Difference Between Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus

Christmas Cactus vs Thanksgiving Cactus

There are some species of cactus plants that bloom during the holiday season. Collectively, these cacti are referred to as holiday cacti. Mainly there is Christmas cactus, Thanks giving cactus, and Easter cactus that are popular in the country, and all three are closely related. While Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus belong to the genus: Schlumbergera, Easter cactus comes from the genus: Rhipsalidopsis. Many people, despite having grown one or more of these cacti at home are unable to tell which one is Christmas and which one is Thanksgiving because of the similarities between holiday cacti. This article attempts to clarify differences between Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus by highlighting their features.

Christmas Cactus

Both Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti have a flat plant body and the leaves are actually their stems. Flowers that bloom during holidays come on either the tips of the plant or the notches of stems. As flowers show during holidays only, they last for a long time, unlike other flowers. The flowers are mostly pink though these days one can see flowers of red, purple, and even white varieties. Although cacti are heat tolerant, Christmas cactus blossoms better in cold temperatures. Christmas cactus needs a well drained soil. Christmas cactus requires dark treatments, which imply keeping it in dark for around 12 hours each night. This treatment should be started around mid October as it helps the plant to bloom properly.

Thanksgiving Cactus

The cactus sold in Canada by the name of Christmas cactus is, in fact, Thanksgiving cactus that has asymmetrical flowers and grows outward.


What is the difference between Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti?

• The main difference between the two cacti is the time they bloom. Late fall is the time of bloom of Thanksgiving cactus while Christmas cactus blooms a month later. However, there are some other differences that only a person who has both varieties at home would be able to tell.

• The lobes on the leaves of Christmas cactus are rounded while the lobes of Thanksgiving cactus are pointed, and to some, they appear as claws of a bird.

• Distribution of petals is even in Christmas cactus while the distribution of petals looks one sided in Thanksgiving cactus

• The flower of Christmas cactus blooms around Christmas while that of Thanksgiving, around Thanksgiving Day.