Ripsalis - the most unusual cacti
In the list of unpretentious flowering cacti, ripsalises are necessarily mentioned. These are very spectacular epiphytic cacti. True, certain species are often grown not for flowering, but only for the shoots that are similar to sticks. Some ripsalises are almost indistinguishable from their counterparts, others are genuine originals. Ripsalis has one thing in common - a love of bright lighting, high humidity and minimal care. What are ripsalis and how to care for them, I will tell in my article.
Inhabitant in moist forests ripsalis (Rhipsalis) are considered one of the most original representatives. cactus family (Cactaceae) The name itself, derived from the Greek “wicker”, indicates the appearance of these non-standard plants. It perfectly reflects the nature of the plant and our national nickname Prutnovik.
Ripsalis became famous primarily for their ability to abundantly bush. They develop in the form of elegant, almost graphic shrubs and often delight with aerial roots. In this case, innumerable drooping shoots form, which interestingly branch out into numerous internodes.
With a length of 40 cm to 1 m or more, ripsalis surprise with the thinness of the stems. In different types of ripsalis, twigs are both flat, almost leafy, and rounded, ribbed, twig-like, resembling a pencil. The edge of the ripsalis is quite interesting: soft, bristly, without thorns, it is much more tender than that of competitors.
Flowering ripsalis most often begins with an increase in daylight in February or March, but can last until April-June. It is quite unusual. The areoles of these cacti are located directly on the surface of the stems, often along the entire length of the shoot, or from the upper third to half of the branches. The flowers are very large, up to 2.5 cm, beautiful, actinomorphic, with a pale white, cream, fawn or pink corolla and numerous stamens.
After flowering, ripsalis develops bright berry-like fruits, the color of which differs in each species - from black berries to snow-white waxy.
Types of indoor ripsalis
The Ripsalis family has its own decorative favorites:
- Ripsalis campos porto (Rhipsalis campos-portoana) - a bush with very thin, pencil-like, branched, drooping shoots with cream flowers at the ends.
- Ripsalis Burchella (Rhipsalis burchellii) - a bright green plant with twig branches and creamy flowers.
- Ripsalis Russell (Rhipsalis russellii) Is a spectacular view with large leaf-shaped segments along the edge of which bright pink fruits are scattered.
- Ripsalis fluffy (Rhipsalis floccosa) - a woody cactus with round, long shoots and fluffy, due to the density of stamens, flowers.
- Ripsalis conic (Rhipsalis clavata) - “fur” cactus with shoots densely divided into short thin segments.
- Ripsalis is swollen (Rhipsalis teres, synonym - hairy ripsalis — Rhipsalis capilliformis) - a bizarre rod-shaped cactus that creates a graphical mass of "twigs" and small flowers.
- Ripsalis pilocarp (Rhipsalis pilocarpa) - bright in color cactus with rounded "pencil" hard, pubescent shoots and white "fluffy" flowers.
- Ripsalis curly (Rhipsalis crispata) Is a view with flat leaf-shaped segments, with a saturated emerald color and rounded teeth.
- Ripsalis Cereus (Rhipsalis cereuscula) - forming a graphic lace of shortened rounded thin segments of the cactus.
- Mesimbriantem Ripsalis (Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides) - a species resembling a coniferous plant with the main branches and white flowers hidden under a mass of fleshy needle-shaped shoots.
- Ripsalis is strange (Rhipsalis paradoxa) - a fancy cactus with trihedral segments creating a graphic lace.
- Ripsalis pterygora (Rhipsalis pachyptera) Is a view with leaf-shaped triangular segments with a filigree toothed edge, reddish stains and cream flowers on the edge of the “leaves”.
Growing conditions for indoor ripsalis
Ripsalis are unpretentious to conditions, but cannot stand the direct sun, and placing them on a south window without protection is a big mistake. After all, soft or bright green colors of ripsalis will change to reddish tides, and the cactus will wither away.
But on the other hand, ripsalis perfectly adapt to partial shade, in diffused lighting they do not even lose the ability to bloom profusely. Preferred eastern and western windowsills in the warmer months and moving to more lighted places from mid-autumn.
For ripsalis in both winter and summer, ordinary room temperatures are considered the best. They are heat-loving, do not tolerate lowering indicators to 15 degrees, but they are quite heat-resistant. The minimum temperature that ripsalis will tolerate is about 10 degrees. Cool wintering allows you to extend flowering.
Unlike many cacti, ripsalis feel great on the balcony or in the garden in the summer. If the ripsalis is exposed to fresh air, they need to pick up a shady place, protected from drafts. When kept in rooms, ripsalises require regular, accurate ventilation.
Ripsalis care at home
Ripsalis fancifully combines love of moderate soil moisture and high humidity. Irrigations for ripsalis are carried out so as to avoid complete drying of the soil and overflows. The substrate should be allowed to dry in the upper third, preventing the water from stagnating in pallets. For ripsalis, frequent moderate watering or more rare, but plentiful, are suitable. The humidity of the substrate is best maintained stable, regardless of the time of year.
Humidity for ripsalis should be increased: in the development of barley, it is much more important than the humidity of the substrate. They love spraying in the summer, the installation of plates and trays with wet pebbles, they feel good in tropical collections with industrial humidifiers.
Ripsalis require moderate top dressing. For them, fertilizers are applied only in liquid form, along with water for irrigation during budding and flowering. If ripsalis blooms in winter, fertilizers are applied at a frequency of 1 time in 5-6 weeks, in spring and summer cacti can be fed 1 time in 3 weeks. For ripsalis, universal fertilizers with a half concentration or special fertilizers for succulents in full concentration are suitable.
Ripsalis do not form. This cactus is well restored after injuries and damage during transplantation or transportation.
Ripsalis rarely get sick. Most often, plants are annoyed by scale insects, which it is better to fight with systemic insecticides. If ripsalis is kept in very dry air, it can be affected by spider mites.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Ripsalis are transplanted when they completely fill the old container. The standard frequency is once every 2-4 years, with the annual replacement of the topsoil.
Ripsalis require wide but not deep containers with very large drainage holes. By the weight of the drainage itself, the stability of the containers can be adjusted, but it should not be less than a third of the height of the container.
For ripsalis, you need to carefully select the soil. The usual soil for succulents with good nutritional indicators is the best option, because these forest cacti are more moisture-loving, but extremely demanding on the air permeability of the soil. Charcoal and inert disintegrating additives (sphagnum, perlite, vermiculite) should be added to any substrate, even purchased,.
Ripsalis are not transplanted, but they are transshipped, carefully handling the crown.
Cuttings from ripsalis break off from mature, but not old shoots, drying out the places of breakage and rooting in a sand-peat substrate slightly moistened with water. To root, you need to maintain high humidity and a temperature of 23 to 25 degrees Celsius.
Ripsalis can also be grown from seeds. In order for them to sprout, you need to maintain a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees and high humidity under the glass or film. Sowing is carried out shallow, in sandy soil, under a glass or hood.
Ripsalis rarely propagate by dividing the bush, because the plant has very brittle and non-loving roots. Large old bushes are divided into no more than 3 parts, trying to minimize injuries without shaking the soil. To adapt ripsalis, you need light soil moisture, high air humidity and soft lighting.