Rhipsalis oblonga Loefgr.
Rhipsalis oblonga is an epiphytic cactus with olive green or light green, semi-erect to pendent, up to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) long segmented stems. The main stems are up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, up to 0.4 inches (2 cm) across, cylindrical at the base, becoming flattened above and branching apical or lateral. The stem segments are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) wide, with serrated margins and large areoles. Flowers are yellowish-white and appear during the rainy season. Fruits are spherical, up to 0.3 inches (0.7 cm) in diameter, translucent, greenish to nearly white at maturity.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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, without sufficient sunlight, they will not bloom, 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.
Rhipsalis oblonga is endemic to Brazil. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
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