Old Man’s Beard ( Rhipsalis Capilliformis )

This is one of my favorite plants. I’ve only seen it in a store the time I purchased it. After growing so many house plants, for so long, you really enjoy something new and drastically different.

It is a cactus, but it prefers more water and less sun than most cactus. Native to Brazil, epiphytic, treat it like a tropical cactus. Keep it moist but not wet, dappled sun or morning sun if outside, a bright sunny window if inside. Prefers temperatures above 50’F.

I propagate it by pulling a small plug from the plant (small division with roots and leaves ) and putting that in water until I see new roots.

The plant needs to be trimmed right now so it will bush out more. This is the plant from a plug I took of the original about 2 years ago.

3 thoughts on “Old Man’s Beard ( Rhipsalis Capilliformis )

  1. I have had this plant for a couple of years now, but never knew what it was until now. I think “Harry” needs to be repotted. (The soil level has diminished so far down that I have a hard time checking the soil before I water.) What should I use for soil? I want “Harry to be happy in his new pot. Also, You mentioned above that your plant needed to be trimmed. What is the proper way to trim a Rhipsalis Capilliformis? “Harry” is currently blooming. (For the first time ever!) Should I wait until after the bloom cycle to replant in a new pot?

  2. This is a very cool plant, one of my favorites.

    I just use regular potting soil, nothing special.

    I’d wait for the blooms to finish. Only because he sounds pot bound so you’ll probably have to loosen up his roots a bit that that is traumatic. ( see What to do with a pot bound plant ).

    I just take scissors and trim off the bottom of the long strands to even it up a bit and encourage him to fill out more up top about twice a year. I do it just like I would if I was trimming my sister’s hair.

  3. Yes I agree a very cool plant. I came across one in a small town called Warren in Northern New South Wales, Australia. It was on display hanging up in a very small market garden. The owner had bought 2, and sold 1 but had no idea of the name. As I was travelling interstate by plane I could not take one with me but was able to smuggle a couple of shoots which took along time to recover in water but are now some 40 cm long but have a long way to go to thicken like the one in the nursery. Glad to have found you on the web. PS I got the name of the plant out of this weekends newspaper, Rhipsalis and found the rest on Google.

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