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Rhipsalis baccifera also bears the name Binsenkaktus and has now established itself as a popular houseplant. The round cactus limbs can reach a length of several meters, therefore Rhipsalis baccifera is optimally suited as a traffic light plant. The cactus is one of the succulents and sits in his native South America on other plants, for this reason, the plant also forms no significant root ball. The broom cactus is not frost hardy, but can spend the warm season outside, on the terrace, the balcony or in the garden.
Location & Planting Substrate
Due to its tropical origin, Rhipsalis baccifera needs to be kept indoors in the cold months, but may spend the summer outside, either on the balcony, the terrace or in the garden. Both indoors and outdoors, the plant is to protect from strong midday heat, this leads to burns on the leaves. It is important to maintain a consistently high temperature, permanently too low temperature values are detrimental to growth and flowering. The following aspects are to be considered at the location and the planting substrate:
- Thrives very well in living rooms all year round
- prefers sunny to partially shaded and always warm locations
- ideal places are sunning in the morning and in the evening
- do not expose the blazing midday sun
- protect yourself from rain and wind when outdoors in summer
- In summer, temperatures between 20-27° C are ideal
- In winter, lower temperatures are appropriate, between 16-20° C
- as a plant substrate special cactus earth is optimal, available from specialist retailers
- to make by yourself mixing peat, sand and potting soil
The Binsenkaktus comes from the tropics and is therefore used to regular watering, but it should not be overpoured all at once. The cooler the location of the plant, the less water it needs. In addition, Rhipsalis baccifera prefers an increased humidity, the cactus does not cope well with the often dry conditions in living rooms so well. Especially in the winter time, when the heating is running at full speed, therefore, pay attention to an additional increase in humidity:
- pour once a week, twice during the hot summer months, less in the winter
- Allow excess water to drain off immediately to prevent rot
- wait between the casting units until the surface of the earth has dried well
- Never completely dry out the plant substrate and root ball
- Avoid waterlogging, often leads to the death of the plant
- to increase the humidity, place water bowls on the radiators
- Periodically spray Binzenkaktus with water mist
- in the growing season (February to July) fertilize
- only fertilize until the buds are opened
- normal cactus fertilizer is enough, administer twice a month
- otherwise use diluted superphosphate solution
Shoots and flowers
Rhipsalis baccifera is now quite common as a houseplant in the home living rooms and especially because of the long and exotic-looking cactus limbs very popular. In addition, the plant also forms flowers. If the broom cactus gets its summer over a sheltered place in the fresh air, it rewards this with a richer bloom phase:
- hanging growth form, ideally suited as a traffic light plant
- 2-4 mm thick and round cactus limbs, these are individually composed
- can reach growth lengths of up to 4 m
- Shoots are covered with stiff bristles
- Flowering in February
- makes small flowers in white, pink or cream color, diameter is about 1 cm
- Blossoms appear on the side branches, developing only faint scent
The Biennial Cactus normally produces only a few and very small roots, so repotting is rarely necessary. However, the cacti are often offered in specialized shops in very small planters, which often completely root through over time. In this case repotting is required:
- best time to repot is in the spring
- Carefully transfer the plant into a larger vessel
- never repot in winter, this weakens the plant
The broom cactus does not need regular pruning for healthy growth, but pruning may prove necessary due to its long growth:
- always remove old and dead shoots
- cut off long and disturbing shoots
- can be cut into the desired shape without any problems
- slightly poisonous sap, better wear gloves when pruning
Rhipsalis baccifera does not maintain a special hibernation and does not need a separate winter quarters. However, the plant should not stand directly at the window so that the difference in temperatures is not too great. The following aspects should be considered during wintering:
- not hardy, may only go outside in summer
- likes to warm it all year round
- Nevertheless, during winter temperatures should be lower
- do not install or hang in the immediate vicinity of the radiator
- tolerates neither excessive heat nor low humidity in heated rooms
