Learn how to care for Epiphyllum anguliger, also known as the Fishbone Cactus or Zig Zag Cactus. This article provides tips on light, temperature, watering, soil, fertilizing, and propagation, as well as solutions to common issues. Discover how to add this captivating and unique houseplant to your collection and enjoy its natural beauty.


Are you looking to add a unique and captivating houseplant to your collection? Look no further than Epiphyllum anguliger, also known as the Fishbone Cactus or Zig Zag Cactus. This eye-catching plant features zig-zagged stems that resemble a fish skeleton and produces beautiful white or yellow flowers in the spring and summer. In this article, we will explore the care, propagation, and common issues associated with Epiphyllum anguliger, so you can successfully grow and enjoy this stunning houseplant in your home.

Care Tips for Epiphyllum anguliger

Epiphyllum anguliger is a relatively easy houseplant to care for, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts. Here are some important care tips to keep your Fishbone Cactus thriving:

Light Requirements

Epiphyllum anguliger prefers bright, indirect light. It thrives in a location where it receives bright, filtered light throughout the day, similar to the dappled shade found under trees in its native habitat. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as this can lead to leaf browning.

Temperature & Humidity

This cactus prefers temperatures between 65°F and 80°F (18°C to 27°C). It is important to provide a warm and consistent environment to promote healthy growth. Additionally, Epiphyllum anguliger appreciates higher humidity levels, around 60%. If your home is dry, consider misting the plant or placing it in a naturally more humid room.

Watering Needs

Proper watering is crucial for the health of Epiphyllum anguliger. It is important to find the right balance, as both underwatering and overwatering can cause issues. Water the cactus when around 3/4 of the soil has dried out completely. Ensure that the pot has proper drainage to avoid waterlogged roots, which can lead to rot.

Soil Preferences

Epiphyllum anguliger requires a well-draining soil mix to prevent waterlogging. A mixture of equal parts peat moss and perlite or cactus soil with added perlite works well. The soil should allow excess water to drain freely, preventing the roots from sitting in water.


During the active growing seasons of spring and summer, Epiphyllum anguliger benefits from regular fertilization. You can use a diluted liquid fertilizer with a balanced ratio of 10-10-10 every two weeks. However, once the plant begins to flower, it is advisable to stop fertilizing.

Growth Expectations

Stems of Epiphyllum anguliger can reach a length of 8-12 inches, making it perfect as a hanging plant or a trailing addition to your indoor greenery.


Great news for pet owners and families with young children—Epiphyllum anguliger is non-toxic to humans and pets. You can enjoy the beauty of this plant without worrying about any harmful effects.

Propagation of Epiphyllum anguliger

If you wish to expand your collection of Epiphyllum anguliger or share this captivating plant with friends and family, propagation is a rewarding option. Here are two common methods for propagating the Fishbone Cactus:

1. Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings are the most popular and straightforward way to propagate Epiphyllum anguliger. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose a healthy stem cutting from the parent plant. It is best to select a cutting with at least 3-4 inches in length.
  2. Allow the cutting to dry and callous over for a few days. This helps prevent rotting and promotes successful rooting.
  3. After the cutting has calloused, you have two options:
  4. Place the cutting directly into a well-draining potting mix, burying it partially to provide stability. Water sparingly until signs of new growth appear.
  5. Alternatively, you can place the cutting in a vase with water. Once the roots grow to about 1-2 inches in length, transfer them to a well-draining potting mix.

2. Division

Division is another method of propagation, best suited for mature plants with multiple stems. To propagate through division:

  1. Carefully remove the plant from its pot, gently separating the roots and foliage.
  2. Divide the plant by making a clean cut through the middle of the foliage, soil, and roots. Each division should have sufficient roots and stem shoots.
  3. Pot each divided section in its own planter with well-draining soil.
  4. Keep the newly potted divisions in bright indirect light, watering sparingly until signs of new growth appear.

Common Issues and Solutions for Epiphyllum anguliger

Epiphyllum anguliger is generally a low-maintenance plant, but a few common issues may arise. Here are some solutions to potential problems:

  • Underwatering: If you notice wrinkled leaves, it may indicate underwatering. Increase the frequency of watering, ensuring the top half of the soil is sufficiently moist.

  • Incorrect Light Levels: If your plant appears stretched or shows signs of scorching, it may be receiving too much direct sunlight. Move it to a location with bright, indirect light.

  • Pests and Diseases: While pests and diseases are not major concerns for indoor-grown Epiphyllum anguliger, scale or mealybug infestations can occur. Treat these pests with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, following the recommended instructions.

In Conclusion

Epiphyllum anguliger, the Fishbone Cactus or Zig Zag Cactus, is a captivating and relatively easy-to-care-for houseplant. By following the care tips outlined in this article, providing the right light, water, and humidity, and addressing common issues promptly, you can enjoy the beauty of this unique cactus in your home. Furthermore, with the knowledge of how to propagate Epiphyllum anguliger through stem cuttings or division, you can expand your collection or share the joy of this plant with others.

So why wait? Add the remarkable Epiphyllum anguliger to your houseplant collection and enjoy the natural beauty it brings to your home.


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