Rhipsalis (lat. Rhipsalis) is an epiphytic cactus, belongs to the famous genus Rhipsalis from the Cactaceae family.
There are nearly 60 species of shrubs that grow on trees or rocks in the wild. Homeland - Brazil.
The stems of the plant are elongated, well branched, of various shapes: rounded, ribbed or flattened leaf-like. Stems, most often without thorns, sometimes with barely noticeable hairs, green in color, hang down from rock ledges or trees. Nutrients enter the plant through aerial roots, which absorb moisture from the air.
They bloom in small, bell-like flowers, their colors are white, yellow, pinkish or red. The flowers are replaced by the same colorful fruits-berries.
Other names for ripsalis: Hatiora salerosovaya, Hatiora saliciform, Hatiora saltwort.
Ripsalis - popular types:
Berry Rhipsalis (Rhipsalis baccifera) is a 4 m high bush with long, thin shoots. There are thin spines up to 0.1 cm. The size of the flowers is 0.5-0.6 cm, the color is white-green. Fruits are spherical, about 0.6-0.8 cm.
Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides - begins to branch from the very base. It has two varieties of shoots, from thin long shoots, shoots resembling succulent leaves 2 cm long branch off. The color of the flowers is white. The fruits are often pink and sometimes white.
Rhipsalis rhombic (Rhipsalis rhombea) - shoots length - 1 m, angular, branched trunk. Lateral shoots are rhombic, narrowed at the base. Flowers are pale yellow up to 1 cm in length.
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A popular plant among flower growers, the unusual forest cactus does not require special attention. It is quite simple to create conditions for its growth and flowering. It tolerates a lack of lighting and high humidity. The main thing is to try once again not to rearrange the flowerpot with a flower, disturbing the usual regime for him is stress.
You can create interesting and unusual compositions by using different varieties of Ripsalis. Instead of the traditional location - on the windowsill, this representative of the cactus family will feel comfortable in a flowerpot or hanging basket placed on the wall.
Lighting. The chosen place should be light, as the lack of light can slow down the growth of ripsalis, but protect the plant from the scorching sun rays. The ideal option is to place the flower in the east or west part of the apartment. For active growth and spectacular flowering, bright, diffused light is required.
Temperature. In the hot season, the optimum temperature is 18-24 ° C, in the winter period 14-16 ° C, not lower than 10 ° C.
Air humidity. Ripsalis feels comfortable with high humidity, it is more familiar to him when the atmosphere is saturated with raindrops. Do not forget that it absorbs moisture with the help of aerial roots. To protect the flower from the harmful effects of heat in the summer, it is recommended to spray the plant with settled water at room temperature or place a flowerpot with a flower in a tray with wet expanded clay. Spraying is also useful for the prevention of diseases and pests. Give the plant a warm shower occasionally.
Watering. When buds form, usually from mid-March to September, abundant watering is required, keep the soil in the hill moist. Then gradually reduce watering, and in winter, limited watering is recommended, but the soil should not dry out too much.
Top dressing. From April to August, special fertilizers are applied for cacti, once every two weeks. Complex flower dressings are suitable, it is best to use fertilizers intended for cacti and succulents in liquid form. Keep track of the nitrogen content in the fertilizer, its excess is bad for the health of ripsalis.
Transfer. The procedure can be carried out after flowering. The need for a transplant appears every two to three years. Choose a container that is not too deep. Be sure to install drainage on the bottom of the pot, use: expanded clay or broken brick. The soil should be nutritious, neutral. It is best to use a ready-made cactus and succulent potting mix available from flower shops. Add crushed coal particles to the soil to prevent root rot.
The transplant is carried out by the transshipment method, which will preserve the earthen clod around the root system, since it is very fragile in Ripsalis. The plant also has weak and brittle stems, so be careful not to damage them when transplanting.
Trimming and shaping. Before active growth, in early spring, it is important to thin out the cactus a little, this will give the plant a beautiful aesthetic appearance, and improve branching. You need to remove weak, old, with signs of disease shoots. It is quite simple to do this - carefully unscrew at the border of the segments, and the old shoots are shortened by a third of the length, and the damaged ones - from the root.
Bloom. Blooms from late November to early March, at this time the cactus is decorated with beautiful bell-shaped or funnel-shaped flowers. The color of flowers depends on the species. The flowers cover the entire length of the shoot, are symmetrical, they lack a flower tube. Flowering continues for several weeks.
Reproduction. Propagated in such ways: cuttings, seeds, dividing the bush. The most common and simple breeding method is by cuttings. For this, not young, but not too old shoots are chosen, which consist of healthy segments. Disconnected from the mother plant, leave to dry for a couple of hours. The finished cutting is placed in pre-moistened sand until the roots appear. For successful rooting, you do not need to create greenhouse conditions, the shoots will take root without any problems.
Diseases and pests. It is worth noting that the cactus rarely gets sick. The most dangerous enemies of Ripsalis are the mealybug and scale insect. By eating the fleshy leaves of the cactus, the pests destroy its tissues. If you find ill-wishers on your flower, first try to wash them off with a damp sponge dipped in tobacco or onion infusion. When there are too many insects, it is better to use special chemicals: "Actellic", "Phosbecid".
If the plant begins to slow down, move it to a lighter area. Yellowing shoots indicate the appearance of root rot due to overflow of the plant. In this case, remove it from the flowerpot, cut off the decayed areas on the root system and transplant the flower into new soil. The fall of the buds occurs due to rearrangement to another place, even a slight turn of the flowerpot during the budding period can lead to such consequences.
Ripsalis in winter. It is important that the room temperature does not drop below 10 ° C. A succulent plant tolerates wintering well in a city apartment, just limit watering, do not place near central heating batteries and protect from cold drafts.
Interesting Facts. The branching, fast-growing cactus was first described in 1788 by Joseph Gertner. The main feature of the plant is aerial roots, due to which it has high adaptive characteristics, easily adapts to the environment and survives in the most difficult conditions.