How To Water Fishbone Cactus

Water. The fishbone cactus prefers routine watering as opposed to desert cacti. In general, once the top 2-3 inches of soil have dried out, you should water your cactus. It’s crucial to prevent shocking the roots of your fishbone cactus by watering it with water that is too cold.

How frequently should a fishbone cactus be watered?

The Fishbone Cactus (Epiphyllim anguliger), often known as the Ric Rac plant, is the subject of the third article in our series on plants.

With its fantastically architecturally shaped leaves, amazing smelling flowers, and ease of propagation and sharing with friends, it is a quick and simple plant to grow. Continue reading for information on maintaining and growing Fishbone Cacti.

Native habitat

The Mexican rainforest is home to the fishbone cactus. It can grow on a ‘host’ plant, usually a tree, where its roots can be secured into the crevices of branches, because it is an epiphyte. We can try to replicate their natural habitat’s warm, humid, and shaded environment in our houses to help them flourish there.


The term “cactus” may be deceptive in this case because the Epiphyllum anguliger prefers bright, indirect light rather than the intense sunshine that other cacti do. The leaves will turn yellow from too much direct sunshine.

Mine is located about 2 meters from a south-facing window; when the sun is directly in the window, I close a filtering blind. The plants in their natural habitat grow in the shade of trees, where they are protected from direct sunshine and can get dappled or indirect light.


The Fishbone Cactus seems to be quite thirsty. In the summer, I water once the top few centimeters are dry, which may be once a week. I always water at the sink, letting the water completely drain before putting it back in its attractive pot. The plant will need watering less frequently over the winter, around once every two to three weeks.

The fishbone cactus does a great job of communicating when it needs watering. The leaves will begin to appear a little more wilted and sparse.

These plants are quite tolerant to neglect, in my opinion, and will quickly recover after a decent watering.


Due to the fishbone cactus’ preference for warmth and humidity in its original environment of tropical rainforests, a bathroom or kitchen are suitable locations for this plant. Use a humidifier or place the pot on pebbles in a tray of water to further boost humidity. (Taking care to make sure the pot’s bottom isn’t submerged in water, which might cause root rot.) The humidity around the plant will rise as the water in the tray evaporates.

In contrast, based on my personal experience, I don’t use a humidifier or a water tray, and the fishbone cacti I have are all content without that higher humidity.


Throughout the spring and summer, feed your plant every two weeks using Liquid Gold Leaf.

Winter growth will be slower, therefore there is no need to feed during that time.


The relatively unique and transient flowers are one of the main draws of having a fishbone cactus. A plant is more likely to flower once it has become established and is content. The flowers have huge, frequently light-yellow blossoms.

The aroma is amazing—sweet it’s and strong. I can smell mine blooming as I walk into the room before I ever see the flowers. The fact that the flowers bloom just briefly and only in the evenings or at night makes them all the more spectacular. They can be removed once they wilt, shrivel, and eventually dry out after about a day.

Your plant will flower in the late summer with the help of regular feeding, regular watering, and enough of bright indirect light throughout the summer.


The ease with which this plant can be propagated is one of its many wonderful qualities. I’ve multiplied mine numerous times, both to present to friends and to replant the young into the original pot to grow a fuller plant.

Planting cuttings directly in soil or rooting in water before potting into soil are the two major methods of propagation. I would pick a youngish leaf that is 12 cm to 15 cm long for both techniques. This is what I would do in the spring or summer.

Simply cut a young leaf at the stem with a clean, sharp knife or pair of scissors to allow it to root directly into soil. Place the cutting into the suggested soil mixture above, about 2 cm deep, after allowing it to callus over for a day or so where it was cut. Within a few weeks, roots should start to grow if you keep the soil moist.

Step 2: Place the cut end into a small glass of water after allowing it to callus over for about a day. To maintain the water clean and clear, change it once a week.

Step 3: After a few weeks, roots will start to form. It is ready to plant into the suggested soil above once the roots are a couple of centimeters long and, preferably, have secondary roots sprouting from initial roots.

A brief video on water rooting a cutting and using it to thicken up an existing plant is provided below.

Do I need to mist my fishbone cactus?

Be sure to maintain soil moisture. Especially in the spring and summer, mist your Fishbone Cactus frequently to give it an extra burst of moisture. In the summer, it must remain between 60 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. It can endure wintertime temperature drops of approximately 50F.

When does a fishbone cactus require water, and how can you tell?

There are some issues that Fishbone cactus plants could encounter more frequently, with water shortage being the most prevalent one.

The leaves of your Fishbone cactus may get limp, discolored, and even start to feel crispy and hard if it doesn’t receive enough water. If this occurs, you must gradually increase the amount of water your plant consumes. When you notice a problem, do not fill the container to the brim with water; instead, allow the plant to soak in water until the roots have received sufficient moisture. You might also try shifting the plant to a more shaded location to reduce water loss due to light exposure.

What is the ideal watering technique for cacti?

Nowadays, cacti and succulents are highly popular indoor plants, therefore taking good care of them is crucial. They occur in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from the small to the enormous. Because they share traits that enable them to endure in arid conditions, cacti and succulents belong to the same category.

The majority of succulents and cacti are endemic to desert environments. They will therefore thrive in conditions with lots of light, good drainage, hot temperatures, and little wetness. However, some cacti and succulents, like Schlumbergera, enjoy semi-shady and wet environments because that is their natural habitat.

