** RHIPSALIS **

** PLANTS THAT ARE **

** PLEASANT TO GROW **

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CHAPTER 2

The Rhipsalis cultivation.

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Minimum temperatures


The vast majority of Rhipsalis are easy to cultivate. They can be grown in verandas or cold greenhouses at temperatures as low as 10°C. But, and this is the good news, they will be perfectly comfortable with minimum temperatures of around 16°C, which are close to those of their original biotopes. And this opens up opportunities that we will see.


The substrate


Rhipsalis like to be grown in suspension, in humiferous, acidic and well-drained substrate. Personally, I use an equal mixture of horticultural soil, heather ground and perlite. All these ingredients are easily available in garden centres.


In addition, from spring to autumn, your Rhipsalis will appreciate some fertilizer. Personally, I use a geranium fertilizer with the formula: N-P-K = 4-6-8 + trace elements. But don't overuse fertilizers, it can weaken plants.


Where to put the plants.


Let's come to the place where you will place your plants.

In summer, they will be in perfect condition, hanging from the branches of a tree. The tree will provide them with a dimmed light. Rhipsalis do not like too much sun and excessive heat. A maximum between 20 and 25°C is ideal. If you do not have a garden, the tree can be replaced by a clothes line, possibly covered with a light shade sail. This will avoid any heat reflected from the walls, which could burn the plants.

As soon as the outside temperatures fall below about 8°C, you will transport your Rhipsalis to their winter quarters: your veranda, your cold greenhouse, your balcony, or the inside of your apartment, near a bright window protected by a curtain of direct sunlight.


Waterings


They should be made preferably with rainwater (non-calcareous water). Their periodicity depends on the growing conditions:


In summer, you can water abundantly by letting it dry between two waterings. A frequency of once or twice a week is likely. The rain may do the work for you.


Once the plants are back, from autumn to spring, moderate watering every 3 weeks is sufficient in a veranda or cold greenhouse (climate of northern France). However, inside your apartment, you will need to water more often, allowing the substrate to dry well between waterings. If the atmosphere of your apartment is dry, Rhipsalis will appreciate light sprays on their aerial parts.


And even if you get few flowers, you will still have a very decorative vegetation.
          

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