The Ric Rac Cacti are among the most desirable indoor plants due to their aesthetic appearance and ability to make the room pop. However, before you get a ric rac cactus, there are several things you must know about to take care of it.
An Introduction to the Ric Rac Cactus
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The Ric Rac cactus is part of the Cactaceae family and is native to Mexico; and is also called the fishbone cactus, the orchid cactus, and the zig-zag cactus due to its unique characteristics.
While previously known as Epiphyllum anguliger or Cryptocereus anthonyanus, the ric rac cactus is known by its current scientific name, Disocactus anguilger.
Ric Rac Cactus Plants Description
The fishbone cactus has wavy-edged green leaves that resemble fish bones. While originally white, most Ric rac cacti bloom pink, red, yellow, orange, or white flowers.
In its native habitat, the ric rac cactus grow on trees, taking root in organic materials. The fishbone cactus has a medium growth rate, can grow up to two feet tall, and is not toxic to pets and humans, making it a suitable houseplant.
Ric Rac Cactus Growth Guidelines
Although the ric rac cactus is a highly sought-after houseplant, it is susceptible to certain conditions. Hence, you need to know how to take care of the plant to make it flourish. Below are some care guidelines for your t follow to care for the ric rac cactus.
As tropical plants covered by a dense canopy, the ric rac cactus has adapted to do well in bright indirect light. In its natural habitat, it would only get light that filtered through the large leaves above, which is one of the reasons why the plant grows on trees. Hence, you must know how much light to give these plants.
As indoor plants, they do well with indirect light in a room with west or east-facing window. Additionally, please keep it away from direct sun as it could burn the leaves.
However, you must ensure to give the plant the right amount of bright indirect sunlight. Too much sunlight can cause the ric rac leaves to burn. However, too little light could lead to stunted growth and yellow leaves.
As it’s part of the Cactaceae plant family, the ric rack does not require much watering, like other cacti. However, given that these plants are found in the Rainforests of Southern Mexico, they require more water than your average cacti.
Generally, it would help if you watered your ric rac cactus once a week in the spring and summer and once every few weeks in the winter. However, you must be careful when watering the ric rac cactus.
Overwatering the fishbone cactus can lead to diseases in the roots or cause water blockage. Underwatering the fishbone cactus can cause wilting and, eventually, the death of the plant. While moist soil is best, soggy soil can be dangerous.
A suitable method of watering the ric rac cactus is to check the top couple of inches of the soil. Only water the plant in the soil feels dry.
One of the reasons why the rich rac cactus is loved by plant owners is because they do well in average room temperatures. Accustomed to tropical rainforests, these epiphytic plants do well in warm temperatures of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, if you want the fishbone cactus to bloom, ensure that the temperature does not fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit since the ric rac cactus does not tolerate frost.
You can place the orchid cactus in a warm area in the house, such as the kitchen. However, you must be extra careful in the winter to prevent the plant from freezing.
Ric Rac cactus has adapted to its natural habitat and likes humid environments. They are used to high humidity in tropical rainforests. Hence, the ric rac cactus thrives in humidity levels above 40%.
You can place the plant in the bathroom, as it is one of the most humid places in the house. You could also mist the plant yourself. Another way to maintain high humidity levels is using a pebble tray filled with water. However, it is difficult to gauge the humidity levels accurately this way.
You can use a humidifier to maintain humidity levels to a certain amount. This is one of the best ways to ensure that your ric rac cactus gets the proper humidity levels so it grows well.
The fishbone cactus requires well-draining soil to allow root growth and prevent diseases like root rot from high water retention. Additionally, the cactus plant does well in sol with slightly acidic pH levels of 5-7.
Generally, you can get a potting mix for your cactus. Potting soil is a soil mix of different materials suitable for ric rac cactus growth.
The ric rac cactus requires a pot with drainage holes and good water retention abilities. A four-inch pot is good enough because the cactus does not grow to a great height. Generally, a clay pot works best for the ric rac cactus as it is less costly and has good water-retaining abilities.
