Sunday, January 24, 2010

Help with Rhipsalis or Yikes! a much needed plant rescue!

Oh you Poor Poor Mistletoe Cactus! I Know the person who had you before now was no longer able to care for you , water you. and trim you back when needed ... But your hear now.

But should I cut and re start you in your currant condition , or should I water and fertilize you now and see if i can get you through the last of winter before cutting and re potting??

So meet My latest plant in need of a serious rescue

this is ( to the best of my Knowledge )
a Rhipsalis
aka: Mistletoe Cactus

and obviously a very old one.

apparently these are a rare cactus, or at least that's what i was told, but more research is needed as i have had little experience with this particular plant

I'll bet it was gorgeous in it's day
but now just needs to have a lot of stuff cut away

I think it is more like a succulent than a cactus but i need to check.

it obviously has a hanging nature.

wonder if i should put cactus soil substrate i it's pot or should i include some decaying woods and leaves as this is suppose to grow in trees .

I think i want to do alot more research before i make a mistake of hacking it up to do new plant starts..

hummm ok off to looking up what i can find on this baby.

Any Help any one can give on this would be seriously appreciated .

and I will update this post as I learn more


  1. It may be in too damp of an area, if it is a succulent, too much humidity may kill it. Try letting the soil dry just a bit too...

  2. It does grow from cuttings so worst case you could try that. I don't know much about it other than it needs well drained soil, should dry out between waterings, and prefers bright indirect light. I also checked and it says minimum temperatures of 15C or it starts to turn red.

    I'm thinking it was over-watered/had to little light. It may be worth trying to root the healthy stems near the ends where there is a lot of growth, and and after they've rooted, cut the off, then sticking them in a pot together with some decent soil.

    Other than that I'm not sure what to do. I don't think it's worth just leaving it like it is and waiting for it to grow back but you should definitely ask others and research further.

  3. Interesting question.

    I have one Rhipsalis, but I don't think it's this particular species, and I've never had this particular situation with it. So this is going to be more theory than experience. But.

    My inclination would be to try to cut off the clumps of "foliage" and plant them up as new plants. The roots of the old plant may or may not resprout -- I really have no idea. But these aren't supposed to be particularly difficult to root, so starting new plants should be doable.

    I think you should be able to use a regular bagged potting mix, like Miracle Gro or something, if you mix it about half and half with perlite. I don't ordinarily like Miracle Gro (it contains a lot of peat moss, which retains water for a long time and then turns into a water-repellent brick when it dries), but mixed with perlite, it should be okay. You could also go with coarsely-chopped sphagnum moss in place of the Miracle Gro. The idea is to get something that's going to hold some moisture, but isn't going to be so wet for so long that air can't get through too. Perlite and coarse sphagnum are both good for those.

    Anyway. As far as I'm aware, after you mix some of that together, just take a clean knife, cut some pieces off, and barely bury them in the potting mix, in smallish pots (4-inch is what I'd go with). Water it all in, put the pots in a bright window, keep them above 60F (ideally closer to 75-80F, but work with the home you have), and you should have new roots relatively soon. When you water, drench the soil thoroughly, and then immediately dump out the water that runs through (leaving them to stand in water makes it a lot more likely that the cuttings will rot).

    You may lose a few individual cuttings, but most of these should take. This isn't the ideal time of year to be trying something like this (spring would be better: more light, more heat), but Rhipsalis cuttings are supposed to be pretty easy, so this should mostly work anyway.

  4. I just did a search & it looks like there is plenty of information on these. This one has some good suggestions on the propogationb & potting mix.

  5. I'm afraid I don't know much of anything about these plants, but I'm definitely interested in how you decide to go about taking care of it and what happens if you care to share! =)

  6. Aerelonian and mr_subjunctive, Thank you so much for answering my call out sooooo quickly and your help with this ! Bless ya Both .. Thank you so much Every one for such great stuff! You have NO idea how much it helped. Bless you all.
    Sorry I didn't respond till today but I have been off reading and writing about this nifty plant!
    I am posting a bit of what I have learned over the last 24 hours and some nifty links I found too, right after I am done here about what i have found out and where I am on this plant rescue/reclaim project .

    Green Blessings All
    Ma Fey