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Why, When, And How To Prune An Easter Cactus

Why, When, And How To Prune An Easter Cactus

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You can’t go wrong with any type of holiday cactus! Yet, Easter cactuses have some of the best-looking flowers I’ve ever seen.

I’ve heard they’re a drag to care for, so I was a bit afraid of getting one. Last year, I finally caved to all the pressure from my friends and bought my first Easter cactus!

Their needs aren’t at all different from the needs of my other houseplants. One thing I only found out recently is that there is a huge benefit from occasional pruning!

Here’s the breakdown of the entire Easter cactus pruning guide!

Let’s get started!

Is It Necessary To Prune An Easter Cactus?

Easter cactus will do just fine in your home for ages without any pruning. So, no, it isn’t necessary to trim these houseplants.

Yet, if you want to get even more blossoms the following season, you should cut back your Easter cactus annually.

Why Prune An Older And Larger Specimen?

The leaves of Easter cactuses are actually flattened stems that can photosynthesize. Pruning these shoots from time to time will preserve some energy and encourage your holiday cactus to produce more blossoms.

These stems grow thick and woody over time. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great tactic since plants need support as they become taller and taller.

Yet, these stems can snap in half and your plant may appear to be tearing at the seams. Sometimes, the wounds can take a long time to heal, leaving your plant open to diseases and pest infestations.

The good news is that you can reduce the risk of this happening by giving it an annual prune.

Reasons To Prune Your Easter Cactus Annually

The first thing you’ll accomplish by pruning your Easter cactus is giving it more airflow. This will reduce the risk of fungal infections and pest infestations, which thrive in higher humidity.

Secondly, you’ll introduce more sunlight to the innermost part of your holiday cactus. This will encourage it to produce more flowers in the long run and keep it healthy.

Pruning it encourages more blossoms and more new growth to appear. Your plant will become bushier and you’ll notice its health improving.

Finally, trimming your Easter cactus will take some of its weight off, reducing the risk of stems cracking. It will also keep it better looking, especially once that leggy growth is no more!

So you see, pruning can improve your plant’s health and ward off pests and diseases!

When To Prune

There’s only one rule you NEED to follow when it comes to pruning Easter cactuses – timing. The best (and only) time to prune this holiday cactus is in spring, right after it finishes blooming.

You need to trim this plant during its active growth so that it can put on new stems. If you prune your Easter cactus in fall and winter, it will have a hard time recovering.

How To Prune

Focus on removing wilted flowers and stems first before tackling the size of the plant. Once you get rid of everything that wastes your plant’s energy, there may not be any need for further pruning.

You should also remove leggy stems because they can break and stress out your cactus.

If you want your holiday cactus to look its best, do not create uneven breaks. Trim those off and enjoy your plant’s new haircut.

What I love about Easter cactuses is that you can use your hands to “cut them back.” Make sure they’re clean and twist the stem until it breaks at the joint.

However, this method doesn’t work on older stems; it may only cause breakage of the entire stem. In this case, you’ll have to use pruners if you want your plant to be healthy. Sterilize your tools and get to work!

When pruning Easter cactuses, make sure not to remove more than one third of the entire plant. Heavy trimming may stress it out, so be careful not to over do it!

After-Prune Care

Once you finish with pruning, leave your Easter cactus to recuperate for a few days.

Then, make sure to give it enough water, but don’t overwater it. The soil should be consistently moist to give your plant everything it needs.

Expose your Easter cactus to indirect sunlight to help it grow and get over the pruning stress. You can also give it a touch of fertilizer, but don’t go overboard.