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How to Grow and Care for a Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera)

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With its long, elegantly drooping stems and low-maintenance care needs, the Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera) makes an ideal choice for hanging planters. In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 and 10, the pale green stems of this epiphytic cactus reach lengths of more than 10 feet (3 m). Of course, to achieve such results you'll need to practice proper care, but given the plant's hardy demeanor, it doesn't take a pro green thumb to get the most out of Mistletoe Cactus.

Light

Place your Mistletoe Cactus in an area that receives partial to full shade.

Soil

Use a gritty, well-drained, slightly acidic soil mix of two parts peat moss and one part sand, with bark chips mixed in to promote soil drainage.

Water

Keep the soil of the Mistletoe Cactus moist, but not waterlogged, during its growth season, which occurs from the early spring to late summer. Never allow standing water on the surface of the soil, but don't let the soil dry out completely; let the topsoil dry out between waterings, but not the subsoil.

Photo via ball-trap-niort.com

Fertilizer

Apply a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer every two to four weeks during the plant's growing season. Follow any instructions or warnings provided by the manufacturer when applying the fertilizer.

Tip

Cut back on watering throughout the fall and winter, the dormant seasons of the Mistletoe Cactus. Water just enough to keep the plant's stems from shriveling. This practice promotes healthy blossoming in spring. Do not fertilize the plant during this time. Resume regular watering and fertilization practices as soon as the first buds appear in spring.

Source: sfgate.com

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