Also known as Easter cactus, this colorful, long-lasting plant is native to the jungles of Brazil, and its care is slightly different than other cacti from arid regions. It's an ideal houseplant for travelers as it can go several weeks without water during the fall and winter.
1. Keep It Slightly Moist
Maintain your spring Cactus slightly moist but never soggy, or the stems will get yellow. On the other side, if the soil becomes too dry, the stems will wither and wilt.
When it's time to water the plant depends on a few factors. This houseplant watering guide might help you out. Touch the soil: if it clings to your fingers, wait a couple of days. Water thoroughly only when the soil slips off your fingers. Never let the pot stand in water for more than an hour, and don't keep the roots constantly moist, or they will eventually rot out.
Spring Cactus is ideal for travelers: in the fall and winter months, while it's setting new buds, it goes through a dormant period. During this stage, it can go up to 3-4 weeks without watering.
2. Provide Medium Light
Spring Cactus likes bright indirect light: keep it protected from direct sunlight - it might burn the leaves. This plant can tolerate only early morning and late afternoon sun, particularly when in flower.
If the plant is sitting near a window, East or Northeast-facing directions are ideal. It's recommended to place it about 10′ away from the source of light.
3. Keep It Cool
Unlike desert cacti, Spring Cactus need cooler temperatures - its flowers last longer when kept in a cool night environment.
Make sure to set the temperature around 70° F during the day and 55-60° F at night, and provide good air circulation. Keep the Spring Cactus away from heaters and cold drafts.
During the dormant period, move the plant to a cooler spot (50°-60° F).
4. Don't Feed During Fall And Winter
Feed Spring Cactus once a month only during the growing season (spring and summer) using a 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer.
5. Provide Some Humidity
If your home is on the dry side, place the plant on a saucer filled with pebbles and a little water. The evaporation will moisten the air around the plant. Make sure to keep the bottom of the pot out of the water to avoid any rotting.
6. Keep It Well Drained
Easter Cactus needs excellent drainage to survive: waterlogged soil can quickly lead to root rot and disease.
Easter Cactus likes to grow in fast-draining peat moss, with some perlite added.
Make sure to choose a pot with drainage holes.
7. Repot Every 2-4 Years
Easter Cactus does best when it's slightly pot bound.
Plant your Spring Cactus in fresh soil mix every 2-4 years, using a pot that is one size larger. Repotting should be done 1-2 months after blooming or in the fall.
8. Pay Attention To Insects
Spring Cactus is prone to attacks from slugs, snails, spider mites and mealybugs.
Make sure to inspect your plant regularly and act promptly if you find a pest infestation.
9. Propagate From Cuttings
Easter Cactus can be easily propagated from cuttings. Propagation can happen during the summer after the plant has finished blooming.
Cut or gently twist off the tips of the branches. Then, set the cuttings in a cool, dry location for several days.
Finally, insert the base of the cuttings ½" deep in moist sand, perlite or vermiculite mix.
When new roots are well established (usually after maximum one month), move your baby Spring Cactus to an appropriate container, filled with a fast-draining potting mix.
10. Prune only occasionally
This plant needs only occasional pruning. Don't be afraid to twist off dead flowers.