How to Care for Your Fishbone Cactus

CREDIT: PLANTWAGONS
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The Fishbone Cactus is the edible and peculiar-looking plant popping up in your Instagram feed. It’s easy to take care of and it grows pretty fast. Here’s how to care for your Fishbone Cactus, the must-have crazy zigzag cactus for the black thumb gardener.

Some call it Ric-Rac, others call it Zigzag, but we can all agree on one thing, it’s a peculiar-looking plant that we want to add to our houseplant collection. With its signature long, zigzag leaves that resemble a fish skeleton, it’s one of the must-have houseplants this 2021. Plus, if it blooms, it is a thing to behold! Of course, if the conditions are right. That’s why it’s also called as Fishbone Orchid.

RELATED: Top 10 Must-Have Houseplants in 2021

Fun Fact: The Fishbone Cactus is a great choice as a hanging plant because its stems trail down as they grow and get longer.

RELATED: The 10 Best Indoor Hanging Plants to Decorate Your Home

How-To-Care-For-Your-Fishbone-Cactus
CREDIT: PLANT CIRCLE

The Fishbone Cactus, also known as Epiphyllum anguliger, is generally a low-maintenance plant, which makes it perfect for plant enthusiasts with a black thumb. We have mentioned that the blooms of the Fishbone Cactus are a thing to behold. If you haven’t seen the Fishbone Cactus flowers, they are worth looking up! The Fishbone Cactus will only produce flowers once it reaches 3 years old. Plus, their bloom time only lasts for a few days. You need to be patient if you want to see your Fishbone Cactus bloom.

To help encourage blooming, keep your Fishbone Cactus in a cool spot of around 11-14°C or 52-57°F. Keep the potting mix on the dry side. Next is to check for any buds forming, if buds are forming, slowly move it in a warm spot, water your Fishbone Cactus, and feed it with tomato feed. In terms of propagating, you need a piece of stem to start an entirely new Fishbone Cactus plant. Take a fresh cutting and let it callus in a dry environment for a few days.

Insert the callused end into a peat moss mixture. Provide proper humidity, light, and water. Soon you will have new Fishbone Cactus plants to share with your gardening family. Here’s everything you need to know on how to care for your Fishbone Cactus.

Botanical NameEpiphyllum anguliger
Common NameFishbone Cactus
Rick Rack Cactus
Zig-zag Cactus
Plant SizeThe Fishbone Cactus produces branched stems, reaching from 8″ to 12″ inches long.
Types of CactusAfrican Milk Tree Cactus
Barrel Cactus
Bishop’s Cap Cactus
Blue Columnar Cactus
Bunny Ear Cactus
Christmas Cactus
Easter Cactus
Fairy Castle Cactus
Feather Cactus
Ladyfinger Cactus
Moon Cactus
Old Lady Cactus
Parodia
Saguaro Cactus
Star Cactus
SunlightA few hours of direct sunlight and lots of bright indirect sunlight.
WaterThe Fishbone Cactus likes a bit more water than the average cactus. Make sure to keep the soil moist.
HumidityMist your Fishbone Cactus regularly to give it an extra boost of hydration, particularly during spring and summer.
TemperatureIt needs to stay between 60°F and 77°F during summer. It can survive a temperature drop to about 50°F during winter.
ToxicityThe Fishbone Cactus is non-toxic to cats and dogs.
FoodFeed your Fishbone Cactus regularly with a high-quality fertilizer that has a 10:10:10 ratio every two weeks, until the late summer or early autumn. Do not fertilize your Fishbone Cactus once the flowers bloom.
Pests and ProblemsOne of the most common problems is lack of water. Potential pests include scale and succulent mealybugs.
Omysa Plant Care TipThe Fishbone Cactus don’t like its soil to be too dry or too soggy. Water moderately.

Fishbone Cactus Care Tips

Caring for your Fishbone Cactus is pretty easy that even a new plant owner can do it. Follow our guide on how to care for your Fishbone Cactus, from sunlight requirement to common problems and their solutions.

Sunlight

First, on our list on how to care for your Fishbone Cactus is to provide it with bright, indirect sunlight. It can handle a few hours of direct light or a little lower light, but it will grow well in bright, indirect light. If your Fishbone Cactus gets the proper amount and level of light over the year, it will reward you by flowering!

Common Problem: Dark patches on your Fishbone Cactus indicates leaf burn from too much direct sunlight.

Solution: Cut away the burnt leaves and place your Fishbone Cactus in a shadier spot.

Water

Next on our list on how to care for your Fishbone Cactus is to water it when the top inch of the soil is dry. Usually, once a week is enough. Plus, it depends on the type of climate. Water more during sunny weather. It’s important to keep the soil moist, but avoid overwatering it since it can lead to root rot.

Common Problem: Crispy, discolored, and limp Fishbone Cactus leaves are signs of insufficient water.

Solution: Your Fishbone Cactus need a little more water. Make sure the top inch of the soil is dry between waterings.

Note: Some houseplants can be sensitive to salts in tap water, so it’s best to use distilled water or a water filtration system. However, if this is not possible, leave the water in an open container overnight.

Humidity & Temperature

Adding to our list on how to care for your Fishbone Cactus is to put it in a room with a bit more humidity since it will grow best in a humid environment. In case you want to increase the humidity, we suggest that you mist it often, place it near a humidifier, or use a pebble tray.

RELATED: 6 Simple Ways to Increase the Humidity for Houseplants

Fishbone Cactus prefers temperature, between 60°F and 77°F during summer. It can survive a temperature drop to about 50°F during winter.

Toxicity

The Fishbone Cactus is non-toxic to cats and dogs.

RELATED: 11 Pet-Friendly Houseplants to Spruce Up Your Home

Food

Another on our list on how to care for your Fishbone Cactus is to feed it regularly with a high-quality fertilizer that has a 10:10:10 ratio every two weeks, until the late summer or early autumn. Do not fertilize your Fishbone Cactus once the flowers bloom.

RELATED: Beginner’s Guide on How to Fertilize Your Plants

Note: Avoid over-fertilization since it can lead to brown leaf tips. Make sure the soil is damp before applying fertilizer. It’s important to follow the prescribed amount of fertilizer and schedule to avoid fertilizer burn or plant burn.

Pests & Other Problems

The most common problem is not getting sufficient water. Increase your Fishbone Cactus’ water intake gradually. Avoid overflowing the pot with water, but soak your Fishbone Cactus in water until the roots have absorbed enough water. Another solution is to move your Fishbone Cactus to a shadier area. Your Fishbone Cactus is prone to potentials pests like scale and succulent mealybugs.

RELATED: 7 Most Common Houseplant Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

That’s a wrap on how to care for your Fishbone Cactus! Go crazy with your Fishbone Cactus by mounting it, which is very popular to do with Staghorn Ferns.

Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.

Whatever houseplant you choose to transform your home into a lively oasis, you’ll definitely need a stylish planter to display your plant baby in. No matter what your style, there’s an Omysa planter that will be perfect with your garden and home’s décor. From ceramics to fiberstone, check out Omysa’s Shop and add it to your cart!

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