How to grow & care for a Mistletoe Cactus
Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis campos-portoana) are easy to grow, lush plants that suit growing in hanging baskets or wall planters where their long, thin stems can be showcased. Despite the word cactus in their common name, these plants have no prickles or spikes to cause you harm and they are actually native to the jungles of Central and South America. They’ve adapted to live high up in the trees where it can get very dry at times and even when it rains their treetop homes provide them with great drainage.
The great thing about Mistletoe Cactus is just how easy they are to grow! They can be grown indoors or outside and thrive in a part shade spot. It’s best to grow them in a hanging basket or pot on a high shelf or ledge where the long stems can trail down.
Top 5 steps to growing Mistletoe Cactus
- Mistletoe Cactus can be grown indoors or outdoors - they are best in pots or hanging baskets to give them good drainage and best show off their trailing stems.
- Mistletoe Cactus prefer a open and free draining potting mix - you can either use a straight premium potting mix like, Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix or create a more open mix by mixing together 50% Scotts Osmocote Orchid Premium Potting Mix and 50% Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix for Indoor Plants.
- Because they are native to the mid story of jungles in Central and South America - Mistletoe Cactus prefer a part shade or semi-sun sheltered spot.
- Peak growing season is spring and summer - fertilise with once a month during this growing season with Scotts Osmocote Pour+Feed Cacti & Succulents
- A Mistletoe Cactus plant
- Scotts Osmocote Pour+Feed Cacti & Succulents Garden
- A suitable hanging basket or pot that is twice the size of the original nursery pot
- Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix OR a 50/50 blend of Scotts Osmocote Orchid Premium Potting Mix & Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix for Indoor Plants
Preparation & Planting in the garden
Select a hanging basket or pot for your Mistletoe Cactus that is twice as wide as the original nursery pot - make sure it has plenty of drainage holes. Choose a part-shade or dappled sun spot for your Mistletoe Cactus and if needed install a hook for the hanging basket.
Fill your pot or hanging basket with either a premium potting mix like Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix OR a mix made by combining 50% Scotts Osmocote Orchid Premium Potting Mix and 50% Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix for Indoor Plants.
Gently remove the Mistletoe Cactus from the nursery pot and position it into the potting mix, backfill around the root ball. Water in your new plant well and make sure the water drains freely out the bottom of the pot.
Broke a few stems off during the repotting? Don’t panic - these will strike easily as cuttings. Just poke them into a small pot filled with potting mix, don’t water them - to encourage new roots to form - and once you spot new stem and root growth you can begin watering them.
Fertilising & Care
Mistletoe Cactus are not hungry plants, they require very minimal fertilising - but they will benefit from a monthly dose of Scotts Osmocote Pour+Feed Cacti & Succulents Garden during spring and summer when they’re actively growing.
During the cooler months your Mistletoe Cactus will need less water as it’s not actively growing, back off watering until the weather warms up in spring.
Pests & Diseases
Aphids, scale and mealybug can from time to time become a problem on Mistletoe Cactus, particularly in humid weather. Use Defender Pyrethrum Insect Spray to control them if needed.