Dancing Bones Cactus &

Introducing the Dancing Bones cactus, which is known as Hatiora salicornioides (formerly known as Rhipsalis salicornioides)! 

The Dancing Bones cactus is named for its thin, segmented, flexible stems that resemble bones and give it a "dancing" appearance when it moves in the breeze. It is also known as the Drunkard's dream cactus, spice cactus, and bottle cactus. 

This Hatiora salicornioides is like no other, with its bushy, deep green appearance and cylindrical stems that seem to sway to their own melodious beat. These epiphytic cactus stems can grow up to an impressive height of 2-foot tall along the tree trunk, composed of charming bottle-shaped segments that measure up to 1.2 inches wide. The stem segments of younger plants have an enchanting shape that resembles either a club or even a whimsical bottle, hence the common name. 

The Hatiora salicornioides has flowers with their bell-like shape hanging delicately at the ends of the stems; the small yellow-orange flowers that bloom from late winter to early spring add a touch of vibrant color to this already captivating dancer on our cactus stage. 

Additionally, the dancing bones plant is a friendly cactus for both pets and humans. So, you don't have to worry about any harmful effects if you come into contact with dancing bone cactus. It's always a good idea to handle plants with care and wash your hands after touching them, just to be safe. 

Watering Needs 

The Hatiora salicornioides is a drought-tolerant cactus that requires moderate watering. It is best to let the soil completely dry out between waterings.

In the spring and summer during the growing season, when you water your dancing bones, cactus make sure to give it a good soak but be sure to let the excess water drain away. Overwatering can be harmful to this cactus, so it's important to be careful not to give it too much water. 

In general, during winter, when your dancing bones are dormant, it's important not to overwater them. Keep an eye on the weather and adjust your watering schedule accordingly, making sure not to leave the cactus sitting in soggy soil.

If you're not sure when to water your dancing bones cactus, you can use a moisture meter to check the soil. This will help you determine when it's time to water the dancing bones cactus. 

Pay attention to signs of overwatering, such as yellowing or mushy stems, and adjust accordingly. It's always better to err on the side of underwatering and gradually increase watering if needed. 

Light Requirements 

The Hatiora salicornioides prefer bright indirect sunlight. When growing your dancing bones cactus indoors, it's best to place it near a window that receives bright, filtered light. If you notice the stems stretching or becoming pale, it may be an indication that it needs more light. Consider supplementing with artificial grow lights to provide the ideal light conditions. 

For outdoor cultivation, the Hatiora salicornioides prefers partial sun to filtered sunlight. It can tolerate some morning or evening sun, but direct afternoon sun can be too intense. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight for a prolonged period, as it can scorch the delicate stems. If you live in a region with hot summers, providing some shade during the hottest parts of the day can help protect the cactus from sunburn. If the dancing bones cactus doesn't receive enough light, its stems may grow leggy, and yellow to orange flowers will become paler, so make your cactus happy and give it plenty of light. 

Remember, finding the right balance of light is crucial for the health of your dancing bones cactus Hatiora salicornioides. Observe how it responds to the light conditions and make adjustments accordingly. With the right amount of bright, indirect light, your dancing bone cactus will flourish and showcase its unique beauty. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

The Hatiora salicornioides prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil. A good mix for these dancing bones Hatiora is one part peat moss, one part perlite, and one-part coarse sand. This will provide your dancing bones cactus with the right amount of drainage and acidity. Instead, make or buy a well-draining potting mix, or ideally, use our specialized cactus potting soil that contains 5 natural substrates and mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your dancing bone cactus to thrive. 

As for fertilizer, the dancing bones cactus don't require much. It's best to avoid fertilizing it during the winter months to prevent mold growth. If you do decide to fertilize it, use a balanced natural fertilizer with an equal mix of NPK (5-10-5). Fertilize the dancing bone once a year during the growing season, which is typically in the spring. 

Remember, it's important not to over-fertilize, as this can cause harm to the cactus. Keep an eye on your Hatiora salicornioides for any signs of nutrient deficiency, such as pale or yellowing stems. If you notice these signs, you can consider using a specialized cactus fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content to promote healthy growth. Always follow the instructions and adjust the frequency of fertilization based on the needs of your Dancing Bones cactus. 

Hardiness Zone & More 

Native to eastern Brazil, this ornamental plant Hatiora salicornioides is not frost-tolerant. If you live in an area with cold winters, it's best to keep the dancing bones cactus indoors during the winter months.  

