Rhipsalidopsis rosea Easter Cactus

All members of the genus Rhipsalidopsis are called ‘Easter cacti’ because they regularly produce flowers at Easter. They are similar to ‘Christmas cacti’.

They have rounded, red stem segments, bristly-toothed on the margins. Relatively large, funnel-shaped flowers grow from are oles located at the end of the segments. The fruit is a berry. All these cacti are native to southern Brazil. R. rosea is the familiar species. It has vivid pink flowers up to 4 cm (IV2 inch) a-cross. Another well-known species is R. gaertneri with brilliant scarlet red flowers, which grows as an epiphyte in the mountains of Brazil. The hybrid offspring of these two species – R. x graeseri – is a very common house plant.

To ensure spring flowering, keep the cactus at a temperature of about 10°C (50° F) for a period of two to three months during the autumn and winter. Then transfer it to a warmer place. Water very sparingly during the resting period, only when the compost is almost dry. The plants grow well even without feeding, but will benefit from an occasional application of a weak solution of compound fertilizer. They do very well in hydropon-ic containers and are also very attractive in hanging containers or in a dish combined with other plants. Propagate by means of the stem segments.

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