Plant in Focus – Rhipsalis baccifera

14 July 2014

Rhipsalis baccifera, is commonly known as the mistletoe cactus and originates from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Florida. The cactus has pencil thin succulent stems that may reach up to 6 feet in length. The thick skin of the stems does not produce thorns, but it does have almost imperceptible bumps on the surface of the plant.

These plants are found clinging to nooks and crevasses on trees and rocks in rainforests. The mistletoe cactus is easy to grow and has little needs, making it a perfect indoor plant for the home.

Health Fact: Cactus juice has shown to help to prevent inflammation in the muscles, arteries, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular region.

Environment: Unlike most cacti, Rhapsalis actually require partial to fully shade, so place it in a north or west facing window for best results. It is a tropical plant so don’t allow temperatures to drop below 16oC.

Care: Keep moist but ensure you plant it in a well-drained growing media, with plenty of sand or grit.  A good cactus compost mix will be ideal. It likes moisture, so a bathroom makes a perfect home.