Rhipsalis Baccifera "Mistletoe Cactus"

Latin name

Rhipsalis baccifera (Trailing)

Pronounciation

(“rip-SAH-liss bak-SIFF-eh-rah”)

Common name

Rhipsalis baccifera

Origin

Probably originally from Columbia, but is found all over South and Central America, the Caribbean and Tropical Africa

How easy is it care for?

Mistletoe Cactus, or Rhipsalis baccifera, is a unique houseplant with trailing succulent-like stems, making this a great hanging plant. Most people imagine cacti to be large, spiny, desert-dwelling plants. However there is a group of cactus species that come from the humid tropical forests, and they look very different from their desert-dwelling relatives. They are epiphytes (in other words they live among the branches of trees) and they need to get all of the nutrients and water from the air or that which gets trapped in amongst the branches and leaves of the trees. Rhipsalis baccifera is one of the mistletoe cacti. It has long, slender jointed, branched cylindrical and generally smooth stems that hang down in long spidery clusters. Like all cacti, it has no leaves and photosynthesis occurs in the fleshy, semi-succulent stems, which occasionally produce adventitious roots . At the end of the stems, small, fairly insignificant flowers grow, leading eventually to small white (or pinkish white) berries that resemble those found on mistletoe (hence its popular name). As a species it is quite variable, and it is one of only a very few species of cactus that is found naturally beyond the Americas – it is thought that seeds from the plant may have been carried by migrating birds to Africa and beyond, or even on the ships of early explorers. The first specimen was brought to England by Mr Philip Miller in 1758, which he brought from the Caribbean All our potted plants come in compostable coir pots.

Caring for your plant

Light

Medium to high light. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight

Watering

Keep soil moist and occasionally mist the foliage with tepid water

Pruning

The plant can be kept compact by trimming the stems where there is a natural joint – at which point, new growth will appear as a forked stem

Feeding

A weak solution of fertilizer can be added to the water at every watering. If the plant gets stressed or is deficient in nutrients, the stems can turn a reddish colour

Pest & Diseases

Occasional mealybugs, which can be picked off when you see them

Mill Pond Nurseries,
Mill Road,
Henham,
CM22 6AA

T: 0345 505 3333
E: enquiries@planteriagroup.com

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