Rhipsalis FamilyApril 2, 2019
Have you ever met one of those families that have it all going for themselves? Talented, easy-going, and ridiculously good-looking, they’ve got it all. If not, I envy you. But if you have, then you can understand how the rest of the plant world feels about the Rhipsalis plant family. Varied in their beauty and relatively easy to care for, Rhipsalis is one of the superstar families of nature. Any one of the Rhipsalis plants will make an excellent addition to a gardener’s collection.
Rhipsalis is a cactus genus with 35 distinct species. From Rhipsalis agudoensis to the Rhipsalis trigona, there’s one for everyone. Perhaps the most common, and most beloved, is the Rhipsalis baccifera, mostcommonly referred to as the Mistletoe Cactus. The majority of Rhipsalis plants are native to South America, the Caribbean, and Central America. Most varieties flower in the spring, with many producing berries in the summer and autumn months.
At Angus & Celeste, we refer to the Rhipsalis as the perfect plant for our hanging planters. Rhipsalis plants spill over the edge of our ceramic bowls, making them a true ‘hanging plant’. Rhipsalis plant’s thin vertical leaves can grow metres long, which means that they can become quite a feature plant and crowd pleaser!
Rhipsalis are very well suited to outdoor growing in just about every region of Australia.
Light & Environment:
Mimicking a plant’s natural environment always provides the best results. Rhipsalis are adapted to getting light that is filtered through dense jungle. As such, try to give your plant plenty of sun in the morning and full shade in the afternoon.
If growing your Rhipsalis indoors, please be mindful of the placement of your plant. Keep them around 20 inches away from any window that receives the midday or afternoon sun. Window glass can multiply the heat from the sun’s rays, which can very easily lead to a nasty sunburn for your plant.
Although cacti, Rhipsalis plants are not drought resistant. Watering once a week is generally enough. Check the soil before watering by pressing your finger in about half an inch. If still moist, hold off on watering.
A potting soil specifically designed for cacti is your best bet. Although, for more advanced green thumbs, you can make your own by combining regular potting soil with sphagnum, orchid bark, or gravel to ensure proper drainage.
Fertilise well in the spring once new growth starts to appear and keep your plant well watered throughout the growing season. Any fertiliser specifically designed for cacti will work. Feed only during the spring and summer months.
Did you know?
Wild cactuses are currently under threat as a result of building construction, animal grazing and a high number of collectors digging them up. All cacti are included in the ‘Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora’. Unless you have a permit, international exporting of most species is illegal. Some cacti are on the endangered species list and can only be used for scientific purposes.