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Hatiora gaertneri (Easter Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Hatiora gaertneri (Regel) Barthlott

Common Names

Easter Cactus, Whitsun Cactus, Holiday Cactus

Synonyms

Epiphyllum gaertneri, Epiphyllum russellianum var. gaertneri (basionym), Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Schlumbergera gaertneri

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Rhipsalideae
Genus: Hatiora

Description

Hatiora gaertneri, formerly known as Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, is a cactus that grows on trees or less often rocks in tropical rain forests. With maturity, it develops into a branching pendant leafless shrub with a woody base. The stems are made up of segments, most of which are flattened. Younger segments are dull green, with small notches on the margins, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Its flowers form from areoles at the ends of the stems. They are scarlet, funnel-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) across.

Photo via wikimedia.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Hatiora grows in the wild in tropical rain forests of south-eastern Brazil, as far south as the state of Parana, along the border with Paraguay. Although they grow mostly on tree trunks, they are sometimes found growing on rocky ground. In the wild, Hatiora bloom in spring and will sometimes flower twice in one year.

These cacti thrive best in indirect light with exposure to morning and evening sun. They prefer well-drained soil. Cactus or epiphytic compost works well. Hatiora can be propagated easily through cuttings that can root immediately in soil. It likes long nights of about 14 hours. Cover the plant with a paper bag to shut out sunlight. Try not to reposition the plant once flower buds appear, as these could fall off during any movement. It needs a month's rest after flowering, so water sparingly during this period…. – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Hatiora

Origin

Hatiora gaertneri is native to southeastern Brazil.

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