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Fishbone Cactus

Q.Aerial roots on rick rack succulent

Zone 32073 zn 9 b | Wanda Louque added on February 11, 2018 | Answered

I’m so confused and you’re my tying vote. I have roots from all of my rick racks. I have read I haven’t been watering it enough. So, that’s Q 1. Q 2 is, can I cut them back to the plant? They are so ugly to look at. I had no idea what I was given as a swip swap and now, with so many plants at stake, should I repot like 2 plants together in a smaller pot? I would have enought to replant to 3 pots instead of 6. They are about 1 to 2 feet long. I’m in Zn 9b. I’ve read they should be outside? And facing what direction? Thanks for helping me help my plants. I would love to get one to bloom but I doubt it, as I’ve read. Again thanks. Oh, next Q below, I don’t know how to upload. I can tell you though that they are all dark green.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on February 12, 2018

They are best grown just as you would an orchid. This means that the roots will commonly expose themselves to air. They grow in the tops of trees, so those roots are designed to grab the tree and collect nutrients from dust that settles on them.

This means that you will not be able to cut those roots. If you do, you could risk harming the plant. Leave them and cover them with an orchid mix if you would like. You can plant multiples in a pot, but if you start seeing too many roots coming up, then it can mean that it needs a bigger container.

They will likely die in the winter in your area outdoors. You are just shy of their native zones... 10 and above. You will want to bring it in during the colder months.

You are correct. They will bloom when they are ready, so it can be possible to never see a bloom on it.

Here is an article that will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/fishbone-cactus/orchid-cactus-care.htm

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