worth a try for 9a gardeners who want flowering epiphytes on their trees.

Positive

On Nov 16, 2008, Jaxgirl from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Ah, the joys of winter-flowering plants! I have a Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus, one of each. And they're both treated in the same way, nothing scientific or high-maintenance here. They reside on my screened porch all year long, here in Jacksonville FL, where the exposure to sun/shade varies with the seasons. It fluctuates between mostly shade during the summer and 1 - 2 hours of direct sun mid-fall through late spring. Watering is done freely throughout the summer when it's the hottest and I let them dry out between waterings the rest of the year. Clay pots seem to be working very well for them. It's mid-November and, as usual, both are full of buds on all sides (no rotating of pots required in my circumstance). The Thanksgiving cactus is about 5 years old and will be blooming... read more

Positive

On Nov 8, 2008, scole456 from Lynnwood, WA wrote:

I have 2 Thanksgiving Cactus plants, one is the white, double length bloom with the neon pink stamen (or anthers?). I pretty much ignore them until late October, early November. We keep our house cool at night, mid 60's. After ignoring them for 8 months, I rotate them a quarter turn each week, when they get watered with half strength Shultz plant food. Once they start to bud, they only get moved for their one time soaking, and then back to their spot. They still get rotated so they will have buds all over, instead of just one side. If we are lucky, we have one centerpiece for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. I'll post close ups when they come back into bloom.

Positive

On Dec 28, 2006, Grasmussen from Anchorage, AK (Zone 4a) wrote:

Schlumbergera sp., the Christmas cactus, have some of the most exotic and beautiful flowers of the plant kingdom. Native to the rain forests, of Central and South America, they are epiphytes, found hanging on trees, and prefer a humid environment.
Blooming is triggered by temperature and light period, flowers form when one of the following conditions are present. 1: Maintain a night temperature of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the plant will produce buds regardless of light period. 2: At temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit a minimum of 13 hours of uninterrupted total darkness is required every night. 3: At temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit a minimum of 15 hours of uninterrupted total darkness is required every night, for bud formation. Once buds do fo... read more

Positive

On Nov 24, 2004, DIANABELLE from Valdosta, GA wrote:

I WAS GIVEN THIS PLANT A FEW YEARS BACK WHEN I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL. I DIDN'T DO MUCH WITH IT FOR A COUPLE YEARS, AND FORGOT TO EVEN WATER IT MOST OF THE TIME. WHEN I MOVED INTO AN APARTMENT WITH A BALCONY, I REPOTTED IT AND USED A GOOD FERTILIZER ON IT. I HAVE ROOTED SEVERAL MORE CACTUS PLANTS FROM THIS PLANT AND I HAVE REPOTTED IT JUST TWICE. IT BLOOMED ALMOST THIS MUCH AROUND EASTER ALSO.

Neutral

On Jan 26, 2003, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Sclumbergera trunctata has flat, 1-2 inch stem segments with 4-8 toothed (pointed), marginal notches. Numerous hybrids have been created, resulting in a wide range of colors available on the market. Plants bloom in autumn and require shorter day lengths and a drop in temperature to set buds. A high phosphorus fertilizer and even moisture is recommended while plants are in active growth. After blooming let plants rest and allow them to dry out between watering. Tip cuttings root easily in spring.