How to Care for Red Mistletoe Cactus?

How to Care for Red Mistletoe Cactus?

This tropical cactus, of course, was called “Red mistletoe in Central and South America, where it grows. This cactus is an epiphyte and a lithophyte at the same time – it can grow both on trunks and branches of trees, and on a litter of rotted plant residues in crevices of stones and rocks.

It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries – natives make an infusion or extract from parts of this plant to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, as well as coughs, and asthma.

Unpretentious and long domesticated, this cactus, which can be found under the names Pseudorhipsalis ramulose = Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa, is characterized by the appearance of ribbon-like, flat shoots that turn pink in the sun and stunning white fruit. Its flowers are subtle white flowers.

For examples, I will give some more synonyms, under which this cactus is met:

  • Cereus ramulosus (basionym),
  • Disocactus ramulosus,
  • Disocactus ramulosus var. ramosissima,
  • Epiphyllum ciliare,
  • Epiphyllum ciliatum,
  • Epiphyllum ramulosum,
  • Hariota coriacea,
  • Hariota ramulosa,
  • Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa f. ramulosa,
  • Rhipsalis angustissima, Rhipsalis coriacea,
  • Rhipsalis leiophloea,
  • Rhipsalis purpusii,
  • Rhipsalis ramosissima,
  • Rhipsalis ramulosa.

What Is Red Mistletoe?


Red mistletoe color is of European origin but is also found in certain areas in Asia. It is a tree such as oak and oak.

The plant is used in Europe Europe, the Viscum Album plant is often used for Christmas. within the United States, it is the Phoradendron Senotium species. The legend of the kiss that occurs beneath this plant is extremely well-known. This plant is very showy because of its color and is therefore used for decorative purposes.

Red mistletoe is a proper plant for Christmas celebrations because it helps with decoration. It is associated with good luck and is placed on the doorstep of houses.

What is it

With the mistletoe, it is possible to make corsages or even a crown. It is available from florists or any other place they sell Christmas decorations.

It is an herb that can be grown in pots. It is essential to supply regular water. It could be put close to a window, so it gets sufficient sunlight. Remember that the sun doesn’t strike it directly. It can withstand the cold very well.

It is a plant that feeds off another, that is, it draws the nutrients of a tree and, as such when it is placed in pots it is essential to supply it with required food within the substrate.

When it is in the yard, it could be cultivated with only the maintenance of fertilizing it and trimming certain branches to stop the tree in which it is planted from becoming weaker.

Characteristics of Red Mistletoe

  1. It is believed that red mistletoe reproduces through seeds, which are sticky, and are carried by birds to different trees by their beaks and feathers. This is where the process of germination begins.
  2. Because mistletoe’s berries contain Visco toxin, they are not recommended to eat the berries as it could cause harm.
  3. The mistletoe’s berries and its leaves also serve as sources of food for some mammal species who live in the forest.
  4. This is one of the plants which is rich in protein, and therefore, it is a vital component in the diet of animals particularly in the autumn and winter, when there aren’t many plants.
  5. It is a normal plant to grow in deciduous trees, and for this reason, when it crosses other trees, it could be a part of them since it weakens them. This is the reason in some regions it is called the plague.
  6. It is a popular plant during Christmas due to the custom of kisses. It is believed that the woman who gets kissed by the tree on Christmas Eve will either to meet someone new or will continue to have the relationship she had previously. It’s also a way to guarantee your longevity of the relationship .
  7. The home of red mistletoe are woodland trees that are more woody.
  8. This plant is part of the Santalaceae family. .
  9. The branches are small and form a fork, giving it a round shape. This is why it’s called mistletoe ball. mistletoe balls with green coloring and the fruit contain red ball .
  10. It is also called a parasitic plant called juniper mistletoe.
  11. The tree can grow to reach 10 meters in height and 4 meters in width.
  12. They are smooth, simple alternate and oval . Dark-colored with sharp edges.
  13. Flowers of the species are approximately 8 to 9 millimeters. They can be found solitary or in clusters situated in the axils of the leaves.
  14. It is a beautiful plant with appealing bright red fruit which measure around a centimeter in diameter. They are lush and leafy.
  15. The plant is an annual that could also be multiplied through the use of segments. These are best planted in the spring or in the autumn.
  16. It is attracted to deep, well-drained soils and humus can be beneficial to it.
  17. It is very adept at pruning and can be used to form hedges.
  18. In colder weather, it must be planted in areas that receive the sun for a good portion during the day. In hot areas, it is advised for it to be planted in semi-shade.
  19. It is a plant that is often requested for your garden where you desire the appearance of light and color.
  20. The bark initially appears greenish, but with time, it changes to dark gray.
  21. Mistletoe can help relieve pain from sciatica. It improves circulation. It is also employed as a treatment to treat skin styes and acne.
  22. Reduces the discomfort due to kidney stones.
  23. Helps to control blood pressure.
  24. Improvement of foot pain.
  25. Every year, two leaves grow from a mistletoe branche, which is why you can determine the age of the plant by examining the nodes on the branches with the longest length.
  26. It is a tree that does not have roots.
  27. If a mistletoe clump is cut away from its base, it is likely that it will grow again.

Condition Requirement

Water and Hardiness

Red mistletoe cactus only grows in some tropical places with very hot weather. The plant looks red and is called “Red Coral”. The best temperature for it to grow is between 20 and 35 degrees Celsius (72 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit). It will start to get sick if the temperature is too low or too high.


The red mistletoe cactus needs a lot of suns to grow. Put the cactus outside in the sun, but not in the shade where there’s not enough sun.

The red cactus plant needs a lot of light and hot weather. It can grow on the patio or in a garden, but it must be protected from the sun in hot weather.


