The Rhipsalis plant, also referred to by some growers as a twig, belongs to the Cactus family. This genus is represented by shrubs, while it unites more than 50 different species. Under natural conditions, such an epiphytic plant can be found in tropical rainforests located in Africa, South Asia, and North and South America, and they prefer to grow on damp rocks, tree trunks, and sometimes on the ground. Only this cactus has an area beyond America. Some of the ripsalis species have been cultivated for a long time and very successfully at home.
Rhipsalis is an epiphytic shrub with strong branching and aerial roots. All representatives of this genus have pubescence on the surface of the aboveground parts, and none of the species have spines. Leafy drooping, articulated shoots in cross-section can be rounded, ribbed or flat. Areoles are placed on the surface of the shoots. Actinomorphic small flowers have a corolla that can be yellow, pinkish, white and orange. Flowers are placed either at the top of the stem or along its entire length. Ripsalis produces berry-like juicy fruits the size of a gooseberry berry, and they can be colored black, white or pink.
Ripsalis cactus, when grown at home, is distinguished by its unpretentiousness. But in order for the plant to grow and develop within the normal range, it should provide conditions as close to natural as possible, namely: the temperature and illumination should be optimal, and one should also not forget about timely watering and feeding.
In the warm season, the cactus grows best at an air temperature of 18 to 24 degrees. In the winter months, the flower rests and gains strength, and at this time it needs coolness (from 15 to 17 degrees). It is able to withstand a short-term temperature drop of up to 10 degrees. However, Ripsalis should not be allowed to stay in a room for a long time at 10 degrees Celsius. If you cannot move the bush to a cool place for the winter, then it will stand quite normally all winter and at normal room temperature.
This cactus naturally grows in the shade of a tropical forest, and therefore direct sunlight can greatly harm it. Therefore, it is highly undesirable to choose a southern window for it. Best of all, it will grow on a windowsill with a western or eastern orientation, but do not forget to protect the bush from direct scorching sunlight in the afternoon. If desired, the plant can be placed in the back of the room or on the north window, however, its growth and development in this case will be slower, and the bush may not bloom at all.
The soil mixture in the pot is moistened only after it dries out to a depth of 1/3 part. To understand whether it's time to water the cactus or not, take a long wooden stick and stick it into the substrate (you need to get it to the very bottom of the flower pot). Remove the stick and use the sticky soil mixture to determine its moisture level. With a cool winter, the amount of watering must be reduced, however, if the plant is at room temperature in winter, then the substrate must be moistened in the same way as in the warm season, especially if the air in the room is greatly dried up by working heating devices. In winter, it is also necessary to moisten the soil mixture only after it dries out to a depth of one third.
Ripsalis can be watered only with well-settled for two days or with water passed through a filter, the temperature of which should be close to room temperature. When moistening the substrate, remember that watering should not be either too scarce or too abundant, since in either case it will have an extremely negative effect on the health of the cactus.
In nature, ripsalis grows in conditions of high humidity. That is why, at home, he needs high humidity. And to increase the level of humidity, you can use a regular household humidifier. If you can't afford a humidifier, then regularly humidify the air in the room from a spray bottle several times a week, and you can also put the cactus pot on a wide tray filled with wet expanded clay or pebbles. It is also very useful for the plant to sometimes arrange a warm shower, which will remove dust from it, and this procedure will also refresh the bush.
In March – October, Ripsalis has a growing season, and therefore it is at this time that it needs additional nutrients. Top dressing is carried out regularly 2 times a month, for this they use a mineral complex fertilizer for succulents and cacti in liquid form. Instead of such fertilizer, you can use conventional mineral complexes intended for indoor flowers, but in this case, the dosage recommended by the manufacturer is halved. When feeding Ripsalis, remember that there should not be too much nitrogen in the substrate, as this can have an extremely negative effect on its health. During the dormant period, which lasts from October to March, the bush is not fed, but only if it is in a cool place (from 15 to 17 degrees). During warm wintering, fertilizers should be applied to the substrate regularly and at the same dosage.
