If you recently bought a fishbone cactus home, you have a pretty special plant on your hands. They are a rare plant that is difficult to find.
Fishbone cactus care is ideal for novice plant parents because it requires relatively little upkeep for a somewhat uncommon plant. Your cactus will grow well in bright, indirect sunshine and with a light watering once every 7–10 days.
The fishbone cactus, also known as a zig zag cactus or ric rac cactus, is easily recognized by its lengthy and scaly-appearing leaf, but don’t worry, they are all the same plant.
It is known by the scientific name Disocactus anguliger (formerly Epiphyllum anguliger).
Given that the foliage is relatively smooth and lacks the typical cactus spines or prickles, it almost resembles a regular succulent.
The fishbone prefers a little bit more moisture and humidity than your normal arid or desert-loving cactus because it is a native of the Mexican rainforest.
The fishbone cactus is a great choice if you have cats, dogs, and young children running around because it is non-toxic to pets (still, best to not let anyone snack on it just in case).
Even better, it makes the ideal hanging plant due to the long stems’ inherent tendency to droop and trail.
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How simple are fishbone cacti to grow?
One of the simplest cactus plants to grow and give to your family and friends is this one. All you need to start a brand-new plant is a piece of stem. Take a fresh cutting, and leave it to callus for a few days on the counter.
A low soil medium, such as a peat moss mixture, should be utilized to plant the callused end. Essentially, that is all there is to it. When growing Fishbone cactus stems, give them medium light and light hydration. You’ll soon have fresh plants to share with your gardening friends and family.
Does the fishbone cactus grow inside?
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 long does it take for a fishbone cactus to grow?
When given enough light, mature Fishbone cactus plants can produce flowers, and they are generally content with their growing surroundings.
If your plant does not blossom, there is no problem. The majority of fishbone plants in homes never even blossom.
Your plant must first be mature enough to blossom. Plants don’t begin to bloom until they are 2 or 3 years old.
Give it extra sun during the summer to create your fishbone flower. Fertilize periodically in the spring and summer as well. The plant may be able to blossom as a result.
If your fish bone cactus blooms, the flowers will only last one or two days and open at night. Avoid missing it!
Is a pet fishbone cactus safe?
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This strange cactus is native to the Mexican rainforest and gets its name from the way its long, flat stems are fashioned; they resemble a fishbone. The stems will start out upright and eventually trail down as they get longer. This plant is an epiphyte, which means that it develops aerial roots to mimic how a fishbone would anchor to a host plant in its natural habitat.
Conditions of indirect, dazzling light (for example not on a windowsill that gets direct sun at any point in the day). Make sure the plant receives some full sun in the later summer or early autumn (but avoid the hottest part of the day), since this will enhance the growth of blossoms. Lack of maintenance and tolerance for minor unintended negligence. Long stems can be cut, and new stems will typically emerge from the cut, giving the plant a fuller appearance. Watering: During the warmer months, water the plant frequently, but like with all cacti, allow the soil to dry out in between waterings. Wintertime means less frequent watering. Locations for bedrooms, living rooms, baths, and study areas are ideal Fast-growing; growth rate Maintain at a consistent room temperature. Pets: Cats and dogs are not poisoned by this plant. Sizing:
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Can you consume fruit from a fishbone cactus?
Disocactus anguliger, sometimes known as Epiphyllum anguliger, is a species of epiphytic cactus in the Cactaceae family. Other names for it include orchid cactus, ric rac cactus, and zig zag cactus. Fishbone cactus have long, deep-lobed, floppy green stems with rounded teeth on either side that are sometimes mistaken for leaves. This succulent, which enjoys dampness, is unique to Mexico’s tropical rainforests. During the plant’s growing season, it produces green fruit that is edible as well as enormous, white nocturnal flowers that only bloom for one night.
The fishbone cactus is another type of cactus species, Selenicereus anthonyanus (formerly Cryptocereus anthonyanus). Even though these genera produce larger, dark pink to white blooms with longer stems and wider-spaced serrations, they are almost identical to the Disocactus before they bloom.
How is a fishbone cactus started?
A fishbone cactus is actually rather simple to grow! Your cactus can be multiplied in water or potting soil using a variety of techniques.
Fishbone Cactus Propagation in Water
Take a pair of tidy, well-kept scissors, and trim one of the stems just above the base. Give the wound a few days to heal and develop a callus.
Insert the slice into a jar filled with lukewarm water. The jar only needs to cover the bottom of the cutting; it needn’t be completely full. Place the jar in direct light that is bright and change the water when it becomes murky.
You can transplant the cutting into potting soil once the roots are several inches long (I prefer to wait until they are two to three inches long). Give the plant a healthy watering and take routine care of it.
Fishbone Cactus Propagation in Potting MixWhole Stem
In a pot with potting soil, plant the clipping. As the roots grow, keep the potting soil moist but not soggy. Put the pot in a spot with strong, filtered light.
If your cutting is tiny enough, you can seal in beneficial humidity by covering it with a clear plastic bag. Remove it approximately every few days to allow in fresh air. Don’t worry if your cutting is too large for this.
