HELP - RHIPSALIS PILOCARPA SICK

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Grace Escudero, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Grace Escudero

    Grace Escudero Member

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    I purchased this from Art Knapps. As you can see it’s living in tree bark. I was told by one person to soak it in water for 45 minutes then allow to try. I decided not to do that. Then I was told by another to barely water like a cactus. Some of the stems are shrivelling and are easy to pull out with a simple tug.
     

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  2. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Grace. :) One thing often missed about these is that they are not a desert cactus, but a jungle cactus from Brazil where they get lots of rain. Treating them like a desert cactus will make them sad in a hurry! Have you grown Christmas cactus? Treat them like that. Can you imagine a Christmas cactus is bark? It would need careful, frequent water. So your first friend's advice to soak deeply and let it dry seems good to me. The main difficulty is that they were grown in a high-humidity greenhouse with frequent professional watering, which allows them to thrive in that bark substrate. But in your much-drier house they would need even more frequent watering. It is really tough for a home grower to succeed in northern climates with central (dry) heating with any plant in an all-bark mix; and this species does also have a relatively small window available to you between over-watering and under-watering.

    So if it's dry now, I would say give it a shower and very bright light; and somewhat-frequent water. In bark, you'll do well to teach yourself exactly how it feels (weight) at fully dry vs. just-watered. Perhaps aim to water just a bit sooner than fully dry.

    Summering outdoors in partial shade makes these amazing! Lots of blooms too. :)
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    You may want to change the medium at some point. I started a thread sometime ago on the subject of cactus soil mixes which you may find useful: Commercial cactus soil mixes. A mix for epiphytic cacti would be appropriate in your case.
     
  4. Grace Escudero

    Grace Escudero Member

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    thank you so much! I have been allowing the log it is growing in to soak for 10-15 minutes. Then I leave it on a paper towel to get rid of excess water and put it back in it’s pot. Due to the lack of watering, there has been a lot of loss, but what is left is very happy and plump!
     
  5. Grace Escudero

    Grace Escudero Member

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    Thank you! I think I will try this when the plant is healthier. It’s been through some hard times lately.
     
  6. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    BTW, the ribs and spines makes me doubt that it is a Rhipsalis pilocarpa, it looks more like Rhipsalis baccifera horrida.
     
  7. Grace Escudero

    Grace Escudero Member

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    thank you!
     
  8. Grace Escudero

    Grace Escudero Member

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    I repotted it today into a small terracotta pot with a hole and cacti/succulent mix as the tree bark it was potted in was starting to mould.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
  9. Grace Escudero

    Grace Escudero Member

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    This is what it looks like now. I lost about half the plant and some of the stems are shrivelled at the ends but I think it is healing.
     

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    Daniel Mosquin and wcutler like this.

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