I Love Ripsalis salicornioides aka drunkards dream, bottle cactus, or dancing bones.

Feb 21, 2020 | Love This!

Name: Ripsalis salicornioides aka drunkard’s dream, bottle cactus, or dancing bones. Also known as Hatiora.

 Type of Plant: An epiphyte that is native to eastern Brazil. This plant is easy to grow as a houseplant or in a container outside in the summer time.

 Why I Love/Hate this plant: I have found this plant impossibly easy to grow. You can break off a piece and stick it in a container of potting mix and it will root and be happy. It has small yellow flowers that appear in the winter and early spring – in other words, it flowers when the days are shorter. It’s a great texture and it doesn’t get pests or require much in the way of repotting or fertilizing…an easy plant to grow.

 A Word to the Wise: When indoors put this in a western or southern facing window. If you send it to summer camp, put it in dappled sunlight or early morning sun. Most epiphytes grow in trees, so emulate the conditions it would have if it was growing in the crotch of a tree.

there are tiny yellow flowers on this plant through most of the winter.

You could grow this in a hanging basket, but i find that in a tall pot where the stems can cascade is attractive.


  1. Lauren B

    I’ve been growing this plant for almost 30 years without knowing its name. Thanks! (Thought itt was some kind of saggy pencil cactus.)

  2. Jacqueline Austin

    I have become an utterly compulsive collector of this genus! I am also fascinated by the fact the botanists keep reclassifying them. Whether it is a
    “Hatiora salicornioides” or a “Rhipsalis salicornioides” I don’t care. Now I have a collection of 23 plants within the Lepismium, Hatiora and Rhipsalis classifications.
    Yours is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.

    • CL Fornari

      Yes…those botanists keep reclassifying so many plants I can’t keep up! Happy collecting!

  3. Kirstin Martin

    I inherited this plant from my grandmother when she passed away. I love it, but I’ve been nervous about how to care for it because I didn’t know what type of plant it is. My family had never known it could flower, but I had it flower for the first time on my grandmother’s birthday this past year. Yours is gorgeous! It’s so nice to know its name now.

    • CL Fornari

      Kirstin – what a nice comment! Thanks for letting me know. Enjoy!

    • Jennifer

      WOW, flowering for the first time in your care on your grandmother’s birthday!!! Now, if that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is!!!

  4. Debbi Reeves

    I have been a plant hoarder for years but just got my first Dancing Bones plant last spring. It was in full bloom when I first got it so I hope it will bloom this year. I have about 12 inches of new growth but it is more spindly than compact like the rest of the plant when I got it. Is there something I need to do to make it more compact or should I just let it grow the way it has been? I know I could cut it back and plant the cutting but it does look pretty with all of it’s new growth.

    • CL Fornari

      A few things:
      Don’t fertilize. Don’t water more than once a week. Hopefully you have this in a cacti mix or a combination of potting soil and orchid bark. Part to full sun – in other words, any window exposure but not in the corner of a room with no window.he These flower in response to short days and long nights.

  5. Lisa

    How much do you think they grow in a growing season. I received one that’s 5’ seems every where on the Internet says they get 24 in. Lol. I’m trying to figure out how old it is and how long the life span is. Any help would be awesome!

    • CL Fornari

      They take a couple of years to take off. If you want to spur more growth, put it outside in a shady spot for the summer.

  6. Sandy

    Yours is lovely!!! I had one for 40 years and the stems became so woody that I couldn’t propagate it no longer. She bloomed every year as she matured. Now I have 2 young plants that I bought last year. One of them was not labeled. Felt sorry for it in the grocery store lol! That one has several really long off shoots! So I’m wondering if it is related but not actually a dancing bones cactus.


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