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Ric Rac Cactus is a tropical plant prized for its long, wavy-edged, smooth-faced stems and large, white orchid-like flowers, so this plant is also known as Orchid Cactus. It makes an attractive feature in a bright room in a hanging basket or pot on a plant stand.
Take tender loving care of it by positioning it in bright indirect sunlight, reapply water only when the top 1 cm of compost is dry, fertilize every two weeks during spring and summer, and propagate from stem cuttings. Now let’s go into more detail on how to care for Ric Rac Cactus plants.
About Ric Rac Cactus
- Fishbone Cactus
- Botanical name: Epiphyllum anguliger
- Common names: Ric Rac Cactus, Fishbone Cactus, Zig Zag Cactus
- Family: Epiphyllum
- Natural habitat: Tropical rain forests of Mexico
- Height & Spread: average cactus size is 60 x 60 cm
- Flowering: Summer and autumn
- Display idea: hanging baskets, hanging pot
- Toxicity: Non-toxic to cats and dogs
- Care level: Fairly easy
Ric Rac Cactus is a deservedly popular plant that features a waterfall of unusual wavy-edged leaves that resemble fish bones, that’s why it is also called Fishbone Cactus. The trailing stems form a lush, leafy display that looks dazzling in a hanging basket.
The flowers are white to pale yellow and extremely fragrant. They open in the evenings in autumn, but unfortunately, each flower lasts for only one or two days. The flowers are followed by edible greenish fruits that taste like gooseberries. The plant is prized especially for its edible fruits in Mexico.
Ric Rac Cactus likes medium-light to bright light, but not direct sun. Filtered light to light shade works best for Fishbone Cactus, such as a western window. Keep the plant shaded from the midday bright direct light in summer.
Maintain warm temperatures between 16 and 25 degrees C from spring to autumn for this trailing houseplant. In winter, move to a cool, shady place at 12-15 degrees C, since this will encourage flowering. Make sure it doesn’t drop below 12 degrees C in winter.
Since Ric Rac Cactus grows in rainforest conditions, they should be translated into the home environment as well. Generally speaking, cacti in the Epiphyllum family require moderately high humidity. Mist daily or stand the plant on a tray of damp pebbles to elevate humidity levels.
Water Orchid Cactus regularly from spring to early autumn. Soak the compost thoroughly when watering, but reapply water once the top half-inch (1 cm) of soil dries out. Let the excess water drain away.
Don’t water for a month during winter in order to give the plant a rest period, so keep it just moist in winter.
Fishbone cactus requires fertile, well-drained soil such as cactus compost. Add grit, peat moss, or perlite to enrich it.
Alternatively, use a 3:2:1 mix of loam-based compost, grit, and peat-free compost. Both work well with this cactus. Plant the Fishbone Cactus in a 15cm pot or basket.
Fertilize Ric Rac Cactus every 2 weeks during spring and summer. Wait for the flower buds to form in summer, then apply cactus fertilizer or a high potash fertilizer until the blooms open.
Repot young Zig Zag Cactus plants annually in spring. This will replenish the compost of mature plants and provide fresh nutrients. Select a pot one size larger with good drainage.
Ric Rac Cactus propagating process is easy by sowing seeds or taking stem cuttings. Taking stem cuttings is a far more popular method that guarantees greater propagation success.
Take stem cuttings in spring or summer. Use a sterilized knife and take a 10 cm long cutting. Dip it in the rooting hormone and bury it in a well-drained and moist potting medium. Enclose it in a plastic bag for two weeks and mist every morning. After three weeks to one month, the tiny roots should form.
Check Fishbone cactus regularly for mealybugs and spider mites. Use rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap to get rid of them. Inspect the plant regularly and if you have just purchased it, isolate it for two weeks before mingling it with other plants.
The mound of wavy-edged leaves that dangle from the plant like fat fish bones has pushed the plant to the top of many a cactus lover’s wish list. The fragrant flowers add to its charms in the fall.
Being an easy-care and low-maintenance plant, it makes an ideal indoor plant. Give it a try and you will enjoy its many merits.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Care for Ric Rac Cactus?
Ric Rac Cactus plants have the same requirements as most plants indoors. Provide filtered light and shade the plant at the peak of summer. Water once the top inch of the soil is dry, less so in winter. Maintain room temperatures of at least 16 degrees C in the summer and around 12 degrees C in winter to encourage flowering. Unlike other cacti, provide more humidity for this one. Fertilize once flower buds form using a high potash fertilizer and discontinue fertilizing when the blooms open. Repot once a year to replenish the nutrients in the soil. Propagate from seed or take stem cuttings. Watch out for mealybugs and spider mites.
How Much Light Does a Ric Rac Cactus Need?
Fishbone Cactus or Rac Cactus requires bright but indirect light such as that offered by an east-facing window. It needs enough sunlight for at least half a day to grow well but avoid direct sunlight.
Is Ric Rac Cactus Fast Growing?
Ric Rac Cactus is among the most exotic-looking and easy-care cacti that grow relatively fast. In-home conditions, it can achieve a height of 60 cm and spread to 60 cm or more. Display it in a hanging basket or a pot on a plant stand for the best visual effect.
Is Fishbone Cactus Toxic?
Ric Rac plants or fishbone cacti are non-toxic to dogs and cats.