The easiest way to take care of cacti and succulents is to try to mimic their natural environment. The essential factors you should take into account when taking care of your succulents and cacti are listed below.

Light, temperature and ventilation

It is advisable to arrange cacti and succulents in a bright area because they do best with good light sources. A place that faces south will get plenty of light. But be careful not to place them in direct sunlight since the strong light may cause the plants to turn yellow. The best kind of light for growing cacti and succulents depends on the species that you are using. For instance, forest-dwelling epiphytes like Rhipsalis require some shade, whereas an Echeveria requires strong light.

It is ideal to keep the plants cool at night, between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius, during the fall and winter. The plants will survive in high temperatures, but they require sufficient ventilation in the spring and summer.


Since Westland cacti and succulent potting mix has included girt and sand for the best drainage, it is a good compost to use. Additionally, it has the ideal quantity of nutrients for your succulents and cacti.

Watering and feeding

It’s a popular misperception that succulents and cacti just need a tiny bit of water. Although their leaves and stems can store water, allowing them to survive in dry environments, they will not grow in environments with little water. Your cactus or succulents’ ability to develop successfully depends on regular watering. Underwatering results in shriveling while overwatering stunts growth.

Instead of using tap water to water plants, use lukewarm rainfall. This is because the minerals in tap water can settle on the leaves and accumulate in the soil. Additionally, minerals obstruct the plant’s access to vital nutrients.

Spring and summer

The plants need to be watered at least once a week during the growing season. Give the soil a good soak when watering, letting any extra water run away. Every time you water the compost, give it a little time to dry out.

Utilize Westland Cacti and Succulent Feed, a recommended recipe to use, to feed your plants once a month. They create more robust growth that is more resistant to disease and has superior flowering thanks to it. Simply take a 5ml quantity of the feed from the dosing chamber and mix it into 1 liter of water.

Autumn and winter

The plants enter a period of rest at this time. Reduce watering so that the potting mix dries out in between applications. The type of succulent and the environment it is in will determine how frequently it has to be watered. Winter-flowering cactus should be kept warm and watered frequently now, whereas desert-dwelling cacti don’t need to be watered. Cacti and succulents don’t need to be fed during this time.


The optimal time to repot cactus or succulents that are pot-bound is in the spring. To replant:

  • Before carefully taking the plant from the pot, water it and let it drain. Use folded paper to shield your hands from the spikes.
  • To avoid damaging the roots, remove the old soil from around them with a thin stick, like a chopstick.
  • The new container, which has a slightly larger diameter, should be filled with potting soil before placing the plant inside of it.
  • The remaining potting mix should be added to the pot and compacted.
  • To stop the rotting of injured roots, stop watering for a few days.

The finest care for your succulents or cacti comes from maintaining these conditions. The most crucial thing to keep in mind when taking care of your plant is that you are trying to mimic its natural environment!

Do fishbone cacti grow indoors?

The fishbone cactus thrives inside as a houseplant and requires little maintenance. It prefers damp, humid environments and does well in direct, bright light.

How is a fishbone plant cared for?

A fishbone cactus houseplant is the easiest plant a beginner gardener could wish for. In low soil media, such as orchid substrate, the cactus grows. In order to improve the soil, you can also plant it in cactus mixture mixed with compost.

Although it can survive brief periods of direct sunlight, fishbone cactus prefers indirect light.

The fishbone cactus houseplant, like the majority of cacti, thrives when given time to dry out in between waterings. Reduce watering by half during the winter and resume it when spring growth starts.

In the spring and summer, you can place your plant outside, but remember to bring it inside when the weather becomes chilly. Best of all, you don’t need to worry about the cactus while you leave on vacation because it can tolerate some neglect.


Overwatering and early signs of root rot are most likely to blame. When a plant’s roots remain in wet soil for an extended period of time, a fungus can swiftly take hold and cause the roots to rot, turning dark and mushy.


Make sure your plant has adequate drainage in the form of both well-draining soil and lots of drainage holes in the plant’s container.

You can just let the plant to dry out more than you have been doing if you believe you have detected the overwatering early. Before watering again, let the top few inches of soil dry off. Keep an eye on everything and only use water as necessary. To help the roots get more oxygen, you might also try poking holes in the dirt using chopsticks (or something similar). Finally, by putting the entire pot—complete with drainage holes—in a tray or other container filled with dry soil, you can attempt to “wick” the extra moisture from the soil. The surplus moisture from the wet areas surrounding the roots of your plant should be partially absorbed by this new layer of dry soil.

However, you must completely remove the plant from its container if you suspect a significant case of root rot in order to inspect the roots. Trim back any black and mushy roots completely before repotting with new soil in a fresh or sterilized container if there are any.

Stems that are wrinkled or shriveled are frequently signs of dehydration brought on by either too much light or insufficient water. If softness or yellowing are present, it is more likely that there is either an excess of water or not enough light.

The secret is finding the right quantity of light and watering frequency balance. Check in with your plant to see if they need the water or not rather than following a specific schedule. Before watering again, you should let around half the soil totally dry out. While this may follow a regular routine for a few months, as the seasons change, the amount of light will also fluctuate, necessitating a change in your watering schedule.