Fishbone Cactus: Your Complete Indoor Guide

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In recent years, the use of plants and flowers is known for being an outstanding way to transform, soften and lighten an environment. The fishbone cactus is an excellent example of this sort of plant, and it’s now popular in many homes. But you might wonder what these plants are and how do they help beautify your home? This article will provide detailed information and guidance on the fishbone cactus.

Fishbone Cactus Origin

Known for its many names like the zig-zag plant and the ric-rac cactus, the fishbone cactus is a flowering cactus native to Southern Mexico. The name fishbone cactus comes from its trademark leaves that bear a resemblance to a fishbone skeleton. It is a unique-looking and low-maintenance plant that is perfect for those without green thumbs.

Fishbone cacti only need to repot them every one or two years, making it an elementary plant to maintain. The plant is a quick-growing cactus that requires bright indirect sunlight, moderate amounts of water, and above-average humidity levels to grow as well. Other plants in the cactus family prefer drier soil. However, the fishbone depends on moist soil to thrive. Since it is from the rainforests of Southern Mexico, it desires plenty of water.

Benefits of an Indoor Plant

Indoor plants come in all different shapes and sizes and have many various benefits. Plants like the watermelon peperomia are small enough to sit on your bedside table. Other plants like the umbrella plant can grow as tall as 10 feet. You will want to consider the size of your home and where to put your indoor plant before deciding on the plant to buy.

Having an indoor plant can improve your quality of life with its many health benefits. Most indoor plants, such as rosemary, aid with digestive issues, stress, and anxiety relief. Fragrant plants like jasmine and lavender help with the sleep process. Plants are aesthetically pleasing. A plant like a fishbone cactus, with its long and beautiful leaves, would look amazing hanging from a ceiling in a home.

Benefits of Fishbone Cactus

The fishbone cactus is not a small or compact plant but, it still makes for a great indoor plant. The fishbone cactus requires very low maintenance, low cost, and does not need much attention aside from primary care. This plant does well in softer lighting, making it perfect for staying indoors where there is low contact with sunlight.

If you have curious pets or little ones, this is also a great choice for a plant since it is non-toxic. Many plants have a toxic sap in their leaves that can be very dangerous if consumed by a pet or a child. Luckily the fishbone cactus is one of the few that can live harmoniously with curious creatures.

Like most plants, the fishbone cactus can eliminate harmful irritants in the air. Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which is what humans need to breathe. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) showed that having a household plant can remove up to 87 percent of toxins in the air in one day. Green pants are also known to have many health benefits if consumed.

Fishbone cactus leaves are rich green in color, which brings a feeling of relaxation and peace to the environment. Green is a very pleasing color to the eye and the soul; this is why it is one of the most popular choices for wall paint.

Caring for Fishbone Cactus

It might look like a complicated plant, but the fishbone cactus is a straightforward indoor plant to maintain and cherish.


Unlike other cacti, the fishbone cactus does indeed need water. Before watering your fishbone cactus, check the top inch of the soil to see if it is dry. If it is still moist, leave the plant and check on it in a few days. If the soil is dry, then you may water the plant. During the summer months, you will want to make sure you add a bit more water into the fishbones cactus’s diet. Be careful because you do not want to overwater the fishbone cactus, as it is one of the number one issues with this plant.


Fishbone cactus is native to the rainforests of Southern Mexico, so they are used to growing under the thick foliage of the jungle. They grow under a layer of trees with only the occasional rays of light peeking in. The fishbone plant needs bright but indirect sunlight to ensure growth. Getting the right amount of sun is critical in producing beautiful flower blooms. The best way to ensure your fishbone cactus will bloom flowers is to ensure it gets a lot of sunlight during the summer, especially early October. This process will increase your chances of growing flowers from your cactus plant.

Temperature and Humidity

The temperature of the rainforests in southern Mexico is scorching and very humid. That is why the fishbone cactus will do best in a humid environment. However, they adapt well to an average room temperature and humidity environment. If you are still concerned that your fishbone cactus isn’t getting enough sunlight, add a humidifier to your room to aid the growth process. Keep this plant away from colder parts of the home like, near the windowsills or doors.

Common Fishbone Cactus Issues

Though the fishbone cactus is a great indoor plant, it has its fair share of problems that you need to be aware of before bringing it into your home.

Too Much Sunlight

If you happen to notice the leaves of your fishbone cactus look burnt on the ends, that means that your plant is getting too much sunlight. Once leaves are damaged from the sun, they will never return to their original color. You will have to cut off the burnt leaves and move the plant to a place that has limited direct contact with sunlight.

Watering Issues

If the leaves become discolored, lumpy, and hard to the touch, that means your fishbone cactus lacks water. Increase the water supply to solve this problem. Do not overflow the pot, even if the plant is dry. A little water at a time until the root absorbs it is the best way to water your plant.

Your fishbone cactus must be in a pot with proper drainage. Sometimes the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot can get blocked. If this happens, all you must do is unclog them to allow for proper drainage.

If you happen to over saturate your fishbone cactus with water, the leaves will begin to look heavy and limp. Move the fishbone cactus back into a brighter area. This way, the sun will absorb the excess water. If your plant is too saturated, it may be best to go ahead and repot in fresh soil and start fresh.


Mealybugs are tiny, annoying little pests that can infiltrate your fishbone cactus.  Mealybugs bugs look like waxy, cotton buds forming on the leaves of your plant. The best way to protect your fishbone cactus from mealybug is to wash the long, unique leaves with rubbing alcohol and soap.

Fishbone Cactus – The Wrap-up

The fishbone cactus plant can survive in low light but requires bright indirect sunlight to bloom. Not only is this plant easy to care for, but it is also easy to propagate, allowing you to share its beauty among others with ease. Fishbone cactus is one of the best plants to have. It’s easy to care for and having it in your garden will add unique character to your home décor.


The best time to plant a fishbone cactus is in spring or late summer because cooler temperatures favor quicker root growth and establishment. Avoid propagating your fishbone cactus in the wintertime because plants aren’t doing well in the growth department during this period, and they will produce uneven leaves.

The fishbone cactus is non-toxic to animals, so you can rest assured that your furry family members will be safe with these home additions.

To achieve a flourishing and happy cactus, the fishbone cactus must receive enough supply of light throughout the year. This means it should receive a lot of indirect and bright lights.

If you notice that the top two inches of the soil are dry, it is time to water the fishbone cactus. Once a week is the best way to water the plant. However, this depends on the climate. Increase the water input when the weather gets more heated and make sure that its soil remains moist.

For a fishbone cactus to thrive, it’s best to place it in a location with high humidity, indirect yet bright sunlight. For example, a balcony or room with a sunny window is a good location. However, these plants can live in an office space with low lighting. If in low light, do not expect blooms; just enjoy their green foliage.

Published at Fri, 07 Jan 2022 07:39:24 -0800

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