Trailing cacti can introduce unique jungle vibes into your home without adding loads to your to-do list.
Cacti l tend to be super easy to care for as long as you get the conditions right, and while there are many exciting genera to choose from, Rhipsalis should be up there on your must-grow list.
All plants belonging to the Rhipsalis genus are epiphytes, and the foliage that tumbles over the containers makes an instant focal point in any room.
In the right conditions, these unique plants will produce delicate white flowers, which can sometimes be followed by striking red berries.
Rhipsalis plants, although they are cacti, are not from the desert like you would expect. Instead, you can find them in the tropical rainforests of South and Central America, dotted around the islands of the Caribbean, as well as parts of Asia and Africa.
Hanging plants can be a little fussy to care for, but Rhipsalis plants are one of the easiest epiphytic trailers you can grow and happen to look gorgeous, too.
Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful Rhipsalis varieties you can grow.
21 Beautiful Rhipsalis Varieties You Should Grow
1. Rhipsalis agudoensis
Rhipsalis agudoensis has a very architectural look, with stems that branch outward as they trail, making a beautiful statement in any room.
This plant is more fascinating the closer you get to it, thanks to the triangular shape of the stems, the different directions they grow in, and how they are red when juvenile, and mature into a bright green.
Rhipsalis agudoensis is also grown for its ivory flowers, which are faintly perfumed, and will grow pink fruit once the flowers are finished.
2. Rhipsalis baccifera
Perhaps one of the most widely grown varieties of the Rhipsalis genus is Rhipsalis baccifera, also known as the Mistletoe Cactus.
It’s not difficult to see why, as it has strikingly narrow stems that trail perfectly from the pot, and in the right conditions, it will produce brilliant white ball-shaped flowers that look like mistletoe berries.
In its natural habitat, the stems of this plant can reach 30 feet long, but you won’t see anything near this indoors. More likely, they will reach about 2 feet long, but it may be more or less depending on the conditions you give this plant.
3. Rhipsalis burchellii
If you like the look of Rhipsalis baccifera, but you feel something is missing, Rhipsalis burchellii might be the one for you.
Rhipsalis burchellii looks a little similar to Rhipsalis baccifera in terms of stem shape, but with a noticeable difference.
In direct sunlight, Rhipsalis burchellii takes on striking pink shades instead of green, and the plant is also covered in small hairs, making for a unique look in any room.
This plant also produces delicate-looking white flowers, which are then followed by pink berries.
4. Rhipsalis campos-portoana
Maybe you’re not a fan of ball-shaped flowers, in which case, Rhipsalis campos-portoana is the plant for you.
It features unique, pendant bell-shaped flowers in shades of ivory, and these contrast well against the narrow, bright green stems.
This plant is sure to steal the show in any room, as long as you give it plenty of light so that it can produce as many flowers as possible.
5. Rhipsalis cereoides
Unlike most plants on this list which happen to be epiphytes, Rhipsalis cereoides is a lithophyte, growing on rocks in areas of Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro.
Rhipsalis cereoides has thick stems, sometimes triangular, sometimes even quadrangular, looking more like what you would expect of a trailing cactus.
This plant features bright green stems accented with hints of red at each joint and will produce white flowers and pink berries in the right conditions.
6. Rhipsalis cereuscula
Rhipsalis cereuscula is a beautiful and unusual variety, instantly recognizable for its shrub-like look, pendant stems, and rice-shaped joints!
To some people, it looks like rice, and to others, it looks like corals, hence the two common names: Coral Cactus, and Rice Cactus.
With enough time, this plant will transform. The stems will get smoother and will spread to grow much thicker.
7. Rhipsalis clavata
Rhipsalis clavata is a fabulous plant that looks like it should live in the ocean. It features bright green trailing stems which are tubular, tumbling elegantly from the container in clusters.
This plant also produces whimsical-looking white flowers, and unlike most of the species on this list, the flowers will appear at random throughout the year.
This particular species comes from Brazil, and you may also see it sold under the name Sausage Chain Cactus, referring to the shape of the stems.
8. Rhipsalis cruciformis
Hailing from areas in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, Rhipsalis cruciformis is a gorgeous plant that boasts stems that look like twisted ribbons.
As beautiful as it is, you’ll want to keep the segmented stems well out of the way, as like all plants from the genus, it is toxic to both humans and animals.
Unlike some trailing cacti, it doesn’t have spines. Instead, it forms white hairs along the areolas, contrasting well against the bright green stems.
Give this plant the right conditions, and you’ll notice white flowers with hints of red, which are then replaced by bright red fruits.
9. Rhipsalis elliptica
For an ever-changing appearance, Rhipsalis elliptica is a good choice.
