If you like cacti then you may know the Rhipsalis cereuscula, an easy plant to find and not too expensive, but it can be perfect for a window box, a balcony or a rock garden.
Do you want to know what this plant is like? And the care she needs to stay healthy and grow well? So Pay attention to the guide that we have prepared.
How is the Rhipsalis cereuscula
We must start by telling you that the Rhipsalis cereuscula is actually a hanging cactus. It is an epiphyte, which means that it will grow on a surface or on another plant, but unlike others, it does not parasitize (it does not eat that other plant).
It is native to Brazil (specifically from the northeast, east and south). It can be found in Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina, Paraná, Sao Paulo…
It can grow up to 60 centimeters long and the truth is that sometimes you will find it with other names such as rice cactus or coral cactus. It is characterized by having very short cylindrical stems, one on top of the other, from which the branches are born, which will be very thin and long. Don’t be surprised that it branches out a lot, because it is very prolific in that sense. And that is what makes them grow in clusters and that these, due to the weight, end up hanging. As for the color of the stem and branches are pale green. And we already warned you that it does not have thorns, so you should not worry about that.
Also, you have to know that it also blooms. The flowers open during the day, but close at night and will only last a few days. It has a bell-shaped shape and they are also white, although in some cases you can find them pink. They are not very long, they will be between 8-15 mm long and 10-20 mm in diameter. As for its flowering, it does not occur in summer, but at the end of winter and especially in spring.
Of course, to get them to do it, you have to provide them with an adequate temperature, between 4 and 18ºC, if it exceeds it, it can slow down and put less flowers (or not at all). One piece of advice that we give you is that, as soon as it is in bloom, you should not touch it or move it. because it is so delicate that any blow or movement will cause it to lose those flower buds (they fall off very easily).
After the flowers will come the fruits, in the form of berries and white. or, exceptionally, red. In them you can find the seeds.
Care of Rhipsalis cereuscula
The Rhipsalis cereuscula is a plant with which it is not necessary to have experience. In fact, even those who are worse at gardening will be able to enjoy it. And it is that It is very resistant to almost everything.. But that does not mean that she can leave it to her free will. You should take into account some important precautions.
location and temperature
If you want to have a healthy Rhipsalis cereuscula, We advise you to always put it in a semi-shaded place because it tends to burn if it gets direct sunlight. (unless it is the first in the morning or last in the afternoon).
It is a plant that does not need a lot of light (in case you want to keep it indoors with only a few hours of light).
As for the temperature, its ideal is between 10 and 30ºC. Obviously, frosts are not his thing, so you will have to protect it in winter unless it is mild (if there are sporadic frosts and it is well established, it could withstand them). Even so, below 5ºC it will begin to suffer.
The special soil for the Rhipsalis cereuscula is one that has organic material, drainage and a vegetal substrate that is permeable. This combination will help it to be well nourished and meet the tropical needs of the plant.
In case you cannot do it, then bet with cactus soil but add more drainage such as orchid soil. Yes indeed, keep in mind that the Rhipsalis cereuscula does not like the soil to remain cold (In the face of winter you will have to protect it with a thermal blanket and, in the case of a pot, protect it).
Compared to other rhipsalis, Rhipsalis cereuscula does need a little more water than a cactus of another variety. To begin with, you should not wait for the soil to dry out before watering.
That implies that, in summer, you should water 3-4 times a week. And during the rest of the seasons at least 1-2 times a week. Of course, we do not recommend that you use water with lime because it will damage the cactus. If possible, use rainwater and never pour it on the leaves (always at the base of the plant).
Just as we have told you that Rhipsalis cereuscula needs more watering than a “normal” cactus, something similar also happens with fertilizer.
You will have to fertilize it in early spring and every month until the end of summer. In fact, at times (early spring to early summer) it will be better to do it every two weeks and then reduce until you no longer fertilize by early autumn.
Plagues and diseases
Although Rhipsalis cereuscula is not a plant that succumbs to many pests and diseases, that does not mean that it is exempt. You have to be careful with snails and slugs (because by requiring more humidity and irrigation they will appear for it).
You should also keep an eye out for aphids and mealybugs. To eliminate them, you will have to clean the leaves and stems with a cloth in alcohol and soap.
The propagation of this plant is quite easy, since it is enough to cut parts of the stem so that new plants come out. Yes indeed, You should let them dry for at least a week. so they don’t rot when you put them in the ground.
Another way to reproduce it is through seeds, although this process usually takes longer to see results.
As you see, Rhipsalis cereuscula is not difficult to care forQuite the contrary, and as it has a curious shape it can be perfect for a garden with a tropical style. Do you dare to have it at home?