Ripsalis: 15 species with photos, care and reproduction
Ripsalis is outwardly very unusual: the plant is devoid of leaves. This type of cactus with prickly relatives is united only by fleshy trunks.
The rest is solid differences: long branching shoots hanging like ampelous cultures, the absence of thorns.
Ripsalis - representative of the Cactus family, often found in the tropics of America, Africa and South Asia. It grows on trees (epiphyte), hanging in long shoots from the trunks.
Each ripsalis branch is divided into equal length segments. Species differ in the shape and length of these parts. Not all varieties are completely devoid of thorns: in some they transformed into clusters of white villi.
Ripsalis shoots branch well, forming a lush bush and reminiscent of luxurious hair. Their length reaches a meter, depending on the species. It blooms in small buds, and along the entire length of the branches.
Types and varieties with names and photos
In nature, more than fifty species of ripsalis are known. For indoor cultivation, flower growers are most fond of 15 of them.
Hairy Ripsalis is distinguished by thin shoots. The segments are long and well branched, due to which the bush turns out to look like curls. The surface is covered with areoles with long white hairs.
Ripsalis cassata has light green cylindrical segments. The branches reach 3 meters under natural conditions, and about one meter at home. Therefore, the species is grown only in flower pots or tall pots.
It blooms profusely along its entire length with small white buds, after which pink berries remain.
Rylpsalis pilocarp is characterized by weak branching of shoots, and its segments are very rigid. They are covered with areoles with yellow modified spines.
Beige buds larger than 2 cm in diameter with many yellow stamens. Under suitable conditions, it is almost year-round covered with flowers or raspberry berries.
Cereusculum, or Cereuscula (Cereuscula)
The segments of cereus-shaped ripsalis are short and thin. Notches are visible along their edges, due to which the bush resembles lace. It blooms only under ideal conditions, and then a few white buds.
The stems of ripsalis ramulose are purple in color, and the secondary segments are similar to green leaves: flat, reaching a length and width of 10 cm. At a distance of 2-3 cm, areoles are located in which buds appear. White berries with ripening seeds soon form in their place.
Cactus ripsalis of this species is distinguished by shoots similar to needles. This impression is created due to closely spaced and short second-order segments. The flowers consist of 6 white petals. After them light berries are formed.
Has very long shoots. From a tree in the jungle can hang from a height of 4 meters to the ground. Small flowers stand out against the general background with a white tint, and light green berries almost merge with the branches.
In ripsalis gobelian, the primary and secondary segments differ in length and direction of growth. The first ones bend at the base, and the second ones are narrow and extend almost 15 cm. Quickly withers with a lack of lighting.
An adult plant forms a very lush bush resembling an African American hairstyle. The shoots are long and flat, branching weakly, but there are a lot of them on the bush. Small flowers of beige hue.
The shoots are long and almost non-branching. In an adult plant, the primary segments are lignified.
A variant of the translation of the name is ripsalis bourcelli. The shape of the shoots is cylindrical, and the length is within 5–7 cm. Their surface glistens due to the skin of a dark green hue, and small areas are covered with areola of white pile.
Trunks can be formed both in the form of a compact bush due to frequent branches, and in ampelous form.
The trunks of this species have a cylindrical shape and grow by 15 cm. Secondary shoots are formed at the top of the primary and look like a prism, which is why the name of the species appeared. The flowers are snow-white.
The shoots of thick-winged ripsalis reach a width of 10 cm. Their surface is with a pronounced shine, and the color is green above and lilac-burgundy - below.
Blossoms at the edges of the segments with white-yellow buds with pronounced stamens.
The shoots are mostly straight with segments about 10 cm long. Many bundles of white villi almost completely cover the branches. Buds and green berries formed after them.
The name is given for the similarity of branched shoots with a cone. It blooms on the tops of branches with large buds of white color.
The young bush directs the shoots vertically upwards, but after a few years they fall under their own weight.
Florists in stores create whole compositions from outwardly similar species - ripsalis mix. You can buy this option ready-made or try to create it yourself on your windowsill.
At the same time, flowering compositions look especially impressive.
Unusual Cactus Conditions
Ripsalis is very demanding on the conditions of detention. Him it is necessary to ensure high-quality and regular care at hometake time to follow all the rules.
For ripsalis, accustomed to the abundance of moisture in rainforests, low humidity is unacceptable. The optimal value will be an indicator above 50%.
At high temperatures, succulents need to be sprayed daily. If this is not possible, then next to the pot, you must definitely put a wide bowl with water or wet pebbles.
Very well, a tropical resident belongs to a warm soul who will wash dust off the shoots. The procedure is recommended weekly, excluding winter time and flowering period.
Important! In summer, you need to spray the cactus only in the early morning or late evening hours. Drops of water that fall on the plant during the day with the active sun cause burns.
The temperature in the room where the ripsalis is located, must not exceed 25 °C. Almost the whole year it needs to be maintained above 20 ° C.
An exception is the period after ripening of berries or dropping of flowers. It is recommended to restore strength to ripsalis in a slightly cooler environment at 15 ... 16 ° C.
