Rhipsalis cereuscula (Coral Cactus Plant)

Rhipsalis cereuscula

Last updated on September 19th, 2022 at 02:20 am

Rhipsalis cereuscula, commonly known as Coral cactus plants, are beautiful flowering plants native to the tropical forests of Central and South America. These plants are fairly low-maintenance, requiring only occasional watering, pruning, and fertilizer to thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments.

For those looking to add an exotic touch to their garden or home decor, these beautiful plants make wonderful additions that add color and texture wherever they’re placed.

A common houseplant, Rhipsalis cereuscula can grow in low light and even minimal water conditions, making it an ideal houseplant when space and resources are limited. Read on to learn more about this interesting plant and how to care for it properly!

Origin and distribution

Part of the Rhipsalis genus, Rhipsalis cereuscula is a cactus that is native to Brazil. It is also found in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina. This cactus grows in humid forests at elevations of up to 1,000 meters. Rhipsalis cereuscula is an epiphytic cactus, meaning that it grows on other plants or trees.

The stem of this cactus can grow up to 2 meters long and has many branches. The leaves are about 6 centimeters long with many hairs that are dark green in color. The flowers are usually pinkish-white with an orange interior and have a diameter of 3-4 centimeters.

Rhipsalis cereuscula blooms between December and March, but the blooming period may vary depending on the temperature and humidity levels where the plant is located.

Rhipsalis cereuscula propagation

Rhipsalis cereuscula

Rhipsalis cereuscula can be propagated by stem cuttings or by seed. To propagate by stem cuttings, take a cutting that is about 3-4 inches long and has at least two nodes. Place the cutting in a pot with well-draining cactus mix and water it lightly. Put the pot in a bright, indirect light location and wait for the cutting to root.

To propagate by seed, sow the seeds in a well-draining cactus mix and water them lightly. Put the pot in a bright, indirect light location and wait for them to germinate. Once they are big enough to handle, prick out the plantlets into individual pots of well-draining cactus mix and water them lightly until they are established.

Rhipsalis pilocarpa (Hairy Stemmed Rhipsalis)

When pricking out, use a sterile toothpick or bamboo skewer to gently loosen the soil around the edges of the pot without damaging nearby roots. Hold onto the plantlet and gently tease it away from its parent; avoid breaking off any part of the plantlet. Pot each new baby in its own small container using a well-draining cactus mix.

Rhipsalis cereuscula care information

Rhipsalis cereuscula

Rhipsalis cereuscula is a tropical cactus that originates from Brazil. It’s a low-maintenance plant that can tolerate lower light conditions than most cacti. When watering, allow the soil to dry out completely before giving it a good soak. fertilize sparingly, about once every two months.

Light requirement

Rhipsalis cereuscula requires a moderate to a high amount of light. In its natural habitat, it grows in the understory of the rainforest, so it is used to filter light. However, it will also do well in bright, indirect sunlight.

If you are growing it indoors, place it near a south- or west-facing window. Do not expose it to direct sun because this can cause leaf scorch and sunburns on the plant’s skin.

These plants can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions, from full sun to low light. To give it plenty of light, place it in an east or west-facing window. The plant will grow towards any available light source and will also climb up anything it’s clinging to.

Soil/potting mix

This plant prefers a well-draining, sandy potting mix. You can make your own mix by combining equal parts of perlite, coarse sand, and cactus potting mix. If you live in a hot climate, you can also add a little bit of vermiculite to the mix to help retain moisture. The potting mix should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings.


Coral cactus plants are very easy to care for and only need to be watered about once a week. They prefer to be kept on the drier side, so make sure to not over-water them. If the leaves start to droop, that’s a sign that they need more water.

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You can water the plant by dipping your finger in a cup of water and dabbing it onto the soil. The plant will then draw up moisture from the soil as needed. But make sure you keep an eye on the soil because if it stays too wet, the roots may rot.

