The flowers of this rain-forest species, known as Easter cactus, are intense red, and are produced either singly or in groups of 2-5, from a cluster of long, brown bristles at the end of new stem segments, over a period of several weeks in spring. Each individual flower may only last two or three days.
The segments are thin, flattened, and up to 1 ¼ in. (5 cm) long, forming stems that are upright at first, drooping down as they get longer. This plant comes from eastern Brazil. It is ideal for a hanging basket.
Size: Spread 12—16 in. (30—40 cm).
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: Normal room.
Moisture: Keep moist at all times, apart from a 3—4 week rest period after flowering when the soil should only be given enough water to prevent it drying out.
Feeding: Use standard liquid tomato fertilizer every two weeks in spring, from the appearance of the flower buds until the last bud has opened. Stop feeding luring the rest period, then apply standard liquid fertilizer once a month for the rest of the year.
Propagation: Take at least two segments by breaking them carefully from the parent plant. Push deeply enough into a small pot of soil mix to stand upright, then water gently to settle the soil. Several cuttings can be inserted into a larger pot for an immediate effect.
Special needs: Repot after the rest period in spring.