Friday, January 21, 2011

Focus on Houseplants: Rhipsalis

One of my newer internet gardening friends, Steve Asbell of The Rainforest Garden, mentioned something about mistletoe cactus awhile back. I'd never heard of it, but I'm not very knowledgeable in the world of cacti, so that's not surprising.

What was surprising to me, however, is that lo and behold, I already had a mistletoe cactus and didn't realize it! I was able to take part in a houseplant survey recently conducted by Costa Farms. For the survey, I was to purchase several houseplants (paid for by Costa Farms) and complete surveys for them about my experiences. Now, when someone gives me money to go buy houseplants, I'm out the door to do just that (after jumping up and down with glee)!

One of the first plants I bought was this Rhipsalis, also known as a mistletoe cactus. Of course, I didn't know they were called this until Steve brought it to my attention, indirectly.

I. Love. This. Plant.

This has got to be one of the easiest plants to grow, ever. It's a succulent, so it's pretty forgiving on watering, as long as you don't overdo it. I have it near a south window where it gets indirect bright light and it has grown even in the short time I've had it.  It doesn't shed and it has a beautiful weeping habit. Though it's a cactus, it isn't prickly either.

According to Wikipedia, Rhipsalis make up the largest and most widely distributed genus of epiphytic cacti. Epiphytic means that it grows on other surfaces, such as trees, using its roots for gaining a foothold. They gain most of their nutrients from the air and rain and sometimes from debris that may accumulate around them.

Rhipsalis is generally only hardy to zone 10, but it adapts well to being grown as a houseplant. They like part shade to shade, although some direct morning sun is okay.


Diane said...

I have a Rhipsalis but it's more droopy and skinny. What species is yours?

garden girl said...

Love it Kylee! I've never grown succulents until this winter. What fantastic house plants they are.

That Bloomin' Garden said...

What an interesting plant! I have never heard of it before. Love to have money to spend on plants,lol.

Shady Gardener said...

I've never heard of this, either, Kylee. Is it hard to find?

Steve Asbell said...

Ooh! Coral rhipsalis... I have that one too! And guess what else? I also participated in the survey and bought a lot of rhipsalis plants... about six to be exact! :)

Weekend Cowgirl said...

I love the look of it and think I will go find one!!! Thanks! I need some green in this dreary weather!

Kerri said...

I'd be jumping up and down with glee too if someone offered me money to buy plants :)
The Rhipsalis is fascinating. I love it!
I clicked through and read an older post about 6 easy houseplants (great post!)...and saw your hoya. Yes, same as mine but, I'm sad to say, mine has no perfume.
We have arctic conditions here tonight. I too can't wait for spring!

Kylee Baumle said...

Diane ~ I'm not sure how much skinnier this could get! It's pretty thin! I don't know which one it is, sorry! Wish I did!

garden girl ~ I've fallen in love with succulents, probably due in large part to Debra Baldwin!

That Bloomin' Garden ~ Yeah, I have been known to buy plants when my money could have been better spent elsewhere! LOL

Shady Gardener ~ I found it at Walmart! So it wasn't hard for me to find, and living in the Midwest, it isn't like it's a local type plant either. So keep your eyes open! ;-)

Rainforest Gardener ~ You got SIX of them??? All different, I'm guessing. They're so cool.

Weekend Cowgirl ~ Nothing better than a bit of green to cheer a gardener up in the winter, is there? :-)

Kerri ~ I just really love it's form. Are you sure your hoya doesn't have a fragrance? You have to really put your nose into it when it first opens. It's a very soft scent, but lovely.

Oh, I'll bet you are getting even colder temps than we are. I saw the map. I really wish it would stop! I guess maybe in a couple of months...

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