Ric Rac Cactus

Ric Rac Cactus

Epiphyllum Anguliger (Fishbone or Zig zag Cactus)

Origin

Native to southern Mexico

General Care

Light

Medium to bright filtered. Avoid direct sun, except during winter. Avoid low light. 

Temperature

18 - 24°C (spring-fall). Keep above 10°C. Give a rest at 13°C (winter), but maintain bright light condition. Protect from hot or cold drafts.

Humidity

Average to higher. For extra humidity: mist 1-2 times per week, place pot on moist pebbles in a tray, group with other plants, or, introduce a humidifier.

Water

Weekly. Water plentifully (spring-summer) at onset of buds and allow thoroughly moist potting mix to dry halfway. Give a brief rest after flowering  (2-3 weeks) and allow barely moist mix to dry almost fully. Water sparingly (fall-winter) and allow barely moist mix to dry almost fully. Always check moisture level before watering. Aerate soil to improve its condition. 

Fertilizer

Every 2 weeks at onset of flower buds. Stop once most buds are open. Use organic tomato-type fertilizer, according to packaging instructions. 

Maintenance

Every 1-2 weeks, rotate plant to ensure even growth. Every 1-2 months, mist heavily to free accumulated dust and inspect plant for pests, when doing so. Trim unsightly or unruly segments with sterile shears. Support tall growth ties and stakes.

Potting and Repotting

Mix of 3 parts peat-based to 1 part  coarse sand or perlite. Every year (spring) move plant into a planter 1-2” larger (diameter and depth) until maximum convenient planter size reached (6-8” diameter). Then, repot in the same planter, using new potting mix, after cleaning planter and partially trimming back roots.  

Special Points/Common Problems: 

  • Puckering or soft segments may suggest underwatering. 
  • Yellowing leaves may suggest overwatering
  • May produce large, fragrant ,white or pale yellow flowers (spring), which bloom at night and yield green-yellow fruit.
  • Place 5-6” segments in a cool, dark and dry spot until cut heals. Pot up segments, pressing into cactus soil and mist lightly and daily until roots establish (after 2-3 weeks). Treat as mature plants thereafter.