Disocactus alatus (=Pseudorhipsalis alata) is an epiphytic hanging cactus native to Jamaica. The pendulous, flattened stems will reach up to 16 feet (3-4 m) in length and 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) wide. They are very fast growers and make an attractive basket plant.
Blooming Time: The small 5/8-inch (1.5 cm) flowers are formed along the edge of the stems. The number of blooms makes it very showy.
Culture: Disocactus alatus need partial shade to full shade with a moist well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 3 parts peat moss to 1 part coarse sand, with small bark chips added to increase drainage. During the growing season, the plants are kept moist and fertilized on a weekly basis. Since they are vigorous growers, they will outgrow most baskets within a year's time and should be repotted on a yearly basis. During the winter months, the plants are grown on the dry side and temperatures are dropped to 50°F (10°C).
Propagation: Disocactus alatus are propagated from cuttings or division of older plants or by seed.
Disocactus alatus was featured as Plant of the Week October 3-9, 2003.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.