While the ripsalis is young, it needs annual transplants, the grown plant is subjected to this procedure 1 time in 3 years, and an adult is transplanted even less often - only 1 time in 4 or 5 years. The fragile root system of such a plant is very close to the surface of the substrate, which is why wide, but low flower pots are chosen for its transplant. It is necessary to transplant the bush very carefully, using the transshipment method for this, and try to keep the earthen ball on the root system intact.
First, at the bottom of the pot, make a drainage layer of expanded clay, the thickness of which should be equal to ¼ of the height of the container. Thanks to this drainage, there will be no stagnation of water in the roots of the cactus. Then transfer the plant from the old pot to the new one, and fill all the voids with a special soil mixture, which should be slightly acidic or neutral. To prepare it, combine peat, river sand, sod and leafy soil (all components are taken in equal parts). Also, a substrate consisting of sand, leafy and soddy soil (1: 2: 4) is suitable for transplanting. To disinfect the substrate and prevent the appearance of rot on the roots, a small amount of charcoal is poured into the substrate.
Indoor flowers / plants. Blooming hibiscus.
Most often, indoor Ripsalis blooms in the last winter or first spring weeks. However, it also happens that the cactus does not bloom at all, and this is very perplexing for the grower. In this case, experts advise paying attention to the conditions under which the cactus is grown, namely: whether it has enough light and nutrients, and whether you water it correctly. There is also such that the bush throws off already formed buds. This can happen if rot appears on the root system, the clod of earth in the pot is completely dry, or the plant has been moved to another place.
Rhipsalis can be propagated very easily by cuttings. To do this, break off a part of an adult (not old and not too young) stem and leave it outdoors for a while to dry. To root such cuttings, flower growers do not use water, they are immediately planted in a moistened mixture consisting of one part of peat and the same amount of river sand. Cuttings take root most quickly when warm (from 23 to 25 degrees). To create a greenhouse effect, it is recommended to cover the container on top with a transparent cap, but do not forget to ventilate the cuttings every day, as well as remove condensate from the shelter in a timely manner.
You can propagate the plant by dividing the bush during transplantation. However, it is necessary to divide the cactus very carefully, since its root system is very fragile. Delenki are planted in pots prepared in advance, at the bottom of which a drainage layer is made in advance, the soil mixture is used the same as for transplanting (see above). Transplanted delenki must be watered well. At first, the bushes should be shaded from the direct rays of the sun.
The generative method of reproduction of such a plant is not very popular among flower growers. However, if desired, ripsalis can still be grown from seeds. To do this, they are sown in a small container filled with a suitable substrate and watered regularly so that the soil mixture is slightly damp all the time. Seedlings appear together. The hardened and grown plants are subjected to picking, after which they are kept warm (from 23 to 25 degrees).
Transplantation of Ripsalis to Lechuza PON. Better to do well today than great next week.
Chlorosis can cause great harm to ripsalis. Because of it, there is a shrinking and yellowing of the foliage, as well as its premature flying around, and its veins remain green. The buds and flowers are deformed. The root system is also affected by the disease, and this can lead to its death. In order to prevent chlorosis, Ripsalis is recommended to provide the required amount of light, and for planting or transplanting, a soil mixture of suitable acidity (pH 5.0–5.5) should be chosen. In some cases, the disease begins to develop from tap water, as its pH can go up to 7.0. In this case, experts advise to systematically spill the substrate in a container with water, with a small amount of citric acid dissolved in it. This water should taste only slightly sour. In addition, the flower is systematically fed with iron in a chelated form, because such an element is absorbed most quickly by it. It should be remembered that such a nutrient solution is used for foliar foliar dressing.
