Ask a Question forum: Easter Cactus

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Pennsylvania
CamTheP1Ant
Apr 4, 2018 10:18 PM CST
I've recently decided to pick up a Easter cactus and when I first got it, it was beautiful and flowering red, I got it Sunday, then Wednesday the flowers look like they are dying and the cactus looks slightly wrinkled. It can't be over watering cus I haven't watered it since I got it because it was already watered when it was purchased, and the roots look fine and don't smell like root rot. I saw a video saying that after it flowers it goes limp and wrinkles cus it's resting, but I thought it rested after it lost all of it leaves! What is going on? I want it to stay alive!!! Please help. ;(
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 5, 2018 1:28 AM CST
These plants do not lose their leaves, they should stay green year round. These are amongst the easiest plants to grow. I have had 30+ year old plants in the past.
Some varieties will actually grow more vertical then others while some grow more horizontally.
I have experienced flushes of flowers twice per year. Changes in day length triggered flower production.
They like good light, not necessarily a lot of sunlight, maybe a couple of hours a day. They like to be grown on the dry side. For me I use a 50-50 mix of potting soil and cactus soil. I let them get fairly dry before I thoroughly water them. Your plant may just be suffering from a change in scenery from a nursery to a home. Flowers last longer once they get used to their new surroundings. I would not say that the flowers are long lasting but you do get a lot of them when grown properly. They are NOT heavy feeders so a little plant food in mid summer and mid winter may help it to produce more flowers.
For me flowers last 7-10 days, but when happy they produce them in clusters of 2-5 per branch tip and they put on quite a show for 4-6 weeks.
Good luck.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
[Last edited by BigBill - Apr 5, 2018 1:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 6, 2018 1:07 PM CST
Going back to a more basic level of info, your plant is not capable of blooming nonstop all year. I've taken pics of mine blooming during most months of the year, but whenever the blooms show up, they come and go. Not convinced photoperiod is solely responsible for bloom formation initiation for the species, but definitely seems to be a reliable one that can be manipulated to be able to sell them in bloom.

If noticeably disturbed, like the whole process of going from grower greenhouse to being put in a truck to go to a store, at the store, then soon after being driven again to a new location and condition, it's normal that some of the flowers would not open. In this scenario, the trajectory that initiated the blooming was interrupted. A general CW for any plant is that disturbing it significantly while forming buds or blooming is likely to interrupt the bud formation or cause the bloom to be more short-lived than if the disturbance had not occurred.

Your plant looks very happy and healthy! A plant that has gone limp &/or wrinkled is severely dehydrated and in danger of dying. This could happen because the soil becomes so dry that there is no moisture for roots to deliver to foliage, or because roots have become damaged and can't deliver moisture to foliage. Tropical jungle epiphytes are not equipped to survive periods of drought, but need a soil that is light, fluffy, airy, with plenty of oxygen while moist so the roots do not rot. Just like orchids.

Holiday cacti that are potted into peat or other heavy organics are much more likely to suffer rotting roots (overwatering.) Using an unglazed clay pot that allows air to pass through its' sides and bottom can help combat this regardless of soil type. Something to keep in mind if/when you decide to change the pot &/or soil.
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 6, 2018 3:00 PM CST
Many Easter cacti do go through a slight "slump" where they become limper and more papery after flowering. This is because it takes so much energy to flower. It should not be too pronounced, though. Just treat them as normal and slowly they do recover.

BigBill said:These plants do not lose their leaves


Technically this is true, but they do not have leaves in the first place. Sticking tongue out
Keep going!
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Nut!
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Clematis Region: Michigan Adeniums
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
BigBill
Apr 6, 2018 3:19 PM CST
You are so right. I realized it right after I posted it. Well perhaps people new to growing them will understand it easier to think of them as leaves!
Thanks for catching that Jai!
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 6, 2018 3:21 PM CST
Lol...well, when people call Euphorbia "cacti" my eyes glow red and my heart fills with murderous rage, so...no problem. Smiling
Keep going!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Apr 6, 2018 3:32 PM CST
What I've seen happen is bending of stems from the weight of the blooms. This plant started as a much more upright entity, but each heavy bloom pulled the stems down a bit more, a bit more.

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Same with S. truncata. These stems were much more upright before the weight of the blooms.
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These are sold as freshly rooted cuttings pointed straight up, and over time, new growth combined with gravity & blooming will prevent them from staying that way indefinitely. Hopefully thirst will not though.

👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 6, 2018 3:34 PM CST
I love the pale pink!
Keep going!

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