Not only does it feature uniquely shaped stems with an eye-catching scalloped edge, but they transform from bright green to a rich bronze in direct sunlight.
In the depths of winter and the first few weeks of spring when we could do with some color, this plant delivers, producing cheery off-white flowers.
10. Rhipsalis goebeliana
If you prefer trailing cacti with flat stems but irregular, wavy edges, Rhipsalis goebeliana might be the perfect plant for you.
Depending on how much light you give this plant and how old each stem is, the color can vary from a rich emerald green to a luxurious olive.
11. Rhipsalis grandiflora
Found in Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina in Brazil, Rhipsalis grandiflora features short and round stems, accented with red-bordered areoles, which can burst into color with greenish-white flowers multiple times a year.
This is one of the most prolifically flowering types of Rhipsalis, but it is worth knowing that it is also one of the slowest-growing species.
12. Rhipsalis houlletiana
Rhipsalis houlletiana has almost feather-shaped stems which trail elegantly from the pot.
It really comes into its own when it comes, as the bell-shaped blooms emerge perfectly from each curved edge of the stems.
13. Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides
If you like the look of a burro’s tail houseplant, but want something a little wilder, Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides is perfect for this.
This plant features robust stems and short, thick leaves like that of a burro’s tail, except they are longer and the stems branch out at more distinctive angles.
Like many plants in the Rhipsalis genus, Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides comes from Brazil. It can be found naturally in regions where altitudes are about 2000 feet above sea level.
When this plant is given the right conditions, it can bloom in shades of white and pink, only adding to this plant’s beauty.
14. Rhipsalis oblonga
Rhipsalis oblonga is a beautiful plant, but it is a little fussier than some on this list. It comes from the most humid regions of Brazil, so naturally, it needs at least moderate humidity to thrive.
If you can manage that, the beautiful plant can reach just under 3 meters long, with nearly flat stems with serrated edges.
It’s worth keeping this plant away from pets and children, as with all Rhipsalis species, as any part of the plant is toxic, including the whitish-pink fruits that can form when the flowers are finished.
15. Rhipsalis pachyptera
With spineless flat and wide stems, this is a lovely variety that can reach nearly 2 meters long.
It doesn’t always trail, as it can feature some semi erect stems as well as pendant ones, but it is a gorgeous variety worthy of any houseplant collection.
The color of the stems can vary depending on the light levels, from bright green to emerald, taking on a red hue when the plant soaks up some direct sunlight.
Creamy white flowers appear on the edges of the stems, making for a fantastic display in any room.
16. Rhipsalis paradoxa
Sometimes known as the Chain cactus for its beautiful trailing stems, this plant features serrated edges on the flat stems and looks stunning.
It comes into its own when the plant blooms during the last few weeks of winter, into early spring, with fabulous bell-shaped flowers in white.
17. Rhipsalis pentaptera
Rhipsalis pentaptera comes from the South Eastern regions of Brazil, and only in the low-altitude areas.
This is a fabulous plant with wood-like stems, which tend to grow at about 6 different angles, giving the plant a uniquely dramatic look.
The star of this plant is the dainty white flowers, which usually appear in spring, followed by fruits.
18. Rhipsalis pilocarpa
Rhipsalis pilocarpa is an unusual plant that produces round stems that look like they should belong on a conifer, not a cactus!
The stems are covered in silvery hairs and can reach just shy of 50cm long when mature.
It produces white and pink flowers in spring and summer, which form at the ends of the stems.
You may also see this plant labeled as the Hairy Stemmed Cactus, or the Hairy-Fruited Wickerware Cactus, as the red fruit also have a strange, hairy look to them!
19. Rhipsalis platycarpa
If you prefer your trailing plants to have stems that look a little like flowers, Rhipsalis platycarpa is the perfect species.
It features arching, rounded stems with scalloped edges, with a branching habit. In the right light, the foliage can range from deep green, to light green, with pink and red tones, especially at the edges.
Each stem can reach about 80cm in length, and while this plant does trail, it doesn’t have a pendulous habit. Instead, it’s a semi-trailing variety, which only adds to the plant’s beauty.
20. Rhipsalis rhombea
Rhipsalis rhombea comes from the tropical rainforests of Brazil, and similarly to Rhipsalis platycarpa, this plant features wavy stems with scalloped edges.
In the right light, the plant takes on a copper hue, complimenting the baby yellow flowers which form along the edges of the stems.
21. Rhipsalis teres
Rhipsalis teres will stand out among any houseplant collection. It features long cylindrical stems that branch out, and will also produce white flowers at the joints of the stems.
Rhipsalis plants are among the most beautiful trailing and semi-trailing plants you can grow.
As long as you match the growing conditions in your home to that of a suitable species, these plants are very easy to grow and look much more complicated to care for than they are.