How To Prune A Thanksgiving Cactus: Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

Thanksgiving cacti, scientifically known as Schlumbergera truncata or Zygocactus truncates, are popular house plants that produce beautiful flowers around the holiday season. However, like most plants, they require some maintenance to keep them thriving and healthy. One of the essential tasks in caring for a Thanksgiving cactus is pruning. Pruning helps promote growth and encourages a fuller plant with more blooms come next year.

Here’s how you can prune your Thanksgiving cactus:


The best time to prune your Thanksgiving cactus is right after it has finished blooming. For most people, this means pruning towards the end of winter or early spring when flowering typically stops. Pruning at this time allows the plant enough time to recover from any cuts before its next period of active growth.


When pruning your Thanksgiving cactus, it’s important to use sharp scissors or garden shears that will make clean cuts without crushing or tearing delicate stems. Dull blades can cause damage to the plant and leave unsightly wounds that may lead to infections later on.


1) Start by examining your Thanksgiving Cactus carefully and identifying any areas that need trimming. Look out for dead branches or stems which won’t bloom again and cut them off at their base.
2) Then look out for weak spots where multiple segments meet; these areas tend not to be as stable as others so cutting them down could help prevent breakage.
3) After identifying those areas needing trimming, start snipping away using sharp scissors close enough but not too close where there are still green parts left on each stem.
4) Cut back long trailing branches if desired – don’t worry about damaging new growth – although generally speaking it’s best practice only ever removing up 1/3rd length unless necessary due overgrowth etc…
5) Finally take an overall look to ensure everything is balanced, and there are no lopsided areas.


– Always disinfect your scissors or garden shears before and after each use with alcohol or bleach to prevent the spread of any diseases between plants.
– To encourage more blooms next year, fertilize your Thanksgiving cactus during its active growing season in summer. Be sure not to over-fertilize as this can lead to salt buildup in the soil and stunted growth.
– Avoid pruning too much at once. It’s better to take off a little bit of growth at a time rather than cutting back large sections all at once.

In conclusion, pruning a Thanksgiving cactus is relatively easy when you follow these simple steps carefully. By trimming away dead branches or stems, cutting back long trailing branches if desired and ensuring everything looks balanced – you’ll be able to promote new healthy growth that will produce beautiful flowers come next holiday season.