The Distinction Between a Thanksgiving Cactus & Christmas Cactus

Image for article titled How to Tell the Difference Between a Thanksgiving Cactus and a Christmas Cactus, and Why It Matters

Photograph: Bozhena Melnyk (Shutterstock)

Regardless of their festive identify, Christmas cacti are nice year-round houseplants, and don’t look misplaced in the midst of July. In addition they live so long that they are often handed down between generations in the event that they obtain the correct care.

However what if we informed you that the succulent you assume is a Christmas cactus may very well be a distinct plant altogether? And never simply any plant—a Thanksgiving cactus? It’s true. They’re each cacti that bloom in late fall or early winter, and are named after an end-of-year vacation, however backyard facilities usually mislabel Thanksgiving cacti as Christmas cacti.

An article from the staff of the Farmers’ Almanac explains the distinction between a Thanksgiving cactus and a Christmas cactus, and why figuring out which one’s which issues. Right here’s what to know.

Thanksgiving cactus vs. Christmas cactus

We’ll begin with some fast variations in look, courtesy of the Farmers’ Almanac:

Thanksgiving cactus

  • Leaves: Formed like a crab claw, with two to 4 serrated segments with pointy spines on both sides. The tip of the final phase is barely concave.
  • Flowers: Develop from the the guidelines, or the place leaf segments be part of; seem like a protracted tube inside one other flower; principally pastel-colored, together with crimson, pink, peach, purple, orange, or white.

Christmas cactus

  • Leaves: Have a extra rounded, scalloped edge; ideas are barely curved.
  • Flowers: Often pink or white in colour.

Why it issues

As you could have already guessed, Thanksgiving cacti bloom across the Thanksgiving vacation—roughly a month earlier than a Christmas cactus blooms. Figuring out which kind of cactus you have got in your arms will make it easier to decide when you’ll be able to count on the flowers to emerge.

Nicely, for essentially the most half, at the least: Each Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti sometimes bloom between March and Could, though the Farmers’ Almanac factors out that the flowers received’t be as bountiful within the spring as they’re on the finish of the yr.

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