Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > April 2014 > THE FLOWERS THAT BLOOM IN THE SPRING, TRA-LA!

THE FLOWERS THAT BLOOM IN THE SPRING, TRA-LA!

If you love the popular Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti, you will also enjoy the “Spring Cactus” (sometimes called Easter Cactus.)   Rhipsalidopsis are epiphytic members of the Cactaceae family.  Epiphytes are plants that grow up in trees or on rocky cliffs.  Native to Brazil, many colorful hybrids have been developed, including pinks, orange, white and red.

Like the Christmas cactus, the Spring cactus produces small blooms at the ends of flat stem segments that freely branch and dangle from tree limbs in the jungle, or pots in our homes.  Unlike the Christmas cactus, the stem segments of Rhipsalidopsis have smooth edges, with small soft bristles at the tips.  These plants like bright indirect light, or direct early morning or dappled sun.  Allow the soil to dry moderately and provide good drainage—epiphytes really don’t like wet feet!  As with other succulents, Rhipsalidopsis tend to go semi-dormant during a dry season, generally November through February in our part of the world.  Be careful to avoid overwatering during this period.

The flower buds are being initiated during this rest period, so do not prune the plant until spring flowering is finished.  Repotting should also wait until after flowering, using a rich, well-draining mixture.  Fertilize with a well-balanced fertilizer at least monthly from March through September.

Posted: 4/16/2014 by Margot | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: MargotGunn, TheGreatIndoors
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