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Care of the plant Rhipsalis baccifera or Pencil cactus.

Care of the indoor plant Rhipsalis baccifera or Pencil cactus

The genus Rhipsalis, family Cactaceae, includes 35 species of cacti native to tropical regions of the Center and South of the American continent, Africa and Asia. Some species are: Rhipsalis baccifera, Rhipsalis burchelliiRhipsalis cruciformisRhipsalis oblongaRhipsalis puniceodiscus, Rhipsalis baccifera, Rhipsalis pachyptera, Rhipsalis cassutha, Rhipsalis pilocarpa, Rhipsalis rosea.

Common names: Pencil cactus, Spaghetti Cactus, Mistletoe cactus. This species is considered native to Central America but has spread throughout Africa and Madagascar.

They are epiphytic cacti of hanging bearing and branching from the base that reach 4 meters (13.12 feet) in length. In the areolas there are no spines but 1-2 white bristles. The flowers are white, small and appear along the stems. The fruits are white or pink spheres and are very decorative.

They are used in hanging pots as indoor plants, greenhouses and on terraces and patios.

Rhipsalis baccifera can be grown in sun or semi-shade exposures. The winter safety temperature is 6 ºC (42.8 ºF).

The soil can be a mixture of 25% coarse siliceous sand and 75% leaf mulch or heather soil.

Water with lime-free water frequently in spring and summer so that the substrate does not dry out completely (never water). In summer periodically spray the stems with lime-free water.

Fertilize once in spring with mineral fertilizer for cacti.

They do not need pruning.

They can be attacked by mites and aphids if ventilation is not appropriate and they suffer from drought.

They propagate easily by seeds or stem cuttings in spring.

Images of the indoor plant Rhipsalis baccifera or Pencil cactus

Rhipsalis baccifera
Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida
Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida
Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida