Houseplant of the Week: Ric Rac Cactus

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Ric Rac cactus

In the rainf‌orest, the Ric Rac Cactus lives on tree trunks as an epiphyte, its dramatic serrated leaves cascading down. But much like bromeliads, orchids and air plants that hail from the tropics, it’s possible to successfully cultivate a Ric Rac Cactus in your home.

The name comes from the zig zag decorative trim that you often see on curtains and clothing. In fact one of the other popular names for this plant is the “zig zag cactus” and also the “fishbone cactus.”

Because its distinctive leaves cascade beautifully, this plant looks fabulous in a hanging basket. 

Caring for your Ric Rac Cactus
Your Ric Rac needs porous soil. Warner’s has a mix designated for cacti that you can purchase, or make your own with a mix of three parts potting soil to one part pumice.

This cactus loves a warm spot, but protect it from direct sun rays which can burn the beautiful leaves. 

Because it is a tropical plant, the Ric Rac likes a little more humidity than your typical cactus. It should grow in average household conditions. It can tolerate drought, but to keep your Ric Rac in tip top shape, make sure it gets a drink when the top inch of soil dries out.

Give it some food once a week during the spring and summer growing months and then cut back during the winter. A liquid fertilizer similar to one for orchids works well. 

If the leaves get very long, you might want to give your Ric Rac a trim, but be careful! This is a cactus and it has some small (but sharp) thorns.