Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida (Baker) Barthlott
Mouse Tail Cactus
Rhipsalis horrida, Rhipsalis pilosam
Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida is an epilithic and epiphytic cactus that freely branches from the base and toward the apex. The stems are pale green, with reddish-brown bristly spines. They are slender, pendent, and can grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) long and 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter.
The flowers are whitish-grey to red or brown and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter and appear in winter and spring, often numerous along the branches.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
With its long, elegantly drooping stems and low-maintenance care needs, the Mistletoe Cactus is ideal for hanging planters. Place your cactus in an area that receives partial to full shade.
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.
Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged during its growing season, from 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.
Apply a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks during the plant's growing season. Follow any instructions or warnings provided by the manufacturer when applying the fertilizer.
Cut back on watering throughout the fall and winter, the dormant seasons of the Mistletoe Cactus. Water your plant 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 when the first buds appear in spring.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Rhipsalis.
Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida is native to Madagascar.
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