Ric Rac Cactus Plant Care
When growing a rich rac cactus indoors, you must do more than give the plant its ideal growing conditions. There are several plant care requirements that you must take care of. Below are some valuable tips on ric rac cactus plant care.
The ric rac cactus does not grow too big, but you still have to report it once every couple of years. When repotting ric rac cactus, choose a pot bigger than the previous one with appropriate drainage holes.
Gently remove the plant from the pot and place it in the new pot. Once you have placed the plant, fill the pot with soil and water it.
Do not report the cactus when it is budding or blooming, as repotting stresses the plant and could cause the cactus to lose its flowers.
Ric Rac cactus requires little pruning. However, if you think that the cactus is growing too big or if it is growing from one side, you can cut off the extra leaves using pruning shears.
Generally, you would have to prune the cactus if the leaves are diseased or damaged to prevent the disease from spreading. Look out for yellowing leaves, brown spots, and leggy growth.
Ric rac cactus propagating is an excellent way of adding to the cactus family by promoting the plant’s new growth. You can propagate ric rac cactus using sections of its stem. Cut off a few inches of the stem and place the stem cutting in moist soil.
Be sure to give the cutting plenty of water and humidity. Propagating fishbone cactus is a delicate task and must be done carefully.
The stem cuttings would take around four to six weeks to grow roots. You can promote new growth of roots by adding rooting hormone powder once the roots from the ric rac cactus care is the same as for mature plants.
Ric Rac cactus is highly susceptible to pest attacks. The plant is most commonly infested by scale insects, Fungal gnats, and aphid that feed on it.
You can check for pest infestation by checking the stem and soil. If you notice brown or black spots on the plant, your ric rac might be infested.
To treat the plant, isolate it from the others and gently remove it from the soil. Treat the plant with insecticidal soap and repot it in fresh soil. Do not use the same contaminated soil, even if you treat it. You can also use neem oil to prevent infestation.
The fishbone cacti are primarily resistant to disease but are susceptible to fungal diseases such as root rot. Another common disease your ric rac might get is branch dieback and rust spots.
Isolate the infected plant, remove it from the pot, and treat it with an antifungal soap or rubbing alcohol. Repot the plant in a new potting mix.
You ric rac cactus does not generally require fertilization as it can grow well without it. However, adding liquid fertilizer to the pot can help the rich rac grow thick stems.
Generally, organic fertilizer or a fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is best for the cactus plant. However, you must ensure that you don’t overfeed the plant.
Common Fishbone Cactus Problem
You can do everything right, but some problems can still affect your ric rac cactus. There is no need to worry. What is important is knowing what caused these problems and how to fix them.
What if My Ric Rac Cactus Grows Yellow Leaves?
Yellow leaves are often a sign that your plant lacks water. Check the soil to see if it is dry. Generally, you should water your ric rac cactus once a week.
Why Does My Ric Rac Cactus Have Brown Leaves?
Brown leaves are a sign of overwatering or that your plant is getting too much bright light. Avoid putting the cactus in bright sunlight, and check the soil before watering your plant. Additionally, make sure your cactus pot has adequate drainage.
Why is My Ric Rac Cactus Wrinkly?
A wrinkly appearance of ric rac plants means they are not receiving enough water and require more frequent watering.
Is My Fishbone cactus toxic?
The zig-zag cactus is not toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. These plants are safe for humans and pets, so keeping them in your home is safe.
How do I Make my Ric Rac Cactus Bloom?
Generally, the ric rac cactus does not bloom indoors. However, your cactus can bloom in early spring if you provide the right conditions. However, these beautiful nocturnal flowers only last a couple of days.
While the epiphytic plant is a beautiful indoor plant, you must know how to care for it. To ensure healthy growth, provide the cactus with the required conditions and look for any signs of stress on the plant. When done right, the ric rac cactus can grow beautifully and give your home the aesthetic appeal it was missing.