Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Thanksgiving Cactus or Christmas Cactus?

Thanksgiving Cactus or Christmas Cactus?

Which Do You Have?

A post by Noah Seidenberg prompted me to find out more on this subject about my cactus. A couple of years ago I was given a beautiful cactus plant by one of my Thanksgiving dinner guests. It was covered in white blooms at the time. My friend told me it was not a Christmas Cactus but a Thanksgiving Cactus and that there is a difference. I thought she was being clever since it was in bloom on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Cactus

I had never heard such a thing but did notice it bloomed last Thanksgiving and again this Thanksgiving. I have done some research and want to share what I have discovered.

There are two cactus plants (truncates) that bloom around the holidays and are often confused with one another. The most common one is the Thanksgiving Cactus. Even florist mislabel then and sell them as Christmas Cacti.

You may have one in your home that is in full bloom now and think that your plant is confused. It is not. The Thanksgiving Cactus has a larger bloom and jagged, pointed leaves. The Christmas Cactus has smooth-edged leaves and smaller blooms.

What I also read is that the blooms are triggered by the shorter daytime hours of October and November. You can trick your cactus into blooming by putting it in a dark closet for 12 hours each day for about 3 weeks. This should do the trick if you aren't seeing signs it wants to bloom. You can read more here.

The Christmas Cactus is more rare and is not in boom yet. Which do you have? 

 Happy Thanksgiving to you.

 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

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Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

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Comment balloon 23 commentsDebbie Reynolds • November 24 2016 02:40PM


Maybe each can read the dates on a calendar. Fascinating. Do I get my botany degree now??

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Interesting, I didn't know this. Thanks

Posted by Bahman Davani, CM at Texas Five Star Realty, Plano, TX (214) 457-7055, Homes for Sale in Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Allen TX (Texas Five Star Realty, Plano Texas) over 3 years ago

Good morning Debbie Reynolds ,

I commented on Noah Seidenberg post telling him I have a Thanksgiving Cactus! There is a difference....mine always blooms 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and has the jagged edges. I have a white one like yours and love it!. 

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 3 years ago

I call it a Christmas cactus and am saddened mine of 20 plus years given to me by grandmother died this year, I know impossible to kill but when i was away for 2 weeks, not sure what my house watcher did.... i havent been able to find a new one around here Debbie ReynoldsHappy Thanksgiving to you and your family, 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 3 years ago

Well I will be a dirty dog! I learned something new here Dorie Dillard and Debbie Reynolds. Mine must be a Thanksgiving Cactus and not a Christmas Cactus.

Now I want to get a Christmas Cactus too.

This really put a smile on my face on this relaxed Thanksgiving 2016.

Thank you all so much. 

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 3 years ago

I often wondered why the "Christmas cactus" I used to have, bloomed too early!

Posted by faye schubert, Living the Branson Lake Life over 3 years ago

Debbie, I am always learning here in the Rain.  This is good information that may clear confusion in the minds of cactus owners. 

Wishing you a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving and holiday weekend.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 3 years ago

Happy Thanksgiving Debbie,  Now I know more about this plan then before.  Hope you have a great meal plan for today!

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 3 years ago

Regardless of what it is, it is a beautiful plant and the flowers are lovely.

Posted by Lynnea Miller, Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon (Bend Premier Real Estate) over 3 years ago


 I have always loved the Christmas Cactus and but I have never seen the Thanksgiving one I think I like it better. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Posted by Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert over 3 years ago

Debbie, Thank you for this info and I want a Thanksgiving Cactus after reading your post. 

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 3 years ago

Debbie whether the cactus is a Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus they have a beautiful flower.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 3 years ago

Thank you very much, Debbie, for this lesson. I did not know the difference.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 3 years ago

Hi Debbie Reynolds , We have never had a Christmas or Thanksgiving Cactus, so your information will be helpful the next time I see one.

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) over 3 years ago

It looks like it is confused to me Debbie, maybe it is rushing the season.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 3 years ago

 I am rather confused myself because our Christmas cactus is blooming and it's only Thanksgiving Debbie Reynolds 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) over 3 years ago

Thanksgiving for Christmas being a thing cactus 🌵? sounds pretty good to me!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 3 years ago

I have never had a Christmas cactus . I love the photo. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 3 years ago

Good morning, Debbie Reynolds I have a Thanksgiving Cactus that is 30 years old.... I cut it back every year and transplant it every 5+ years....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 3 years ago

Good Morning Debbie - whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas one thing is for sure.  You know how to keep your plants thriving.  What a nice memory of a previous year.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 3 years ago

Debbie I had no idea, I would have guessed that the Christmas Cactus has red blooming flowers:))Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 3 years ago

Good morning Debbie.  I'm waiting for my Hanukkah Cactus to bloom.  

(Only once every 40 years and then only if it finds it's way out of the desert.   )

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 3 years ago

That is very clever Gabe Sanders. What color are the blooms? LOL

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 3 years ago