If we ask you to think about a typical cactus, we’d bet that this variety doesn’t spring to mind. The cascading, slender stems of the mistletoe cactus are super unique and can give a soft, delicate touch to your space.
Although it’s technically a cactus, the mistletoe cactus is not a desert-lover – in fact, it is natively found in the lush tropical forests of Central and South America, the Caribbean and Florida. Mysteriously, it has also been found in the jungles of Africa and Sri Lanka, however how it got there remains a bit of a guess – it’s suspected that either birds, sailors or the breaking of the supercontinent Gondwana is to blame.
Mistletoe cactus will happily grow indoors or out, all around Australia – despite its tropical origins, it’s not picky about where it grows.
This plant is a super-easy grower, making it the perfect plant for green thumbs of every level. Find a nice shady spot (it prefers partial to full shade) up high, for example in a hanging basket or on a shelf, so it’s long stems can trail down. In the wild, these stems can grow up to 9 metres in length, so for a truly stunning waterfall effect, pop it as high as you manage and let it grow!
The main growing period for the mistletoe cactus is spring and summer, so keep it well-watered during these warmer months and don’t let it dry out completely. It will go into dormancy over winter however, so cut back on watering during the cooler months of the year.
ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
There’s a bunch of different varieties of mistletoe cactus: some have hairy stems (these hairs protect the stems from the sun), others have flat stems, some grow longer and some are bushier.
Not being a particularly fussy plant, you can grow it pretty much anywhere inside or outside – just give it space to overflow over a pot edge or shelf. However, being a jungle plant at heart, it does love a steamy room, meaning bathrooms that receive dappled light make for a great home. Just make sure to hang it up, or place it in a spot where it’s not sitting in water.
Finally, the mistletoe cactus is very easy to grow from cuttings, so be sure to cut a length for a friend and share that mistletoe love around.
Also known as
Rhipsalis baccifera, Coral cactus, spaghetti cactus
Ready to try mistletoe cactus in your garden? Get in touch with your local plant nursery and have a chat with the experts.