For such a plant, of the pests, the most dangerous are red flat spider mites and scale insects. If scale insects have settled on the bush, then first you need to remove adults from the cactus, using a cotton swab, which is moistened in a soap solution or in alcohol. This is due to the fact that adult scale insects are covered with a strong shell, which protects both them and the eggs laid by them from any poisons. Rinse the cactus thoroughly under a warm shower and let it dry completely. Then it is necessarily sprayed with a solution of a suitable insecticidal preparation, for example: Aktara, Aktellika, Fitoverma, etc. If there are a lot of pests, then it will not be possible to get rid of them at once, so be prepared for a long fight with them and for several treatments.
On ripsalis, spider mites settle only if the air in the room is very dry. However, such a plant requires constant high humidity, so if you provide it with proper care, then there should be no problems with mites. But if, nevertheless, pests were found on a cactus, then try to make sure that there is always high humidity near the plant. First, give the bush a warm shower, and then humidify the air around it every day. In conditions of high humidity, mites will not be able to exist. However, if there are a lot of pests on the bush, then it will not be so easy to get rid of them. In this case, a shower is arranged for the flower, and then it is sprayed with a solution of any acaricidal preparation, the most effective of which are such as: Aktellik, Aktara, Sunmight, Apollo and Kleschevit.
Or cereus-shaped ripsalis, or candle-shaped ripsalis. This type is most popular with flower growers. Three-dimensional lush lace is formed from short and thin shoots of the second order growing in different directions. The long main stems are arched. During flowering, white flowers appear on the bush, reaching about 20 mm in diameter. But this species blooms extremely rarely in indoor conditions, and flowering is scarce even if the most favorable conditions for growth have been created for the ripsalis.
Unlike the species described above, this plant has more powerful and stiff stems that do not branch very much. Their surface is covered with pubescence, which consists of pale yellow hairs. If such a ripsalis is grown in optimal conditions for it, then it can bloom up to three times during the year. The fragrant whitish-yellow flowers look fluffy due to their many stamens and petals. The flowers themselves reach up to 2.5 cm in diameter.If these flowers are pollinated, then very soon the fruits of a spherical shape and a rich crimson color will form on the bush. Such fruits look just as impressive as flowers.
Or thick-winged Ripsalis, the most popular member of the Ripsalis group with leafy shoots. Such a plant has very large shoots, in some cases their width may be equal to the width of the palm. The shoots are glossy with a scalloped edge, and they are painted in dark green with a red tint. Pale yellow flowers bloom along the edge of the leaf plates, reaching about 15 mm in diameter, they are decorated with many stamens.
This ampelous epiphytic plant has soft, thin branching shoots, painted in a greenish tint, which form a dense flowing bush. Shoots can reach a length of about 1.2 m. Sometimes this species blooms and then many small whitish flowers appear on it. Such a plant is especially impressive in adulthood.
Or empty ripsalis. In this species, the length of thin drooping shoots can reach up to three meters. They include many segments, and the length of each of them can be equal to 3–55 centimeters. During flowering, small flowers are formed, and the fruits of this type, after ripening, are similar to gooseberries.
This epiphytic succulent plant is also grown indoors. Its primary stems reach up to 0.6 m in length. And the length of terminal shoots is about 60 mm, and in diameter they reach no more than 2 mm.
In this species, the primary stems reach about 100 cm in length, and up to 0.5 cm in diameter. Its secondary segments are not so long. Small flowers are colored light pink.
The lush bush of this succulent consists of hanging stems. And these stems include flat segments of an elongated shape, each of which is decorated with a small cream-colored flower. When there are no flowers on the bush, it looks very much like a Schlumberger.
The elongated stems of such a plant include long sections. The total length of each shoot is about 150 cm, and each of the segments can reach up to 10 centimeters in length. Each of the segments has small flowers on the lateral edges, on the surface of which there is pubescence.
This species is relatively large, its long stems, round in cross-section, become lignified over time. During flowering, small white flowers are formed along the entire length of the stem. If pollination occurs, then white spherical fruits are formed on the bush.
The stems of this ampelous species consist of large segments, which are similar in shape to oak foliage.
