(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 9b
Other Names: form. Erythrorhipsalis pilocarpa
This cactus variety is initally upright but cascades as it matures; green foliage is covered in wooly white hairs; fragrant flowers appear in fall and are followed by deep red fruits; a great container or basket plant that will thrive indoors
Rhipsalis features showy fragrant white star-shaped flowers with pink eyes and pink tips at the ends of the stems in late fall. Its attractive succulent narrow leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. The fruits are showy red pomes carried in abundance in late winter.
Rhipsalis is an herbaceous perennial with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Rhipsalis is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Planting & Growing
Rhipsalis will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings.
Rhipsalis is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.