Rick Rack Plant: A Unique and Easy-to-Care-for Cactus

If you’re a plant enthusiast like me, you’ve probably come across the ric rac cactus in your search for unique and stunning plants. This plant has been on my wishlist for quite some time, and let me tell you, taking care of a ric rac cactus is a breeze! In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about caring for this beautiful cactus that looks absolutely stunning in hanging pots and planters.

What Sets the Ric Rac Cactus Apart?

The ric rac cactus, also known as the fishbone cactus, the zig-zag cactus, or even the orchid cactus, is a tropical cactus native to Mexico. Unlike many other cacti, the ric rac cactus doesn’t have leaves. Instead, its stems, which resemble fishbones, give this plant its unique and eye-catching appearance.

Identifying the Ric Rac Cactus

Scientifically speaking, “ric rac” or “zig zag” cactus can refer to two similar plants: selenicereus anthonyanus or epiphyllum anguliger (formerly known as disocactus anguliger). While these plants may look alike at first glance, there are subtle differences that can help you distinguish one from the other. The shape of the stems and the color of the flowers are key factors in identifying the species.

Providing the Ideal Growing Conditions

Proper care starts with understanding the needs of your ric rac cactus. Despite its name, this cactus doesn’t thrive in full sun. As a tropical plant, it naturally grows in shaded areas with dappled light. When grown indoors, bright indirect light is ideal. If you want to move your plant outdoors during warmer months, be sure to acclimate it slowly to prevent sunburn.

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Watering Tips for a Healthy Ric Rac Cactus

While ric rac cacti can withstand prolonged periods without water, regular watering is essential for promoting healthy growth. Unlike desert cacti, the ric rac cactus doesn’t store water efficiently. Therefore, it’s crucial to water it thoroughly when the top few inches of soil are dry. Be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. A well-draining soil mix and a pot with drainage holes are essential for maintaining proper moisture levels.

Ensuring the Right Soil, Temperature, and Humidity

To prevent overwatering and maintain optimal growing conditions, it’s crucial to choose the right soil for your ric rac cactus. A well-draining cactus or succulent soil mix combined with coco coir can provide the perfect balance. Additionally, the ric rac cactus tolerates normal household temperatures, but it thrives in higher humidity levels. If your home is relatively dry, consider using a room humidifier or misting the plant to create a more humid environment.

Fast Growth and Propagation

Both types of ric rac cacti are fast growers, and with the right care, you can witness impressive growth in just one season. The flat, zig-zag stems can reach up to a foot in length, cascading beautifully over the edges of containers. Propagating a ric rac cactus is also relatively easy. You can use stem cuttings in either soil or water to successfully propagate new plants and expand your collection.

Eye-Catching Blooms

One of the most sought-after features of the ric rac cactus is its stunning blooms. While it may take some time and patience, both types of ric rac cacti can produce beautiful flowers. The selenicereus anthonyanus variety produces pink blooms in the spring and summer, while the epiphyllum anguliger variety showcases white flowers in the fall. To encourage blooming, provide your plant with bright, indirect light, proper watering, and occasional fertilization.

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Safe and Pest-Free

If you have pets or children, rest assured that the ric rac cactus is non-toxic and safe to have around. However, like any houseplant, it is susceptible to common pests such as scale and mealybugs. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of infestation, and if necessary, treat it with a suitable insecticide designed for houseplants.

Cultivating the Ric Rac Cactus: A Rewarding Journey

Taking care of a ric rac cactus is a rewarding experience, and with the right knowledge and care, your plant will thrive and bring beauty to your home. Whether you choose to hang it in a planter or let it cascade down a shelf, the ric rac cactus is sure to become a stunning addition to your plant collection.

For more tips and inspiration on plant care and propagation, check out Ames Farm Center here. Let your ric rac cactus thrive and enjoy the unique beauty it brings to your space!

Images and videos courtesy of bybrittanygoldwyn.com