In such a plant, very spectacular fruits of a deep pink color are formed along the entire length of the stems.
In this species, rod-shaped shoots are very branching, they are round in cross-section, and they include many short segments. During flowering, the bush is decorated with large white flowers, which are formed only on the tops of the shoots.
Or the ripsalis of the paradox. This species fell in love with flower growers for its unusual and, moreover, very spectacular appearance. The fact is that its high ribs consist of segments alternating with flat intervals.
This look is one of the most spectacular. Its main stems are covered with short shoots of the second order, which sit very tightly on them, just like needles sit on the branches of a spruce. In the winter months, during flowering, between the shoots of the second order, snow-white flowers are formed, which have a star-shaped shape and reach up to 15 millimeters in diameter.
In this species, the hanging stems reach about 50 centimeters in length, and their diameter does not exceed 0.5 centimeters, they are cylindrical in cross section. On their tops, 5–12 short segments are formed, which grow whorled. Small flowers of a whitish-yellow hue, reaching about 10 millimeters in diameter, adorn the bush during the flowering period.
Ripsalis ramulose is still very popular in culture. However, this plant is a pseudo-ripsalis, it is still known to many by the name "red mistletoe cactus". The fact is that this species is part of a completely different genus, although it belongs to the same family as Ripsalis.
RIPSALIS is a forest AMPEL cactus. Home care and breeding
Irezine is a herbaceous plant native to Brazil and Ecuador. Belongs to the amaranth family. It is undersized, in the form of trees, shrubs, dwarf shrubs, climbing grass.
Irezine grows constantly and can add up to 25 centimeters in height per year. On average, a plant grows 60-80 centimeters, if not pruned. But it is better if you form an irezine with a height of about 30 centimeters.
The leaves of irezine are rounded or elliptical. Sometimes small teeth can go along the edge of the sheet. When blooming, small flowers are located on inflorescences.
Dwellers in humid forests ripsalis (Rhipsalis) are considered one of the most original representatives family cactus (Cactaceae). The name itself, derived from the Greek "whip-like", indicates the appearance of these non-standard plants. It perfectly reflects the nature of the plant and our popular nickname prutnovik.
Rhipsalis became famous primarily for their ability to bush abundantly. They develop as graceful, almost graphic shrubs and often delight with aerial roots. At the same time, innumerable drooping shoots are formed, which interestingly branch into numerous internodes.
With a length of 40 cm to 1 m or more, ripsalis surprise with the thinness of the stems. In different types of ripsalis, branches are both flat, almost leaf-shaped, and rounded, ribbed, rod-shaped, reminiscent of a pencil. The edge of the ripsalis is quite interesting: soft, bristly, without thorns, it is much softer than that of competitors.
Ripsalis bloom most often begins with an increase in daylight hours in February or March, but can last until April-June. It is quite unusual. Areoles in these cacti are located directly on the surface of the stems, often along the entire length of the shoot, or from the upper third to half of the branches. The flowers are very large, up to 2.5 cm, beautiful, actinomorphic, with a pale white, cream, fawn or pink corolla and numerous stamens.
After flowering, ripsalis develop bright berry-like fruits, the color of which differs in each species - from black berries to snow-white waxy ones.
Rhipsalis campos-portoana. © epiforums Rhipsalis burchellii (Rhipsalis burchellii). © Stefano Rhipsalis Russell (Rhipsalis russellii). © mercadolivre
Fragile, uneven shoots from the segments often suggest that the plant can bring weakness into the house, "rock the boat" of the hearth. If the stem breaks, then trouble is not far off. Do not believe in such signs: watching the growth and flowering of an original cactus from distant Brazil gives positive emotions.
There are fewer problems growing a forest cactus at home than buying some beautifully flowering species from tropical countries. Rhipsalis grows well, pleases the eye with original shoots and spectacular inflorescences.
Do you want to know more about the peculiarities of growing Ripsalis at home? Watch the following video: