Mistletoe succulents: Tips to care & identify common problems

Succulents have several types and species that gardeners adore all over the world. One such succulent is the mistletoe succulents, which are also known as Rhipsalis baccifera. It belongs to the cactus family and the genus Rhipsalis. The Rhipsalis is an epiphytic cactus similar to a fish bone and, this means that it grows on other plants. These succulents draw nutrition from the environment or surroundings.

The origin of mistletoe succulents

The mistletoe succulents have its origins in the rain-forest’s Southern region of America. It has gotten its name mistletoe cactus inspiring by its unique spineless look and drooping over effect. It is a perfect hanging plant and looks great in your garden.

Origin of Mistletoe Succulents

The botanical name of Rhipsalis comes from ‘rhips’ which is a Greek word. Also, the plant produces white berries just before blooming to the fullest in the spring season.

Mistletoe succulents are not simple to find in the United States, and it might be tough to get yourself one of these plants. However, if you get a Rhipsalis mistletoe cactus, the struggle of finding it pays off. This succulent can live for several years if kept in suitable climatic conditions.

All succulents need some basic understanding and elimination of myths to thrive well in your garden. So, ensure you have the right knowledge about your plants before you decide on planting them in your space.

In this article, you will discover some insights about genus and plant type mistletoe succulents. It will help reveal the details for caring and variations that will broaden your knowledge about them and their care.

About mistletoe succulents 

Mistletoe cactus or Rhipsalisbaccifera is a succulent native to rainforests in the regions of America. The scientific name of this cacti is Rhipsalis mistletoe cactus. Mistletoe succulents are available widely in Florida, Brazil, and Mexico. However, unlike the other succulents, Rhipsalis needs shady to partially sunny areas to survive. Unlike the other cactus, this plant does not do well in hot, arid, and warm regions, so planting them indoors is preferable. With the help of some tips, you will grow mistletoe cactus and love this unique and good-looking plant.

Mistletoe succulents are also known as chain cactus and grows efficiently in its native regions. The cactus has thin stems that grow up to 2 meters in length. The fleshy leaves on the stems do not produce thorns but have slight bumps on the succulent. These plants usually hang along the tree crotches, in branches, and also in between rocks. The mistletoe cactus is simple to produce and grow with minimal requirements. It is a perfect succulent to grow indoors, in your garden and decorative items.

To know more about mistletoe succulents and how to grow it, you can check this video at

It will reveal insights and be a better aid for your garden activities.

How to care for mistletoe succulents

Dimensions of the succulent

It is not a fast-growing plant and has naturally pale green stems. It grows along the rails and has a drooping look or appearance. This succulent can grow up to thirty feet and is thin in diameter.

The mistletoe succulents grow with the support of other plants when it is in wild or arid regions. It is prone to rot leaves and moss when it buds up on trees in its natural habitat of the rainforest. Otherwise, the plant grows in hanging pots in your home conditions.

Flowers and blooms

This cactus flowers in the initial months of each year. It produces cream or white flowers, and they do not have a scent usually. These flowers are tiny and small in size.  

Apart from this, the cactus also produces white berries before it blooms. These berries look beautiful and look like glass beads on your succulent.

Sunlight and warmth requirement

The mistletoe succulents may not survive in intense sunlight. Ensure you do not plant this cactus in direct sunlight if you wish to see full growth. An outdoor with proper shade and indirect light is the best and most suitable climatic condition for this plant.

Sunlight & warmth requirement

Also, this plant requires a fair measure of humidity as they are native to rainforests and like moisture occasionally.

Nutrition and watering of mistletoe succulents

The water requirements of Rhipsalis cactus differ throughout the year. You should not water your mistletoe succulents more often and especially between February to July. These moths are the growing times, so ensure you give adequate water in these hours.

Also, the soil must dry out well before you water your succulent again. In the months of fall, water your succulent occasionally when the top of the topsoil begins to dry. So not wait for it to dry out completely in this season.

You can partially moisten the soil with cold water rather than watering it thoroughly. After fall, start watering it again when you see new buds on the plant.

Overwatering your cactus can cause severe issues like root rot. After your plant has caught an infection, it becomes difficult to save it. So carefully pay attention to your mistletoe’s needs. The succulent also needs nutrition with a mild phosphate fertilizer once in between February to July.

Soil base for your mistletoe succulents

Choosing the right soil is vital for your plant to thrive well. It needs a potting mix that is airy and has hummus. This kind of soil is not like the usual cactus mix. The best blend is airy sphagnum with leaf mold or compost.

Do not let your container sit in water for long, and ensure you empty the tray. Make sure your pot has drainage holes, they do not hold on to the water for long. At the same time, do not let the topsoil be dry entirely.

Change the soil of the succulent if you suspect any rotting of the roots. It will help save your plant.

Fill the container with new soil and remove the old one entirely. After completing the process, ensure you don’t damage the roots and fill the soil mix with moist sphagnum.

Cutting and Maintaining mistletoe succulents

The mistletoe succulents do not require a lot of maintenance. Yet, if the stems start to grow extra-long, you can trim them to make the plant look neater in appearance.

Maintaining Mistletoe succulents

You can also propagate the plant with the help of mature cuttings. Take a piece of the stem and allow callousing and dry before you plant it again. After this, you will be able to re-pot it in a new container and expand your garden exponentially.

Pests and Infestation in mistletoe succulents

There can be some pests that can infect your mistletoe succulents. They are prone to mealybugs and scale insects. However, it is simple to get rid of them.

They appear the white residues and bumps on the leaves and stems of your succulent. You must immediately get rid of them with a cloth and wipe off the area with rubbing alcohol to avoid future infestation.

Spider mites might also infect your mistletoe, and it is not easy to recognize them at first. However, they become evident and show noticeable symptoms after their attack. You can use herbal ways like neem oil or spray pesticides to get rid of these mites.

Common problems with Mistletoe succulents

Dropping stems

If mistletoe succulents are losing stems, then you are probably overwatering your plant. Cut down on the moisture and only water it once the soil dries out completely. Also, check if your container and the soil mix in it are well-draining.

Black and mushy stems

It is also a sign of overwatering your succulent. If the roots of your mistletoe succulents remain in the water for a long, then it can cause root rot. To prevent this, try to water it adequately, and if your plant has rotting, then prune the roots and re-pot your succulent to save it.

Mistletoe succulents turning red

When mistletoe succulents turn red, it is the sign that they are suffering from sunburn. If your plant stays in intense sun for too long, this can cause redness and dry leaves. Ensure to keep your plant in shade regions as mistletoe flourishes only in such weather conditions.

Puckering of stems

It is a sign of underwatering your plant. Often gardeners tend to water the plant less to save their succulents from overwatering. If you notice dry and lifeless stems, then you need to water your plant enough. Avoid these simple mistakes to keep your garden happy and thriving.

You must now have a clear understanding of the mistletoe genus and how the plant grows. Now, with this knowledge, you can find your mistletoe succulents and plant it successfully in your garden to make it look more attractive. Take care of your garden with confidence and assurance with the help of these tips.

Mistletoe succulents in a vase

If you want more knowledge about mistletoe succulents, you can check the other blogs for a broader perspective and happy gardening!