You can grow red cactus best in soil that is rich and has small holes for air. You mix 60 percent vermiculite, 20 percent coco coir, or peat moss, and 20 percent of a mixture of sand and dirt. You can also add some soil to help it hold more water. You can also add the eggshell powder to make plants grow faster.

Red Mistletoe cactus is a happy plant if you keep it well-watered and feed it a certain way.

This red cactus needs well-drained soil that is acidic. The red cactus grows best in a light soil that is rich in water and contains small pieces of stone.

 Repot and loosen the soil every year to ensure the air permeability of the soil.

Care Guide


Red mistletoe cactus ‘Red Coral’ likes a full-sun area with loose soil. It’s not picky about the soil type, so if you’re planting in a shady area, it’s fine to amend the soil using organic matter like compost or worm castings.

If you’re starting from seed, remove the seeds from their packages and place them on top of the soil. Lightly mist them with water until they swell slightly.

Cover them with a thin layer of pebbles or vermiculite to keep moisture in the soil, then cover the whole pot with plastic film to hold in humidity. Remove it when the seeds have germinated; this usually takes anywhere from two days to a week depending on temperature.

In general, mistletoe cacti prefer temperatures between 15-20 degrees Celsius; they’ll germinate faster if temperatures are higher and grow faster at temperatures between 20-25 degrees Celsius.

When planting potted plants, use clay pots if possible; plastic pots are too porous and allow too much evaporation.
The space between the pot and its drainage hole needs to be sealed off to prevent water loss through evaporation when watering.


Red mistletoe cactus ‘Red Coral’ is a drought-tolerant plant that does not require frequent watering. Water thoroughly when the soil is completely dry. When potted, water slowly, wait for water to flow out the bottom, and then pour the excess water from the tray to avoid water accumulation.

Mistletoe cacti appreciate warmth and full sun, but can take some shade in summer. Before using them as houseplants, acclimate the plants to lower light levels by placing them outside in a sunny spot for a few weeks before moving them inside permanently.

Mistletoe cacti are slow-growing and long-lived plants; they will reward their owners with their dependability and beauty for many years.

Tap water contains a lot of calcium, magnesium, and other mineral salts. Long-term use tends to cause soil compaction. Avoid splashing water on its stem when watering to prevent rotting.


Many succulents, including the Red Mistletoe Cactus (RMC), do not require fertilizer or soil amendments, but some have been known to grow better when fertilized. The RMC is a seasonal bloomer, and it blooms best when fertilized in spring and fall. When fertilizing RMC, use liquid fertilizer throughout its growing season (spring to fall) at a rate of once a month. If your RMC is kept outside during the summer months, apply fertilizer once every two months. No fertilizer is needed during winter months.

The best time to fertilize your RMC is in spring or fall when the temperature is cooler than 60 degrees Fahrenheit and after it has been watered. The fertilizer should be diluted before application according to instructions on the label. The fertilizer should be applied directly to the soil; do not spray on top of the plant’s leaves or stem.

A slow-release fertilizer can be mixed into the soil when repotting in spring or fall as well. This type of fertilizer should only be placed directly into the soil without dilution and during cooler weather for faster uptake by plants.


Red mistletoe cactus ‘Red Coral’ does not require much pruning. Remove withered flowers and branches so the plant uses nutrients on healthy growth.


Red mistletoe cactus is a tropical plant that produces fruits that are edible, with a flavor like the berries from a holly plant.

In its native Mexico and Central America, people use it to make beverages and desserts.

The fruit’s English name “red coral” came from its resemblance to the red coral of sea sponges.

In Mexico, red fruit is used as an ingredient for sweets such as juices and ice cream. The fruit’s juices are also used as a natural dye for clothes.

What Is Red Mistletoe and Its Benefits?

This is an erect tree that grows in the branches of various trees, including poplar or apple trees, and is distinguished by its long branches as well as a tiny fruit in its berry.

Since the beginning of time mistletoe has been associated with various properties and benefits:

  • It’s been employed to treat various pains like sciatica. It is also used as a treatment for rheumatic pain.
  • Controls the heartbeat.
  • Reduces the symptoms of fever.
  • It can be used as an effective treatment for gallstones as well as renal colic.
  • Avoid liquid retention.
  • This is an antispasmodic natural that aids in the treatment of various respiratory illnesses and asthma.
  • Many people are using the treatment as an alternative option for cancer (alternative oncology).
  • Lowers blood pressure levels.



  • The Scandinavian people, considered it an important and sacred plant because it is in full bloom all year long.
  • In the Middle Ages, it is thought to possess impressive Aphrodisiac qualities and that’s why it was recommended for women wanting to become pregnant.
  • The multiplication happens through birds, who create wings that are carved on branches, which causes their seeds to adhere to the feathers.
  • There are many reasons why Italians were the first to have connected these “powers” of this plant with the love. Therefore, it’s a tradition to allow couples to kiss beneath it.
  • The Scandinavians also serve as an image of peace. It is a way for combatants to declare a truce during the course of a battle or even celebrate their weddings.
  • In England, they hung it on the doors of their houses so that daughters who were not married could find an appropriate spouse.
  • The Druids claimed that mistletoe was a shield to protect their ancestors from lightning, diseases, and other evils.
  • Naturally, after cutting the mistletoe will not be able to touch the ground. If it did it could be lost in its magical powers.

According to the NASA Clean Air Study, the Rhipsalis would have depolluting properties, however, this probably interesting capacity in a hermetic space station has not proven its effectiveness in our interiors.

  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Type: indoor plant
  • Origin: South and Central America, Africa
  • Color: white flowers
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: yes
  • Planting: spring
  • Flowering: March to June
  • Height: 40 to 60 cm depending on the species

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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