Rhipsalis baccifera can be propagated either by seeds from the specialized trade or by cuttings. The propagation with cuttings is usually easy to implement and leads to good results. As soon as new cactus limbs appear in the cuttings, the young plant can be accustomed to the room climate and treated like a mature specimen. The following criteria should be considered when propagating:
- Cut about 10 cm long cuttings from the mother plant
- Let cuttings dry for about 10 days in a sunny but not too hot place
- then plug cuttings into groups
- Planting depth should be about one third of the cuttings
- ideal plant substrate is a mixture of soil and sand, for example. Commercially available cactus soil
- Select the location of the seed pot light to partially shaded, without direct sunlight
- optimum temperature values for cultivation are 20-23° C
- evenly high humidity is conducive
- Always keep the plant substrate slightly moist, but never too wet
Diseases & pests
If errors in care creep in and the conditions of the site are not right, the bins cactus can quickly become infected or infected with pests:
- prone to mites, lice and mealybugs
- Check cactus regularly for infestation
- combat with neem oil-based products
- Help also provide funds with paraffin oil
- Waterlogging due to excessive watering leads to root rot
- Apply drainage to improve permeability of the soil
The Binsenkaktus is relatively easy to care for and flourishes as long as it is at a suitable location or hangs. The cactus is not hardy, but may spend the warm summer months outside. As a thank you for the change of location to the fresh air, the gardener expects a particularly lush flowering. Important are properly dosed watering and a well-drained plant substrate, because constantly moist soil leads to diseases and pest infestation. The propagation can be done easily and promptly with cuttings, in this way, even large rooms can be greened with these exotic cacti. Due to the hanging and long-growing shoots Rhipsalis baccifera is suitable as a traffic light plant, which also forms graceful flowers as an ornament.
Worth knowing about the Biennial Cactus shortly
- Rhipsalis baccifera is fairly common as a houseplant. His limbs are about 2 to 4 mm thick and round.
- The cactus limbs can grow up to 4 meters long and are composed of individual limbs. They hang down.
- Rhipsalis baccifera is an ideal traffic light plant. The cactus is one of the sown plants and is native to South America.
- The cactuses bloom in February. The small, white or cream-colored flowers smell very weak.
- Rhipsalis baccifera needs a light and warm location. Direct sun does not like the plant absolutely.
- In summer, the cactus likes to be outdoors, but always protected from the strong midday sun.
- Morning and evening sun do not bother the plant. The course should also be protected from wind and rain.
- Rhipsalis baccifera can also thrive in the home all year round.
- It does not hibernate and like it warm all year round. Temperatures between 20 and 27° C are ideal.
- In winter, the temperatures should be slightly lower and thus be between 16 and 20° C.
- For Rhipsalis baccifera use special cactus soil or a mixture of peat, sand and potting soil.
- The Binsenkaktus must be moderately, but regularly poured.
- Between the waterings one waits until the plant substrate has dried.
- The plant bale should better not completely dry out.
- You can dip the bale well in a water bath so that it can really suck.
- After pouring or dipping, wait 10 to 20 minutes and then pour out excess water from the saucer or planter.
- Wet feet are to be avoided. In hot summers, the plants need more water.
- In winter you pour less. The cooler the plant is or hangs, the less water is needed.
- Rhipsalis baccifera is fertilized between February and July, preferably with a dilute superphosphate solution or normal cactus fertilizer.
- The Binsenkaktus does not have to be cut. Long, disturbing shoots can be easily removed.
- Rhipsalis baccifera is propagated by cuttings. For this you cut about 10 cm long cuttings from the mother plant.
- These are allowed to dry for about 10 days in an absonnigen and not too warm place.
- Then you put the cuttings, ideally in groups. The planting depth is about one third of the cuttings.
- As a plant substrate is an earth-sand mixture, such as commercial cactus clay.
- The location for the cuttings should be light to partially shaded.
- Direct sun is to be avoided! Temperatures around 20° C are conducive, as well as high humidity.
- It is therefore recommended to put a bag over the culture container.
- However, you have to ventilate daily to avoid mold growth on the earth.
- The soil must always be kept slightly moist, never wet.
- As soon as new cactus limbs appear, one can get used to the young plant to the room climate.
- As pests occur mites, lice and mealybugs. These can be combated with neem or paraffin oil products.
- Too much watering and the resulting constantly moist soil lead to the occurrence of root rot just like a poorly drained soil.