Rhipsalis Care

Use these instructions to care for a rhipsalis plant. This guide will tell you how to water your rhipsalis; its light, temperature, and humidity preferences; and any additional care your plant might need to help it grow.


PRO TIP: Rhipsalis will let you know when it’s thirsty because its tendrils will start to prune and lose rigidity. If the tendrils turn brown and crispy, you’ve waited too long, but don’t despair. Rhipsalis are very forgiving plants.

Rhipsalis, an epyphitic cactus, grows wild in the understory of trees. It prefers bright, indirect light, and can tolerate direct morning and evening light. The best place to put it is at least a few feet away from the window. However, rhipsalis is an extremely hardy plant that can subsist on minimal light for extended periods, especially with some low grade fertilizer. We’ve seen it subsist on fluorescent light alone, so if you’re feeling adventurous you can try it in different spots around your space. However, if you go the low-light route, we recommend recharging your plant in a higher light area every once in a while.

If you are unsure of the lighting conditions in your home of office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Rhipsalis Close Up

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: Native to a tropical environment, rhipsalis appreciate a good misting now and again. Consider working in a misting bottle to your watering routine.

Being a type of cactus, rhipsalis are sensitive to overwatering. We recommend watering once a week, or whenever the soil becomes dry. They prefer moist, not wet soil. Just remember that stagnant water in the container can lead to rotting of the roots.

Rhipsalis gets a little wrinkly if it’s thirsty, so be on the lookout. If the tendrils become brown and dried out, it’s probably not getting enough water.

Frequently Asked Questions

The tendrils are falling off. What do I do?

  • There’s a good chance your rhipsalis isn’t receiving enough light. Try moving it to a brighter location and seeing how it does. It also could be related to root rot from overwatering.

How often should I fertilize?

  • Your rhipsalis won’t need to be fertilized for the first year, as it will have plenty of nutrients in the soil to keep it going. After that, it can be fed with half diluted cactus fertilizer once a month, from April to September.

How long can the tendrils get?

  • Rhipsalis can reach lengths of over 20ft in the wild. For this reason it’s a perfect cascading shelf plant. They grow slow, so be patient, but with proper care they get as long as you can probably handle.

Additional Care Guides