You’ve probably heard of a Mistletoe cactus, a Zigzag cactus, or a Fishbone cactus - but widely this group of plants is known as ‘Jungle Cacti’. These are members of the family Cactaceae (cactus) and can be found growing ‘epiphytically’ aka in the canopy of trees.

Jungle Cacti are easy to care for; plus, they can have huge flowers, and some can produce fruit, like dragon fruit! This collection of plants includes hundreds of varieties of Rhipsalis, Epiphyllum, Lepismium, and lots more.

Rhipsalis Paradoxa

How much light do jungle cacti need?

The optimal lighting for your jungle cacti is a position where it receives bright ambient light, although they will tolerate medium light. A little morning or dappled direct sun will greatly boost growth. Direct afternoon sun is fine, but be careful during the peak of summer as this light can be too hot in some regions. Consider moving the plant or keeping the blinds drawn during this time.

When do I water my jungle cacti?

Jungle cacti definitely need more water than their desert-dwelling counterparts, but it’s still not a whole lot. During Winter, allow the soil to completely dry out before watering. During the warmer months allow about half the soil to be dry before watering again.

If this plant is in a lower light position you may need to water less often to avoid over-watering. Growing these in a bright position or in a sheltered outdoor space may require more regular watering, as rates of evapotranspiration will be higher. Evapotranspiration is the sum total of water lost via evaporation (from the soil) and transpiration (from the plant).

What pot size do jungle cacti need?

Most ‘indoor plants’ are epiphytic when growing in the wild. This means they grow directly on the side of a tree with very little soil. Due to this adaptation these plants prefer to live in a relatively small pot. A pot that is roughly one litre in volume could potentially grow a jungle cactus that is a few meters long.

What is the best soil for jungle cacti?

A well draining soil like a cacti mix is a great place to start. If you already have some potting mix you can try adding perlite, gravel, or chunky orchid bark to increase the drainage and make something very similar to the cacti mix.

What is the best temperature for jungle cacti?

Jungle cacti are happy to be grown indoors or outside as they have a broad tolerance of temperatures. If kept outdoors, be careful of frost in Winter and direct afternoon sun in Summer.

Do jungle cacti need high humidity?

Most common jungle cacti are totally happy with the natural humidity found in most households. Anything above 50% is great! Very high humidity can cause them to grow a large amount of aerial roots.

How do I propagate my jungle cactus?

Most members of the cactus family are easily propagated by cutting. Allow any cut pieces to dry for a week before shallowly planting in a well draining soil, or allowing to root in water.

Are jungle cacti safe for my cat or dog?

Most jungle cacti are non-toxic.

Keep in mind that plants such as String of Pearls are toxic and are not a member of this family even though they may look similar to some Jungle Cacti species.

Lepismium cruciforme

Greener House Nursery is an Indoor Plant Nursery located at 95 Sydney Road, Brunswick, in Melbourne, Australia. We have the specialised knowledge to make sure you get the right house plants, pots, and accessories for your home. Weather you're looking for low-light, low-maintenance, pet friendly, hanging, or air purifying plants, we've got you covered.