Pfeiffera boliviana (Britton) D.R.Hunt
Lepismium bolivianum, Rhipsalis boliviana, Hariota boliviana, Nothorhipsalis boliviana
Pfeiffera boliviana, also known as Lepismium bolivianum or Rhipsalis boliviana, is an epiphytic cactus that grows as a hanging mass of many-branched, somewhat 4-angled, up to 3 feet (90 cm) long stems. Branches are green, flattened, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. Flowers are usually solitary but sometimes 2 or 3 at an areole. They are small, creamy-white or pink, and appear in spring and early summer.
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Rhipsalis do not thrive in direct sunlight. Exposure to the afternoon sun can burn the leaves, turn them yellow or lead to spotting. However, they will not bloom without sufficient sunlight, and their growth can be stunted. These cacti do best with morning sun and full shade in the afternoon.
As Rhipsalis is commonly grown indoors, care must be given to the placement of the plants. They should be kept at least 20 inches (50 cm) away from windows that receive midday or afternoon sun. The glass in the windows can multiply the heat from the sun's rays, causing sunburned leaves. Keep in mind that in its native environment, Rhipsalis is accustomed to receiving light that has been filtered through dense, overhanging tree branches. Picturing this environment can help you adjust your lighting accordingly.
Rhipsalis is not a drought-resistant plant, so regular watering is essential. Overwatering, however, can cause weak stems and rotted roots. Using watering can help you measure the amount of water you are providing. The size of the pot, compared to the size of the plant, the humidity levels in the home, and the type of potting soil used can all affect the watering frequency.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Rhipsalis.
This species is native to Bolivia.
- Back to genus Pfeiffera
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.