A Thanksgiving Cactus is a tropical succulent native to Brazil and is known for its showy, bright, and vibrant blooms. It is a member of the Schlumbergera cacti family and is related to the Christmas Cactus. The Thanksgiving Cactus has thick, flat leaves/segments and produces its lovely many-petaled blossoms in late fall. This timing makes it a popular choice for the Thanksgiving holiday. The leaves of this cactus are usually green and have pointed tips with scalloped edges. The star-shaped flowers of the Thanksgiving Cactus are typically bright pink or purple in color. In this article, we’ll break down how to propagate a Thanksgiving cactus into multiple plants!
If you’re looking for a way to share the beauty of this plant with your loved ones or just want more, propagating your Thanksgiving Cactus is a great way to do it. The process is simple and easy to execute. In this article, we will discuss the soil and water methods of propagation. Both of these methods make use of a cutting from a mature healthy parent plant.
Propagating a Thanksgiving Cactus
Propagating a Thanksgiving Cactus is a cut-and-dry process. The process can take up to a month for the cactus to establish itself. Each method will require a cutting of the parent plant. Make sure that you take your cutting from a healthy, mature plant. You can use a pair of sterile scissors or deftly twist off a branch that has 3-4 segments on it. Your cutting should be a least 3 inches long and should be made of whole segments. There is no real benefit to taking an overly long branch.
How to Propagate a Thanksgiving Cactus in Water
Propagating in water is fun to watch. It also slightly increases the success rate of the Thanksgiving cacti’s propagation. Once you have taken your cutting, place it in a container of water. The water level should cover about a third of the cutting. Place the container with the cutting in a area that has a lot of indirect sunlight.
Change the water at least once a week or whenever the water starts to become murky. You will see baby roots appear in just a few days. Once the roots get to 2-3 inches long you can transfer the plant into the soil. If your cutting ever starts to look mushy or wilted, you may have to start over. This indicates that rot has occurred.
For a starter pot, we prefer terracotta pots, but you can use any 4-5 inch pot as long as it has good drainage holes. Fill your pot partially with soil. Place your cutting roots down into the soil and cover the roots. Water thoroughly and place your baby plant in a n area that gets ample indirect sunlight.
How to Propagate a Thanksgiving Cactus in Soil
Let’s start with the soil, Thanksgiving cacti enjoy a fast-draining potting mix. You can use a store-bought succulent mix or make your own with potting soil and perlite. The perlite should never exceed 40% of the overall mix. Whichever you choose make sure that the pH is balanced.
After you take your cutting, let it heal before planting. Place it in a cool dry place for 2-3 days, after which you’ll see the separation site has calloused up. It’s now ready to be planted. This step is not necessary but can reduce the chances of root rot or infection.
At this point, you can dip your cutting in the rooting hormone. This isn’t critical, but it will greatly increase the cutting’s chances of success. Rooting hormone is exactly how it sounds. It helps stimulate rooting. Rooting hormone is readily available online and at gardening stores.
For a starter pot, we prefer terracotta pots, but you can use any 4-5 inch pot as long as it has good drainage holes. Fill the pot with your mixture and gently stick your cutting into it. The soil line should cover the bottom third of the plant. Water thoroughly and place in an area with bright, indirect light.