The most common cause of this is improper watering practices or overwatering. If you think your plant is experiencing root rot, check the soil and see if there are any signs of mold or fungus growing near the roots or inside them.


A good fertilizer for rhipsalis cereuscula is one that is high in phosphorus and potassium. This will help the plant to grow strong and healthy. A balanced fertilizer is also important, as too much or too little of any one element can be detrimental to the plant.

It is best to apply fertilizer to the soil around the plant, rather than directly to the plant itself. The cactus does not need direct contact with fertilizers because it does not have many roots.

The best time to fertilize a rhipsalis cereuscula is during late winter when it’s starting to bud out from its dormancy period. However, if you notice your plant needs more water or needs more nutrients, then feel free to add fertilizer at other times throughout the year.


Rhipsalis cereuscula are tropical cacti that prefer warm weather and lots of humidity. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but they will not thrive in cooler climates. If you live in an area with cool winters, it’s best to grow Rhipsalis cereuscula indoors where you can control the temperature.


Rhipsalis cereuscula prefers high humidity, so it’s a good idea to mist the plant regularly. The plant also benefits from being placed on a pebble tray or in a terrarium. If you live in a dry climate, you may need to increase the humidity around your plant by using a humidifier.

Rhipsalis baccifera (Mistletoe Cactus)

The ideal humidity range is between 60-90%. Higher than 90% will lead to leaf and flower drops, while lower than 60% can cause brown spots and unhealthy growth.


When it comes to pruning your Rhipsalis cereuscula, the most important thing to remember is not to overdo it. These plants are slow growers, so you won’t need to prune them very often.

Once every few months should suffice. When you do prune, cut back the stems that have grown the longest. This will encourage the plant to branch out and fill in any gaps in the canopy.

You can also divide the plant if it starts to become overcrowded. The coral cactus is a great indoor plant because they require little care, preferring bright light but not direct sunlight.

When to repot

The best time to repot your Rhipsalis cereuscula is in the spring before it begins its active growth period. If you notice that your plant is rootbound (the roots are circling the pot), it’s time to repot.

Gently remove the plant from its pot and shake off any excess soil. Choose a new pot that is only one size larger than the old one and add fresh cactus mix. Water well and allow the plant to drain before putting it back in its new home.

Keep it out of direct sunlight for a few days while it adjusts to its new environment. You can also cut back on watering during this adjustment period as well.

Dormancy/Winter rest

Once fall arrives and days grow shorter, Rhipsalis cereuscula enter a period of dormancy. This is nature’s way of preparing the plant for the winter months when it will be exposed to cooler temperatures and less light.

During dormancy, coral cactus plants should be watered only enough to keep the soil from completely drying out. The only exception to this rule is if frost or snow covers the top inch or two of soil. In this case, water may help protect the roots from freezing damage.

Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides (Clumpy Mistletoe Cactus)

It may also help prevent root rot that can occur in warm winter weather where there is no snow cover on top of the ground.

Rhipsalis cereuscula flower & fragrance

Rhipsalis cereuscula

The Rhipsalis cereuscula is a type of cactus that is known for its beautiful flowers and is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens. The flowers of this plant are white, and they have a sweet fragrance.

Growth rate

Rhipsalis cereuscula is a slow-growing cactus that can reach up to 12 feet in height. It has long, thin, branches that are covered in small, round leaves. The flowers of this plant are white and appear in the springtime.


Rhipsalis cereuscula is not toxic and generally considered safe for both pets and humans.

USDA hardiness zones

Rhipsalis cereuscula grows best in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. In these areas, the plant can be grown outdoors as a container or potted plant or in a greenhouse or conservatory. It prefers acidic soil and full sun but will tolerate light shade.

If placed outside during the winter months, make sure it is sheltered from heavy frost and winds.

Pests and diseases

Rhipsalis cereuscula is susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Mealybugs can be controlled with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.

Spider mites can be controlled with a forceful spray of water or by using an insecticide. Scale can be controlled with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. A full-strength solution of rubbing alcohol diluted 1:1 with water will also work.