Selenicereus anthonyanus (Ric Rac Orchid Cactus, Fish Bone Cactus, Zig-Zag Cactus, sometimes called Disocactus) is a branched evergreen cactus. It is an easily cultivated, fast growing epiphyte, which originates in the rainforests of Chiapas, Mexico and seems to be of rare occurrence in the wild. Fish Bone Cactus is grown as an ornamental because of its beautiful nocturnal flowers and unusual stems, that resemble a fish skeleton. This is an isolated species with no close allies.
Ric Rac Orchid Cactus needs a compost containing plenty of humus and sufficient moisture in summer.
Flowers only open for one night and are very fragrant, as to attract nocturnal pollinators.
Fish Bone Cactus looks great in a hanging basket or on a ledge if it is allowed to trail over the edge. If you want it upright you will need to stake it.
You can buy Fishbone Cactus (Selenicereus anthonyanus, Ric Rac Orchid Cactus, St. Anthony’s Rick-Rack, Fish Bone Cactus, Zig-Zag Cactus) here:
Common names: Ric Rac Orchid Cactus, Fishbone Cactus, St. Anthony’s Rick-Rack, Fish Bone Cactus, Zig-Zag Cactus
Synonyms: Cryptocereus anthonyanus
Native: Southern Mexico
Plant type: Succulents, Cactus, Epiphytes
Hardiness: USDA zone 10a – 11
Light: Sun, Partial Shade
Soil: Mildly acidic, Neutral, Mildly alkaline. Well-Drained
Moisture: Need slightly more water than most other cacti, should usually be kept moist during the growing season. During winter, keep the soil a little dryer.
Flowering period: Spring, Early Summer
Flower Color: Pink, Red, White, Off White
Repeat Bloomer: No
Height: 46 – 76 cm (18 – 30 in)
Spread: 13 – 46 cm (5 – 18 in)
Time to plant: Spring
• From stem cuttings. Allow cut surface to callous over before planting. You can break off a piece and sick it in the ground. Or, you can beak off a piece, put it in water for a week or so and it grows roots. Cuttings can take up to a month or more to root, and even longer after that to throw new growths.
• By dividing the rootball.
Uses: Ornamental, Container, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical
Fertilizer: A liquid fertilizer like the ones used for orchids. Do not over fertilize.
Has Thorns: Plant has spines or sharp edges (the ovarium below is quite spiny. The rest of the plant doesn´t have spines at all). Be careful when handling. Use gloves.
Toxity: Tell us if you know
• Better to keep the plant above 40°F (+4°C).
• Trimming occasionally will be necessary because some leaves will get quite long.
• Use gloves when handling this houseplant. Ric-rac is still a cactus and its thorns despite being small and almost invisible, can hurt the skin.
• It needs a solid, organic support, like bark bits or fiber, to stabilish itself.
• Prefers smaller baskets with a very porous soil.
• Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding.
• They bloom heavily if they are exposed to no artificial daylight after dark. If kept indoors or too close to a porch light, they won’t flower.
• If the roots have become black or soft, the cactus could be experiencing root rot. Cut away the affected parts and replant.
Cover photo by cristoalmeria.com
Do you grow Selenicereus anthonyanus (Ric Rac Orchid Cactus) in your garden? What is your experience with this plant? Please share with other fellow gardeners in the comments below!
Do you sell Selenicereus anthonyanus (Ric Rac Orchid Cactus) seeds or have plants for sale? You can place your advertisement here. Contact us now!
Safety notes: This website is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice, and please check with your doctor before using plants if you are pregnant, using medications or have other health conditions.
Buy gardening gloves online to protect your hands: