Schlumbergera truncata: Thanksgiving or Christmas Cactus?
Yes, Thanksgiving cactus exist, and yes, they are different from Christmas cactus. If you have a Christmas cactus that blooms in November, it might not be the plant you think it is. Thanksgiving cactus has broad, flat leaves with pointy or slight serrations on the edges, and bloom from November through December is pictured here. The Christmas cactus, which has smoother edges or rounded leaves blooms December through January.
It is called a leaf cactus but is not a true cactus. Because of their epiphytic nature or aptness to grow and attach to other plants and rocks, their roots need to be able to breathe. Using a cactus mix potting soil that has lots of sphagnum peat moss and perlite will make for fast draining and happy roots.
Holiday cactus don’t like wet feet! Overwatering can cause a list of diseases. Check your cactus weekly to best understand the humidity or dryness of your environment and then water it thoroughly and allow the soil to dry until the next watering. Consider replacing the plastic nursery pot with a Terra Cotta pot to help keep the soil on the dry side. And, if using a saucer with pebbles to create humidity and catch any remaining water, drain it off afterward.
Keep Schlumbergera happy by placing them in bright, natural light and in temperatures close to how we enjoy them, 65-75 slightly cooler at night. Fertilize once a month after their bloom cycle is complete.