A critical mark is 10 ° C: at a temperature below this indicator, the cactus fades and dies. This applies to cold drafts, for example, during ventilation, which can lead to frostbite part of the shoots.
Important! At low temperatures, it is necessary to water the flower less often, stop spraying and fertilizing it.
In the jungle, ripsalis settles in the upper tier in the trees, hiding from the bright sun. Light is scattered for a long time. In an apartment like conditions are naturally created on the eastern or western windowsill.
Putting a cactus in the shade is not recommended. This will cause slow growth or lack of flowering.
To grow ripsalis in flower shops, you can buy ready-made soil for cacti or succulents. In it already all components are mixed in the required proportion, microelements are added and the acid-base balance is maintained.
In the absence of such a possibility, the substrate can be prepared independently from the sheet and turf land, peat and sand. All components are taken in equal volumes. Perfectly prepared soil should be checked for acidity using indicator strips.
For ripsalis, soil with a slightly acidic or neutral pH is suitable (5–7).
Advice! If the indicator exceeds the required numbers, then you need to add more peat.
The fleshy shoots of ripsalis are able to accumulate moisture. Watering is required when the topsoil dries out and becomes loose. After half an hour, excess moisture from the pallet must be drained.
It is recommended to prepare water before watering in advance: stand for 3 days and soften with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (1 spoon per liter of water).
The constant use of hard water will lead to a shift in the pH of the soil to the alkaline side and the appearance of diseases.
Start off it is recommended to feed ripsalis in the spring. Ready-made fertilizers for cacti are suitable for this. They must be diluted with water in accordance with the instructions and pour on slightly moist soil.
Caution! If fertilizer is watered on dry soil, then chemicals can burn the roots and destroy ripsalis.
For the first feeding at the very beginning of spring, it is recommended to prepare a solution of a lower concentration than indicated on the label.
Feeding completely stops during winter dormancy with decreasing air temperature.
A transplant is necessary for a young bush in the first 3 years of life and an overgrown adult ripsalis. Moreover, in the latter case, the procedure is carried out extremely carefully so as not to damage the delicate roots of the cactus.
The transplant process looks like this:
- The day before the plant is watered for easy extraction from the pot.
- The new tank should be 2 cm larger than the previous one, and drainage is poured on its bottom.
- Pour a little new soil on top.
- Take out the Ripsalis from the pot: knock on the flowerpot from all sides and turn over, holding the bush at the base. In a ceramic pot, it is first recommended to separate the earthen lump from the walls with a knife.
- Set the plant in a new flowerpot and fill the voids with a fertile substrate.
Caution! The lower shoots must be left in the ground at the same level as in the previous pot.
- Water the transplanted bush and put it in a cool place (18 ... 20 ° C) without direct sunlight.
Reproduction and planting
There are two ways to propagate ripsalis: cuttings and seeds. The easiest way to increase the number of plants is to root the stalk.
Choose a shoot consisting of 3 segments. It must be left to lie down for a couple of hours. It is recommended to sprinkle the slice with birch charcoal or wood ash.
Rooted cuttings in wet peat for a month. The emergence of roots will indicate the growth of new segments.
At the next transplant, division of the overgrown bush is also allowed, only the roots must be separated very carefully. After this, the plant becomes vulnerable to disease, and it is recommended to monitor its condition more closely
Signs and superstitions warn the owners of ripsalis. It is believed that if the shoots break, then soon troubles are expected.
If berries appeared after flowering, you can try to get seeds from them. To do this, wait until full maturity when the berries begin to fall off. Seeds are extracted from them and immediately put on sterile moistened peat.
Important! For disinfection, the soil is pre-watered with a pink solution of potassium permanganate.
Crops are covered with film or glass and placed in heat. Periodic ventilation with daily opening of the greenhouse will be a prevention against fungus that destroys seeds.
It is recommended that greenhouse conditions be maintained until strong shoots appear.
Major diseases and pests
With errors in care, ripsalis begins to hurt.
- Frequent and plentiful watering, a constant accumulation of moisture in the pan contribute to the development of bacteria and rotting of all roots. Unfortunately, it appears root rot too late and leads to the death of the flower. Therefore, only prevention is effective: watering as needed.
- Too low air temperature is manifested by the death of part of the shoots.
- High humidity causes gray rot. In this case, the shoots become soft and darken. The fight comes down to an antifungal treatment.
- Ripsalis does not bloom with a lack of light or trace elements, the absence of a rest period.
- Small segments, prone to yellowing and falling, indicate the development of chlorosis - iron deficiency in indoor plants. This problem occurs in the absence of regular feeding or due to alkaline soil.
- Low humidity contributes to spider mite. To combat it, the plant is sprayed with Fitoverm.
- Can appear scale insects or red ticks. They are removed using a solution of laundry soap and subsequent treatment with an insecticide.
Soap solution - a highly concentrated alkali, it should not fall into the ground.
An unusual cactus with a lush crown of long shoots with proper care will be the real pride of any grower.