False Christmas cactus Vs Christmas cactus (Differences!)

It is not easy to quickly identify a False Christmas Cactus from a Christmas cactus without knowing the differences and features to identify the particular plant.

If you are looking to know the comparison of False Christmas Cactus vs Christmas Cactus, then this is the right post.

Let’s get started!

Christmas Cactus vs False Christmas Cactus

False Christmas cactus Vs Christmas cactus

Difference in Stem

The Christmas cactus features a stem that arches downwards with a closed habit. On the other hand, the false Christmas cactus has a stem with an open habit.

The margins of the Christmas cactus’ stem are rounded, with small visible nubs or points, while the false Christmas cactus has a stem with margins that have soft teeth or points. 

Difference in blooms

As far as flowers are concerned, the false Christmas cactus produces bright salmon, pink, peach, or white flowers held at the end of the stems and pointed slightly upwards.

The Christmas cactus produces more rounded flowers, following the direction of the stem and pointing downwards. 

Blooming Time

Blooming time is another difference between the Christmas cactus and the false Christmas cactus.

The Christmas cactus blooms from early winter to mid-winter, while the false Christmas cactus blooms from late fall to mid-winter.

What is Christmas Cactus?

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus is a renowned cactus that belongs to the family Cactaceae. The cactus features flattened stems, and people grow it for its attractive cerise flowers that bloom indoors around Christmas time.

What is a false Christmas Cactus? (Schlumbergera truncata)

Image of False Christmas Cactus
Schlumbergera truncata, Image Credits: Sadambio, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

These are epiphytic cacti that feature hanging stems composed of flat segments with teeth on the edges.

The segments are deep green but turn reddish when they come into contact with direct sunlight.

Its striking flowers are tubular, with pink, white, red, or orange petals. These flowers bloom during winter. The false Christmas cactus is used as an indoor plant in regular pots or hanging pots for positioning on windows and furniture. 

How can you tell if a Christmas cactus is real?

Generally, a real Christmas cactus will have 2-inch-long mid-green sections, with rounded flowers and rounded edges instead of notches. 

How to care for False Christmas Cactus?

Your false Christmas cactus will require well-drained soil and properly regulated watering to avoid overwatering, which is harmful to the survival of this plant. 

Additionally, it would be best if you were sure to keep your false Christmas cactus away from direct sunlight. 

To ensure that it blooms properly, maintain evening temperatures of between 50-55 degrees F and 12 to 14 hours of darkness to enhance the bloom set. 

The plant also needs a well-balanced houseplant fertilizer for effective blooming. This plant also needs pruning during the late spring to promote branching and increased flowering.

Do False Christmas Cactus need any different care than a Christmas Cactus?

Typically, these two plants will require the same care, courtesy of the fact that they are both tropical plants, and share a common species, Schlumbergera. 

Both the Christmas and false Christmas cacti require the same care, especially a regular watering regime, feeding with houseplant fertilizers, and protection from too much heat and pests.


Let’s conclude the post on Christmas Cactus vs False Christmas Cactus!

The Christmas cactus is a better option than the false Christmas cactus. It is easier to care for, has flowers that last longer, and is more drought-tolerant. If you are looking for a beautiful plant to add to your holiday décor, be sure to choose a Christmas cactus!

I hope you enjoyed reading the post.

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