This orchid cactus relative has serrated leaves that resemble fish bones.
The Ric-Rac cactus is one of the easiest plants to grow in hanging baskets. Like many shade loving cactus, the ric-rac prefers smaller baskets with a very porous soil. As the plant grows and gets rootbound the plant can be repotted to a bigger basket. Cryptocereus will grow better in bright shade and can even handle a little bit of direct sun as long as it is not too hot. In nature ric-racs grow as Epiphytes (like orchids) forming dense clusters cascading down from the branches of trees. Like many orchids they can handle quite a bit of water, as long as the drainage is very good. For basket culture, it is better to allow the soil to dry out a little bit between waterings. During the winter, the soil should be kept a little dryer and fertilizer should be kept to a minimum. In old and rootbound plants, flowers may appear around March/April. At this time watering can be increased along with the fertilization. A liquid fertilizer like the ones used for orchids work very well. Cryptocereus are tropical forest cactus and even though they can withstand temperatures outside near freezing it is better to keep the plant above 40° F. They make a good indoor plant for homes in colder locations. Trimming occasionally will be necessary because some leaves will get quite long. Use gloves when doing this because the ric-rac is still a cactus and its thorns despite being small and almost invisible, can puncture the skin. Ric-racs are not a prolific bloomer, only a few flowers will appear on old and rootbound plants and it may take a few years before that happens, but on the other hand the leaves are very beautiful and unusual.
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