Types of Christmas Cactus (With IMAGES!)

Holiday Cactus plants are very popular for decorating during Christmas. One of the beautiful flowering houseplants is the Christmas Cactus which we use to decorate and make our rooms beautiful.

You will get several types of Christmas Cactus, better to say holiday cactuses which you need to know before you choose one.

They look very similar and are not easy to determine as they have very subtle differences between them.

In this guide, I will discuss in detail the types, how you can identify them, and their differences.

Let’s get started!

Types of Christmas Cactus

Types of Christmas Cactus

Here are the 3 different types of Christmas Cactus:

#1. Thanksgiving Cactus: 

Thanksgiving Cactus
Thanksgiving Cactus

This one blooms more at Thanksgiving than it does at Christmas time, and it can change colors depending on sun exposure. It is generally purple, red, or pink. It can flower white during Christmas as well.

#2. Christmas Cactus: 

Christmas Cactus
Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus is a type of cacti that belongs to the family of epiphytic cacti. It typically blooms white flowers in December for Christmas, hence its name. 

This one’s flower blooms are at the height of Christmas time, December, hence its name. Its flower color varies from light pink to deep red and sometimes even dark purple.

#3. Easter Cactus: 


The name says it all. It blooms at Easter time and it can go from green to orange to red. It can flower white as well, but it won’t be as beautiful.

Christmas Cactus vs Thanksgiving Cactus vs Easter Cactus

A) Flower: 

The color of the Christmas cactus plant’s flower is one of the distinguishing features that can help you differentiate it from Thanksgiving and Easter cacti. 

The Christmas Cactus flower usually has white or cream-colored petals, with variegated leaves that are clear at the stem and cream-colored at the base of the leaf.

B) Plant Habit: 

Christmas cactus can sometimes tower over 7 feet tall, and there are also smaller varieties. 

They also have flowering spikes or spikes that can reach 2 feet in length near the end of the blooming season, which makes them easily noticeable compared to Easter and Thanksgiving cacti with smaller flowers.

C) Leaves: 

Some varieties do not have variegated leaves. Leaves of Easter and Thanksgiving cacti are thick and leathery, while Christmas cactus leaves are thin, long, and pointed. 

The stems of Thanksgiving and Easter cacti are thick, large, and woody, while Christmas cactus stems are thin and wiry. Their leaves have alternating colors that are clear at the stem and creamy in color at the base of the leaf.

d) Color: 

The color of the Christmas cactus plant is another factor to consider. The colors of the other types mentioned above can also be seen in this type, but the colors are usually a bit darker in shade, especially during Christmas time.

e) Height: 

Christmas cactus plants are shorter than Thanksgiving and Easter cacti, being less than 7 feet tall. They have flowers that can reach 2 feet in length and have flowering spikes or spikes that can reach up to 2 feet in length near the end of the blooming season.

f) Stems: 

Their stems are thin and wiry. Their leaves do not alternate like the other types. Their leaves also have alternating colors, but they are clear at the stem and cream-colored at the base of the leaf.

What is the best way to get my Christmas cactus to flower?

For a Christmas cactus plant to flower, it needs a lot of light in the form of sunlight. They also need a good amount of water and fertilizer

Also, you can explore more in this Christmas Cactus blooming guide.

How do I know what kind of Christmas cactus I have?

Christmas cacti can be easily identified in their local area of origin by their color and shape. They can look very similar to the Easter and Thanksgiving cacti that are usually found in nearby areas. 

However, if you live in an area that does not have these cacti, or if you have one that is not native to the area that you live in, then it can be difficult to determine what kind of Christmas cactus you have. 

You can check out local florist shops and nurseries to see what they know about your plant.

If you want to positively identify your Christmas cactus, then the best thing would be to send a sample of the plant’s leaves and flowers to a laboratory for testing. 

This may cost a little extra money, but it will also be the most accurate way of telling what type of Christmas cactus you have. Also, knowing the plant would help you to identify its proper care.


Let’s conclude the post!

So, the Holiday cactus are of three types:

  1. Christmas Cactus,
  2. Thanksgiving Cactus,
  3. Easter Cactus.

Based on colors, there can also be several colored variants of the Christmas Cactus. You can check the types of Christmas Cactus colors guide here.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

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