You can try gently tugging on your cutting after a few weeks to check for resistance. If you encounter some resistance, this indicates that a root system has formed, and you can begin caring for your cutting as you would a regular plant.
Fishbone Cactus Propagation in Potting MixStem Cuttings
Cut off one of the stems with a clean, sharp pair of scissors. Then, separate the entire stem into a few-inch-long portions. Keep track of which portion of each segment is at the top and which is at the bottom. Allow the areas to heal and develop calluses for a few days.
Now, proceed in the same manner as you would while growing a full stem in potting soil: Making sure to place the bottom half down and the top part up, plant the parts in a pot with potting soil.
As the roots grow, keep the potting soil moist but not soggy. Put the pot in a spot with strong, filtered light. To seal in the beneficial humidity, cover the surface with a clear plastic bag. Remove it approximately every few days to allow in fresh air.
Give the roots of the portions a tug to feel for resistance a few weeks later to check on their health. Any resistance indicates the development of a root system. Now you may separate your small portions into pots so they can develop into full-sized plants and take care of them as you would usually with this plant.
Note: You may also propagate the sections in water by following my water propagation instructions, but it’s difficult to prevent the parts from dropping into the water, so this method isn’t frequently used.
Fishbone Cactus Propagation in Potting MixDivision
Division is possibly the simplest and quickest way to propagate fishbone cactus. Usually, this technique is used while repotting the plant.
Simply detach one or more of the cactus’s root-dependent parts from the main plant. Keep as many of the roots intact as you can by carefully separating them one at a time. If you need to separate any of the roots from one another, use a clean, sharp knife.
After that, plant each one into a distinct container and look after it as you normally would.
This method may require you to handle the cactus stems more, so proceed with caution as it contains little spines.
My fishbone cactus can I place outside?
The fishbone cactus, also known as Epiphyllum ‘anguliger,’ is a unique type of desert cactus. This particular cactus is an epiphytic cactus, meaning it lives on organic matter (like decomposing leaves) that accumulates between the branches of established trees in humid, tropical woods. It is indigenous to Mexico’s highland regions.
When it comes to its growing requirements, the fishbone cactus is comparable to an orchid plant. In fact, the name “zig zag” or “ric rac” orchid cactus is frequently used to describe it. The fishbone cactus has what appears to be leaves, but they are actually flattened, long stems that resemble a fish’s backbone and gently arch over the side of pots and containers.
Although fishbone cacti are normally kept as indoor houseplants, if you’d rather, you can place them outside in the summer. They should be placed in a well lit, shaded area; however, direct sunlight should be avoided as it can harm the plant.
Light and Temperature Requirements
The fishbone cactus receives indirect light in nature and develops in the understory of trees. Its flattened stems have evolved to capture and utilize sunlight in dimly lit environments. It can withstand brief periods of direct sunshine during the day, but it should be positioned where it gets bright, indirect light instead. This can be achieved by positioning the plant 2 to 3 feet away from a window that receives direct sunlight or by placing sheer curtains in front of the window.
The room’s temperature should also be taken into consideration. If the temperature falls below 50 degrees, the fishbone cactus will suffer. It enjoys temperatures between 60 and 78 degrees. Keep them away from places that experience chilly drafts or sudden heat spikes from your heater during the winter.
Fishbone cacti thrive in humid environments and may flourish in damp areas like the kitchen or bathroom. To avoid dry air around the plants in the winter, put them with other plants on a pebble tray filled with water.
More watering is needed for the fishbone cactus than for the desert cactus, although it can also be finicky. The fleshy stems may become mushy and collapse as a result of either overwatering or underwatering. When the top two inches of dirt in the plant pot have dried, you should typically water your fishbone cactus.
Since their roots are delicate to cold water, it is crucial to water your fishbone cactus with room-temperature water. They may also be vulnerable to contaminants in municipal water. Tap water should be poured into a watering can and left to stand for 24 hours to let any additives evaporate and the water warm up.
Before watering your fishbone cactus again, let it dry out so that water may flow easily through the bottom of the container. After watering your fishbone cactus, don’t let any standing water remain in the saucer. Winter irrigation should be minimized.
Soil & Fertilizing
Although cactus and succulent mixtures could be too heavy for the fishbone cactus, it prefers loose soil that drains well. To create the best soil for the fishbone cactus, use one part perlite, one part peat moss, and one part commercial cactus soil.
Apply liquid fertilizer to fishbone cactus according to the specified application rate. Make sure the fertilizer is labeled for cacti and succulents.
Deadheading and Pruning
Although the fishbone cactus doesn’t need much maintenance, it can be clipped to keep the size and length of the arching stems as desired. Simply use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut the arching branch to the desired length. Typically, new branches grow underneath the cut as a result of this.
This cactus does bloom, and it does so with several-inch long, extremely fragrant yellow blooms. Usually blooming in the late fall or early winter, the flowers only open at night. Only one day are left of this spectacular bloom. If your fishbone cactus starts to develop buds, be sure to check on it at night to see its spectacular flowers.