So which is your favorite, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter? You are probably thinking I am referring to your favorite holiday, but come on folks this a garden club blog. I am actually referring to your favorite Schlumbergera (a cactus of course!)
Yes, there is a difference and now lets see if you can identify which one you have in your possession.
It is pretty simple if we focus on their blooming times to help narrow down which one you may possess. The Thanksgiving cacti typically start to bloom in late fall and Christmas cacti usually a month later. An Easter cactus will start producing flower buds in February. You can also look at their leaf shape to help you identify as well.
See the picture chart below (taken from a Pinterest gallery) The Thanksgiving cacti have pointy leaf ends, the Christmas rounded and the Easter one has little spiky protrusions on its leaf tip. The flowers of the Thanksgiving cacti usually shoots outward, where the Christmas ones like to hang down, the Easter group blooms in clusters that tend to look like daisies or little starbursts.
Now lets see pictures below, from my plant collection. I have a Thanksgiving one and a Christmas cactus which happens to be over 50 years old given to me by a wonderful friend that belong to her grandmother!
This one above is… yes that’s right, the Christmas one which has rounded edges like the letter “C” which is also the first letter in Christmas that’s how I remember. Now check out my Thanksgiving one below:
See the pointy jagged leaves they are spiky and thorny-like, thus my silly way to remember “t” for thorny and thanksgiving; hey don’t laugh it works for me. Also notice how the flower grows outward like it wants to fly away. As for the Christmas cactus the flowers hang down like Christmas bells see the photo below (photo by hortmag.com)
And lastly the Easter cactus with it’s daisy like flowers and the hairlike spikes on the ends of the leaves.
Well, my favorite holiday is Easter because I love how it symbolizes second chances and forgiveness for us to get our acts together and try to please the infamous child born on Christmas which allows us to all gather as family and friends on Thanksgiving to share our blessings and gratitude for it all.
Guess I need to add my favorite to my plant collection.