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Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida (Mouse Tail Cactus)


Scientific Name

Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida (Baker) Barthlott

Common Names

Mouse Tail Cactus


Rhipsalis horrida (basionym), Rhipsalis pilosam

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Rhipsalideae
Genus: Rhipsalis


Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida is an epilithic and epiphytic cactus that freely branches from the base and later also from towards the apex. The stems are pale green, with reddish-brown bristly spines, up to 20 inches (50 cm) long and up to 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.

Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida (Mouse Tail Cactus)

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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 makes an ideal choice 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, 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.

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 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.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Rhipsalis.


Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida is native to Madagascar.


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