Rhipsalis baccifera (J. S. Muell.) Stearn
Mistletoe Cactus, Spaghetti Cactus
Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. baccifera, Cassytha baccifera, Rhipsalis cassytha
Rhipsalis baccifera is an epiphytic cactus with many slender, pendent, branched stems. In nature, it can reach 30 feet (9 m) in length. Branches are cylindrical, up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter, and arise in pairs or clusters from tips of older branches, occasionally producing adventitious roots. They are green or pale green and sometimes slightly furrowed. Areoles are bristly when young, but otherwise, the stems are very smooth. The solitary flowers are white or greenish-white, up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) across, and appear in winter and spring, often numerous along the branches. The fruits are spherical or somewhat elongated berries, white, pink, or red, and about 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) in diameter.
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, from the early spring to late summer. Never allow standing water on the soil's surface, 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.
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