Beautiful Easter Cactus – Hatiora Gaertneri

Easter cactus which is also known as spring cactus is related to Christmas cactus. It is a species of the epiphytic plant in the Rhipsalidiae tribe, which is within the subfamily, Cactaceae. It is named so since it blossoms during the Easter holidays in the northern hemisphere. The beautiful succulent makes a lovely houseplant. Hatiora Gaertneri grows on trees or rocks only. When growing, it requires a regular amount of water for it to survive.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Easter Cactus @brcuyanikvolkan

How to grow Hatiora Gaertneri

As a newbie gardener, you may wonder where to start for you to have this wonderful plant in your garden. Below are the guidelines on what to do and the conditions required to grow Hatiora Gaertneri.

Light

Hatiora Gaertneri does well in bright natural light. Don’t expose it to direct sunlight as this will burn the fleshy leaves of a spring cactus. When growing them outdoors, ensure they are under a bright shade. On the contrary, you can opt to grow them indoors and let the light penetrate through the open windows.

Water

Despite being in the cactus family, they differ from the desert cactus. They are epiphytic cacti, growing on other plants and rocks, not in soil. This gives them the need to breathe. Water your plant with plenty of water and let it drain thoroughly out of the pot. Before another watering session, make sure the plant has gone dry to avoid the roots rotting out due to constantly moist. The watering process is exercised until the plant blooms. At this particular period of blooming, water your plant more often since you don’t want it to go completely dry at this time.

Soil

Hatiora Gaertneri requires rocky soil to grow well due to its nature of growth being on trees and rocks. You will need a mixture of soil to tree bark, perlite, or pumice in the ratio of 1:1. The use of pumice is the best. This soil should be neutral and well-drained.

Temperature

Hatiora Gaertneri is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. They do best in warmer temperatures. Ensure that you keep them away from any heaters and any cold drafts. To set the plants blooms, ensure the evening temperature is cool. This could be between 45-55 degrees. If you are in template climates, growing them outdoors is advisable.

Humidity

The Easter cactus requires a humid environment for it to survive. To stimulate the needed moisture, mist the plant daily with a sprayer, even during the resting period. Alternatively, you can place the plant on a saucer filled with pebbles and a little water. The air around the plant will be moistened through evaporation.

Fertilizing

Hatiora Gaertneri requires fertilization, preferably every 14 days. Use a balanced fertilizer and dilute it to half strength. Do not fertilize the plant during the resting period. You can also top-dress the plant with an organic granular fertilizer. They always respond with abundant growth during summertime when fed regularly despite them being moderate feeders.

Propagation

Propagate any segment that is at least 3 inches long. This is done in late spring. Allow the cut surface to dry before being placed in slightly moist soil.

Repotting

Once the flowering has finished, you can repot your plants. It is always important to use a well-drained potting mix with good air porosity preferably the ones used for any succulent or cactus.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Cacti Family @jana_hylocereus

Getting the Hatiora Gaertneri to bloom

Having followed and maintained the points above, you should have a healthy green cactus. For you to accomplish flowers, you will be required to have a special set of conditions. The first thing to do is to stop feeding them. Secondly, move the plant to a place where it will have 12-14 hours of darkness. Ensure the temperatures are 10 degrees Celsius for the best bud set. Thirdly, water the plant sparingly from October to November. By the time it hits December, moves the plant to somewhere warmer with 16-18 degrees Celsius range. The plant will be ready to flower from February to March.

Challenges faced when growing Hatiora Gaertneri

Despite having followed the procedures for its growth, they are met by some challenges, one of being infested by insects.  Scale and mealybugs are the common insects that attack this plant. It usually occurs if the plant is indoors. To curb this, you can wipe the stems down with some alcohol. This will remove the insects and the honeydew they excrete- which can attract fungal spores and the dust that has accumulated. 

If the infestation becomes severe, take your plant outdoor and use insecticide made for succulent plants to treat it. Always follow the directions on the package for application.

Another great problem with this Easter cactus is the root and stem rot caused by a wet, heavy potting mix. To avoid this, you can use the special cactus soil available for use with succulents and cactus. Consider growing your plant in a clay pot which will provide a quicker dry down of the potting mix and better soil aeration. Also, the Easter cactus will fail to flower in the following year, if it is fertilized in the 30 days following blooming.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Hatiora Gaertneri @leaf_as_we_know_it

The next time you are interested in adding some springtime color to your home, be guaranteed to witness it by having this plant in your garden or in that corner of your house. It is easy to grow and brings that bliss in your home. Make your next Easter colorful with Hatiora Gaertneri.

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Happy Planting! 🌵

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