Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Easter Cactus
Hatiora gaertneri

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hatiora (hat-ee-OR-uh) (Info)
Species: gaertneri (gert-NER-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Schlumbergera gaertneri
Synonym:Epiphyllopsis gaertneri
Synonym:Epiphyllum gaertneri
Synonym:Epiphyllum russellianum var. gaertneri
Synonym:Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri

34 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Cactus and Succulents

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 25 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive gardenbugde On Nov 27, 2009, gardenbugde from Smyrna, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

I purchased an Easter Cactus this past March at my local grocery store. I thought it was neat looking because it was loaded with tiny twisted buds. I was hoping it would be pink. When it openend, I was so pleased! It was pink and I loved the little daisy like flowers. I was also surprised when they closed up in the evening and then re-opened the next couple of days. Very unusual and very neat! I'm hoping for lots of flowers next Spring. If you can find one, get it. You won't be disappointed.

Positive steadfast4life On Nov 24, 2009, steadfast4life from Lincoln, NE wrote:

This was my first acquired houseplant. It was pretty sickly looking. I mistreated it by forgetting to water, potting incorrectly and neglecting it all around. To my utter amazement, it still bloomed. I finally decided to re-pot it correctly and water more regularly. It has amazed me with astounding growth. I'm sold on my Easter Cactus as a super easy starter houseplant.

Positive hanna1 On Sep 20, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've had this one for about six years, in a bathroom, low light for 2 years now, before that in my kitchen with good lighting, I have forgotten to water it many time, always puts out new leaves, a treasure to me, no blooms since I acquired it, now outside it looks so happy and thru information from Dave's wonderful group, I know it will bloom happily outdoors! Thanks.

Positive purplepetunia On Jun 1, 2004, purplepetunia from Savannah, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I consider my cactus "Mothers Day". It always blooms the week of Mothers Day.

Neutral Thaumaturgist On Aug 28, 2003, Thaumaturgist from Rockledge, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

First we had the Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii), then came the Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) and the Spring or Easter Cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri). They are named after the seasons of their blooming.

Previously, the botanists used to call them Zygocactus.
These hybrids, with their rather unique flower arrangement, have been in cultivation since early in the 1800s and have had sporadic surges of popularity. The 1990s was just the latest.

Very different from the desert cacti, Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus and Easter Cactus require high humidity and moisture, since their forest dwelling Epiphyte ancestors actually live in the branches of trees in the rainforests of southeastern Brazil. Only recently has a specimen of the Thanksgiving Cactus been found in the mountains of Domingos Martins in the state of Espirito Santo in Brazil to show that the spread is wider than thought in 1991.

The shape of the flowers clearly suggests Hummingbird pollination. The waxy flowers now come in the following colors: pale pink, magenta, red, purple, lavender, orange and white.


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

Brea, California
Castro Valley, California
Clayton, California
Fremont, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Spring Valley, California
Van Nuys, California
Smyrna, Delaware
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Valrico, Florida
Solon, Iowa
Mount Sterling, Kentucky
Geismar, Louisiana
Richmond, Maine
Cumberland, Maryland
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Trenton, New Jersey
Desoto, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
La Porte, Texas
Spring, Texas

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