rhipsalis flowers
Rhipsalis (Mistletoe Cactus) - Expert tips

How to Care for Rhipsalis (Mistletoe Cactus): Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

The Rhipsalis has a very unique look. They have long strings growing directly from their pot. It is a hanging plant and radiates fun vibes. This long foliage can vary from thickness and can also be slightly curled. The colour is green and they can produce adoring white flowers all the way down on their quirky foliage. Once these flowers have bloomed, they turn into little white berries. It almost appears like little snowflakes. Maybe that is where she got her adorable nickname from, ‘Mistletoe Cactus’. If that doesn’t trigger some love, we don’t know what will. ;)

Rhipsalis Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Rhipsalis plants thrive in bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some morning sun but should be protected from harsh afternoon sun, which can scorch their delicate stems.
  2. Use a well-draining cactus or succulent potting mix for your Rhipsalis. Ensure the pot has good drainage to prevent waterlogged soil.
  3. Water your Rhipsalis regularly during the growing season (spring and summer), allowing the top centimeters or two of soil to dry out between waterings.
  4. Rhipsalis prefers higher humidity levels than typical desert cacti. Aim for humidity levels of 60% or higher.
  5. Keep your Rhipsalis in a warm environment with temperatures between 15°C to 27°C. Protect them from cold drafts and sudden temperature fluctuations.
  6. **Feed your Rhipsalis with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season to promote healthy growth. Reduce feeding in the winter months.
  7. Repot your Rhipsalis only when it has outgrown its pot, typically every two to three years. Use a slightly larger pot with good drainage and fresh potting mix.
  8. Prune your Rhipsalis as needed to maintain its shape and remove any dead or damaged stems. You can also propagate from stem cuttings during pruning.
  9. Regularly inspect your plant for pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Treat any infestations promptly with natural remedies or insecticidal soap.
  10. Rhipsalis can be propagated through stem cuttings or division. Stem cuttings should be allowed to callus before planting, while division involves separating a mature plant into segments with roots and stems.

Rhipsalis in pot

Rhipsalis Care Tips

Light & Placement

Rhipsalis plants thrive in bright, indirect light. They are native to the understory of jungle environments, where they receive filtered sunlight through the canopy of trees. Place them near a window with sheer curtains or at a distance from a sunny window to provide them with the right amount of light.

Expert tip! Protect your Rhipsalis from direct sunlight, especially harsh midday and afternoon sun, which can scorch their delicate foliage. Some morning sun is generally well-tolerated.


Rhipsalis plants do not like to sit in waterlogged soil. Always empty the saucer under the pot after watering to prevent the plant from sitting in standing water. When it's time to water, give your Rhipsalis a thorough soak. Water the plant until you see water coming out of the drainage holes. This ensures that water reaches the root zone.


For the best results, you can regularly nourish your plant with a balanced fertilizer. If you notice a lack of blooms, consider increasing the frequency of feeding. A typical routine involves feeding every two weeks during the growing season.

Rhipsalis flowering

Temperature & Humidity

Rhipsalis plants thrive in temperatures between 15°C to 27°C. You should protect them from cold drafts, as they can't tolerate frost and also keep them away from cold air from windows, doors, or vents, especially in winter. These green plants prefer higher humidity levels, ideally around 60% or more. You can increase humidity with a humidifier, occasional misting, or a tray of water and pebbles nearby. These steps will help your Rhipsalis stay healthy and vibrant in its native-like conditions!

Soil & Repotting

Your Rhipsalis will feel most at home when you use a potting mix especially made for cacti, with some organic material. You can also blend a regular potting mix with equal parts of sand. Since the Rhipsalis is native to epiphytic environments, they don't need a lot of soil: just enough to provide stability for their shallow roots.

Rhipsalis propagation

Rhipsalis houseplants can be propagated through stem cuttings and division. For stem cuttings, follow these easy steps:

  1. Choose a healthy stem from your mature Rhipsalis plant. Look for a stem that is at least a few inches long and has no signs of damage or disease.
  2. Using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears and cut the selected stem just below a segment or joint.
  3. Place the cut end of the stem in a cool, dry location for a few days to allow it to callus. This step helps prevent rot when you plant the cutting.
  4. Once the cutting has callused, plant it in a small pot filled with well-draining cactus or succulent potting mix. Insert the cut end into the soil, burying the node or joint just below the surface.
  5. Water the cutting lightly to settle the soil and provide some moisture. Place the pot in an area with bright, indirect light.

Keep an eye on the cutting and ensure the soil remains slightly moist but not waterlogged. Once you see new growth and roots emerging, you can transplant the young Rhipsalis into a larger pot with regular care.

You can also propagate a Rhisalis houseplant through division. Make sure to choose a mature plant, separate segments with roots and stems, plant them in their own pots with a potting mix for cacti, and care for them like mature Rhipsalis plants. Success may vary depending on species and conditions, so patience is key to growing new Rhipsalis plants in your collection.

Rhipsalis leaves

Most common pests & diseases on Rhipsalis

Rhipsalis houseplants, like many indoor plants, can face common pests and diseases. Common pests include spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, and aphids. Diseases such as root rot, powdery mildew, and bacterial leaf spot can also occur. If you want to know what plague is bugging your plant and how to solve it, check out our PLNTSdoctor page.

Are Rhipsalis poisonous for your pets or children?

Rhipsalis houseplants are usually safe for pets and humans since they are not known to be poisonous or harmful if eaten by cats, dogs, or children. Nonetheless, it's a wise precaution to discourage pets and young children from nibbling on any houseplants, including Rhipsalis.

Buy your new Rhipsalis online at PLNTS.com

At PLNTS.com you can buy Rhipsalis online, like the Rhipsalis Paradoxa Minor and Rhipsalis Ramulosa Red Coral. Whether you like your Rhipsalis big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!

Hi, I'm Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!