Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mistletoe Cactus
Rhipsalis baccifera

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhipsalis (RIP-sa-lis) (Info)
Species: baccifera (bak-IF-er-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Cassytha baccifera
Synonym:Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. baccifera
Synonym:Rhipsalis cassutha

One vendor has this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #1 of Rhipsalis baccifera by Monocromatico

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #2 of Rhipsalis baccifera by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #3 of Rhipsalis baccifera by Xenomorf

By palmbob
Thumbnail #4 of Rhipsalis baccifera by palmbob

By palmbob
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By palmbob
Thumbnail #6 of Rhipsalis baccifera by palmbob

By synda
Thumbnail #7 of Rhipsalis baccifera by synda


3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive juliastacey On Jul 13, 2014, juliastacey from Rome
Italy wrote:

Have had this growing on my bathroom shelf (East-facing window, zone: Rome, Italy) for about five years. Indestructable. Constant green colour. Never even changed the soil. Laid a few strands onto soil in another pot and watered occasionally for the winter. Now have a robust new plant. Its "tubes" choose to either become roots (if near rhe soil) or extend to form new tubes. This is unusual in plants, I think. (?)

Positive CarolynFleur On Mar 18, 2012, CarolynFleur from Fort Pierce, FL wrote:

This is a pretty little plant, and and until a few years ago a mystery to me. I thought it was grass -- a weed -- when it first popped up in my yard on Summerland Key in the Florida Keys. I identified it after a few years of diligent pulling and decided to let it be. Soon I found it everywhere in my tiny yard -- under the faucet, around the bougainvilleas, next to the traveler tree and dwarf schefflera. Under the stairs! I have many clumps of it now. They seem to spread to other places and the original clumps are spreading in place. Very pretty, evergreen, apparently sturdy (has survived hurricanes) and always, within the limitations of its shape and droopiness, green and fresh looking. Never anything brown or ugly. Quite a plant. It is so soft it's hard to believe it's a cactus.

Positive Zorsar On Feb 16, 2007, Zorsar from Wakefield, OH wrote:

I saw this plant at a nusery and i asked the lady how much it was,
it was just a little one, it only had a few stems, and when she said
how much it was she said 20 bucks!

I wanted it sooooo bad!

But in the end i bought a little hen and chicken.

Why does this plant cost so much?

Neutral Xenomorf On Feb 6, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Here are more synonyms of this plant, some of which at some time in the future 'might' become a variety, cultivar, subspecies or forma of the species: Rhipsalis bartlettii, Rhipsalis caripensis, Rhipsalis cassutha, Rhipsalis minutiflora, Rhipsalis neocassutha, Rhipsalis parasitica, Rhipsalis parasitica, Cactus pendulus, Rhipsalis suarensis, Rhipsalis hookeriana, Rhipsalis hylaea, Rhipsalis madagascariensis, Rhipsalis pilosa, Rhipsalis undulata, Rhipsalis suareziana, Rhipsalis heptagona, Rhipsalis cassuthopsis, Cassytha filiformis, Rhipsalis cassytha, Rhipsalis cassythoides, Rhipsalis dichotoma, Cactus caripensis & Rhipsalis quellebambensis.

Neutral Monocromatico On May 25, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Mistletoe cactus (also known as Spaghetti cactus) is an easy and fast growing epiphytic plant. It gives small greenish-white cactus-shaped flower, followed by spheric white or pinkish fruits. Those fruits atract birds, that spread the seeds, so the species can reproduce easy and fast, taking over trees in a large area. The fruits are also edible, with a soft sweet taste, not worth picking, though. You can also get new plants by simply cutting the herbaceous stems and sticking it on a tree and giving water enough to not let the substract to dry.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Saint Petersburg, Florida
Summerland Key, Florida
Grove City, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio

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