Basic Mistletoe Cactus Care
Although you might think they like dry, desert-like environments, Mistletoe Cacti are actually jungle cacti meaning they require warmth and high humidity to thrive. Below you will find all the information you need to properly care for your Mistletoe Cactus.
Bright Indirect Light
I love the sunshine but too much direct light will damage my leaves.
I don’t like my soil to be too dry or too soggy. Little and often is what I’m after.
I thrive in humid environments so please mist my leaves every so often.
I like a mix that includes peat moss and perlite as these prevent my roots from becoming water-logged.
Mistletoe Cacti love the sunshine
We recommend placing your Mistletoe Cactus in an area where it gets bright but filtered and direct light. A few hours of direct morning light wouldn’t harm your plant.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy
There is a bit of a balance to be struck in terms of watering your Mistletoe Cactus. They don’t like to fully dry out like other plants in the Cacti family but don’t like to be swimming in water either.
Average room temperature is fine
Although they prefer warmer temperatures, one great thing about the Mistletoe Cactus is that it will survive well in the average room temperature. They don’t like it if it gets too cold at night (below about 10-15 degrees C) so be wary of placing it in a cold room.
High humidity is vital when caring for a Mistletoe Cactus
One of the most important things to note when taking care of a Mistletoe Cactus is that it loves high humidity levels. They thrive in bathrooms and kitchens where the humidity is naturally higher. Alternatively, check out our guide to increasing the humidity for your houseplants for more tips.
Fertiliser isn't always a necessity
It is up to you whether or not you want to feed your Mistletoe Cactus. They will thrive without it but it can sometimes help to feed in Springtime to accelerate growth. Use a cactus specific fertiliser as this suits its needs better than regular feed.
Mistletoe Cacti are completely safe for pets
Another great thing about the Mistletoe Cactus is that it is completely safe and non-toxic for dogs, cats and children so you don’t need to worry about putting it out of reach.
Propagate your Mistletoe Cactus with stem cuttings
It really couldn’t be easier to propagate your Mistletoe Cactus as all you need to do is take a cutting off the plant, let the end callous out of water and soil for a few days before placing in a cactus soil mix.
You might also choose to propagate your Mistletoe Cactus through division of the mother plant. This propagation method works best if you have quite a full plant as it’ll allow you to create at least two if not more plants from your Mistletoe Cactus.
The benefit of the division method of propagation is that it has a higher success rate and gives you new plants straight away. However, there is something special about watching your Mistletoe Cactus cuttings grow and mature into a proper plant!
Mistletoe Cactus FAQs
Quick and simple answers to the most common questions we see about the Mistletoe Cactus .
Is the Mistletoe Cactus toxic?
You’ll be pleased to know that the Mistletoe Cactus is non-toxic and safe for pets and humans!
How quickly does the Mistletoe Cactus grow?
The Mistletoe Cactus is quite slow growing so some patience is required and you shouldn’t expect new leaves to come through all the time.
How much water does a Mistletoe Cactus need?
Mistletoe Cacti plants don’t like super dry soil like many other Cactus types but are also sensitive to overwatering and root rot so finding a good in-between is crucial.
Can the Mistletoe Cactus survive in low light?
One great thing about the Mistletoe Cactus is it can adapt to a range of light levels. Just be aware that you will often see slower and smaller growth in lower light areas though.
Common Problems with your Mistletoe Cactus
Here are some common issues that you might run into. It's important to diagnose any issues early to give your plant the best chance of bouncing back.
Why are the stems on my Mistletoe Cactus wilting?
Wilting Mistletoe Cactus stems are often a sign you are overwatering and the roots are starting to rot. Remove the damaged stems and replace the soil.
Why does my Mistletoe Cactus have black and mushy stems?
If you notice black and mushy stems on your Mistletoe Cactus, you have probably overwatered your plant. We recommend replacing the soil if it is still soggy and trimming off the black mushy stems.
Why is my Mistletoe Cactus dropping stems?
If your Mistletoe Cactus is losing stems, this is a sign of overwatering. Although they like to have moist soil, Mistletoe Cactus don’t like to be sitting in too much water. Replace the soil and cut back on your watering.
Why are there white masses on my Mistletoe Cactus?
If you notice white cotton-like masses on your Mistletoe Cactus it unfortunately means it is infected with mealybugs. This can be treated using a neem or insecticide product. Keep your infected Mistletoe Cactus away from other plants to prevent the infestation from spreading.
Why is my Mistletoe Cactus turning red?
Red stems on a Mistletoe Cactus are an indicator that the plant is receiving too much direct sunlight. Remove the damaged stems and place in a slightly shadier spot. Ideally somewhere with still bright, but indirect light.
Why does my Mistletoe Cactus have brown leaves?
Watering issues are the main cause of brown leaves on a Mistletoe Cactus, either too much or too little. If your Mistletoe Cactus has become quite soft and droopy, then overwatering is most likely the cause of the brown leaves. However, if your Mistletoe Cactus has become light brown in colour and is dry to touch, then you might be underwatering. Check the soil to determine whether or not watering issues are causing brown leaves on your Mistletoe Cactus.
If you can’t seem to find anything wrong with your watering routine, then the brown leaves on your Mistletoe Cactus might be caused by low humidity levels or an excess of fertiliser.
Why does my Mistletoe Cactus have yellow leaves?
The most likely cause of yellow leaves on your Mistletoe Cactus is overwatering. They really don’t need much moisture to thrive and if their potting mix is waterlogged for long periods of time it will start to cause the roots to rot. Once the roots have become damaged, your Mistletoe Cactus will struggle to keep the foliage alive which is why yellow leaves start to develop.
Before you change anything about how you water your Mistletoe Cactus, check the potting mix to see if it’s waterlogged and if the root system is damaged. Replace the potting mix if needed and trim away any rotten roots. Moving forward, you want to make sure you only water your Mistletoe Cactus when the potting mix has fully dried out and this should help to prevent any more yellow leaves in future.
Why is my Mistletoe Cactus losing leaves?
As with many common problems on a Mistletoe Cactus, if your plant is losing leaves it often means it has been overwatered or there are problems with drainage. Check the moisture levels in the soil to confirm the issue and adjust your watering habits in future to prevent any more leaves from falling off your Mistletoe Cactus.
If your Mistletoe Cactus is losing leaves because of soggy soil but you aren’t watering frequently, then you might need to increase the drainage. You can do this by adding perlite to the pot, increasing the size of the drainage holes and even adding a few stones at the bottom to prevent the drainage holes from becoming blocked. These steps should help prevent your Mistletoe Cactus from losing any more leaves.