Difference between Christmas and Easter Cactus

The Christmas and Easter cacti are plants that belong to the same family of Cactaceae. They are tropical cacti from the rainforests of Brazil. They are not the same in appearance as the cacti found in deserts.

They grow on trees or rocks in high humidity. The three most popular species of the family are Christmas cactus, Easter cactus and Thanksgiving cactus. They look almost similar and are difficult to differentiate.

The table below differentiates between Christmas cactus and Easter cactus:

Christmas Cactus

Easter Cactus


The Christmas cactus is a popular species that has flattened stems and attractive cerise flowers.

The Easter cactus is a popular species that has striking red flowers and has segmented stems with notched margins.

Botanical Name

Schlumbergera bridgesi

Hatiora gaertneri

Shape of the Leaves

They don’t have true leaves; instead, the stem is made of a chain of leaflike parts with a bloom at the tip.

They have a similar chain-like leafy stem, but the leaves are more rounded at the edges.

Blooming Season

It blooms in the late autumn to the winter season.

It blooms in late spring.

Watering Pattern

It requires continuous watering, and the soil should not be dried out.

The soil needs to be totally dried out before rewatering.


The flowers are tube-like.

The flowers are starburst shaped.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Are the Christmas cactus and Easter cactus the same plant?

The Christmas cactus and Easter cactus look similar to each other but are totally different species.


Do Christmas cacti do well outdoors?

Christmas cacti can survive outdoors if kept in a proper shed, as direct sunlight can burn the plant.


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