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Holiday Cactus Explained: Thanksgiving vs Christmas vs Easter cactus

What is the difference between a Thanksgiving Cactus, a Christmas Cactus and an Easter Cactus?! We will break down how to tell the difference in this article.

These beautiful blooms defintely catch your attention, and there are a couple different types of plants that look very similar. They both need very similar care, but sometimes it is nice to know exactly what plant you have in your home or that you're purchasing at a garden center.

Thanksgiving Cactus

The main way to tell them apart is by the leaf shape. Thanksgiving cactus have leaves that are more pointed on the sides.

Thanksgiving cactus also have slightly different flowers. Their flower's pollen is a yellow color, whereas on a Christmas cactus, the color is more brown. The other difference is that Thanksgiving cactus usually bloom around, you guessed it, Thanksgiving, whereas Chrtistmas cactus might bloom a bit later in the holiday season.

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus's leaves are more rounded, or scalloped along the edges. They also have a less vibrant colored pollen on the inside of the flower.

Easter Cactus

There is a third plant that looks similar to the Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus, and that is the Easter cactus. These have the rounded leaf shape, but their flowers look quite different than the Christmas cactus. They are less tubular in shape and have the yellow pollen in the middle.


Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus require the same care, which makes it simple especially if you're not sure which one you have.

They want to be watered when the soil almost dries out. If your plant's leaves start to shrivel, it needs more water, and if the leaves turn mushy or translucent, you have overwatered it.

They like bright indirect light. (for a breakdown if indoor plant requiremetns, visit our blog post about it here!) an east facing window would be perfect for these plants.

Try to keep your plant at a comfortable temperature, above 65 degrees, otherwise it may go into a stressed or shocked state.

You can fertilize your Christmas cactus with a bloom-enhancing fertilizer to encourage blooms when it starts to get buds. This will encourage the blooms on your plant to be at their best throughout the season, just remember to follow the instructions on the brand that you use.

Thanksgiving Cactus, Holiday Cactus

Don't be surprised if your plant blooms out of "season", sometimes they will sprout out new blooms in spring or summer too!

These plants are a wonderful addition to your home decor and make great gifts as well!

Tag us with photos of your holiday plants on social media!

Keep going and keep growing!


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