The dancing bones cactus prefers temperatures between 60 and 80 F. If you live in a region with a mild climate, such as USDA zones 10-11, then you can consider placing it outdoors during the warmer months. It can tolerate higher temperatures, but it's important to avoid exposing your dancing bones to temperatures below 50 F. Just make sure to acclimate it gradually to outdoor conditions to avoid shock. 

As for humidity, the dancing bone cactus prefers moderate humidity levels. It can handle some dryness, but it's best to avoid your cactus family exposing it to extremely dry conditions. If you live in an area with low humidity, you can place a tray of water near your cactus to help increase the humidity levels.

Remember, providing a stable temperature range and moderate humidity levels will help your Hatiora salicornioides thrive, whether it's indoors or outdoors. 

Additionally, to propagate Hatiora salicornioides dancing bones, you can use stem cuttings, which involves cutting a healthy stem below a joint or segment. With Hatiora salicornioides care and patience, the cutting should develop roots and start new growth.  

The Bottom Line 

The Hatiora salicornioides (Dancing Bones cactus) is a fascinating cactus native to Brazil with thin, jointed stems resembling coral or seaweed. It prefers bright, indirect light indoors and thrives in a temperature range of 60°F to 75°F. Proper, well-drained cactus soil and drainage are crucial for your dancing bone cactus. The watering is slightly moist but not overly saturated, with the top inch drying out between waterings. Fertilizing is essential for growth and health, with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a year during the growing season. However, be cautious not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to nutrient burn or other issues. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dancing bones cacti poisonous?

The dancing bones cactus, known as Hatiora salicornioides, is not poisonous to humans or pets. You can safely plant regularly and keep it around your home without any concerns. However, it is always important to keep in mind that while the cactus itself may not be poisonous, ingesting any plant material can still cause discomfort or digestive issues in some individuals.

How do you care for Hatiora salicornioides?

To care for the Hatiora salicornioides (dancing bones), you should keep it in a bright, indirect light location and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight. It thrives best in moderate watering when the soil is dry to the touch, but be careful not to overwater it as this can lead to root rot. The dancing bone cactus prefers well-drained soil and can benefit from a balanced fertilizer once a year during the growing season. 

It thrives indoors in warm temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can also be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10-11. It's also important to keep an eye out for any signs of pests or diseases and to address any issues promptly.

How do you propagate a dancing bone plant?

To propagate a dancing bone plant (Hatiora salicornioides), you can start by taking stem cuttings from a healthy and mature plant. Ensure that the cutting is about 4-6 inches long and has several segments. Afterward, allow the cutting to dry for a few days before placing it in well-draining soil. Water the cutting sparingly, keeping the soil slightly moist until roots start to develop. It's important to provide indirect sunlight and maintain a warm temperature to encourage.

What is the best soil for Hatiora salicornioides?

The best soil for Hatiora salicornioides is well-draining and slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. It thrives in a soil mixture that is rich in organic matter, such as peat moss or compost, which helps retain moisture while allowing excess water to drain away.

Instead, make or buy a well-draining potting mix, or ideally, use our specialized cactus potting mix that contains over 5 natural substrates and mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your dancing bone cactus to thrive.

Bloom Season Late winter, early spring
Botanical Name Hatiora salicornioides
Common Name Dancing Bones cactus, bottle cactus, drunkard's dream, spice cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color White, yellow, orange
Genus Hatiora
Growth Habit Trailing, hanging
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 10, 11
Mature Size 2 ft. tall
Native Area Eastern Brazil
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By cuttings
Resistance Drought tolerant, heat resistance, pest resistant, deer resistant
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type specialized cactus potting soil
Special Features Showy flowers, easy to maintain
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Safe for humans, friendly to dogs, friendly to cats
Watering Needs Low

Pests & Common Problems of Hatiora salicornioides 

The Hatiora salicornioides is generally a hardy plant that is not prone to many pests or diseases. However, it can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites. If you notice any signs of infestation, such as white cottony spots on the dancing bone or webbing, you can treat the cactus with insecticidal soap or neem oil. 

One common problem that can occur with the dancing bone cactus is overwatering. It's important to avoid letting the plant sit in water and to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. If your dancing bone plant is overwatered, it can develop root rot, which can be fatal. Additionally, if your dancing bone cactus is not getting enough light, it can become leggy and lose its shape.

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Dancing Bones Cactus 'Hatiora salicornioides'

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Please note: All Landscape Ready plants that are in a 6-inch pot or larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

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Please note: Our large plants are many years old, and as a result, they might have minor scaring but will arrive 100% healthy and looking great.

Please note: Our large plants are shipped bare root. They are also many years old, and as a result, they might have minor scaring but will arrive healthy and looking great.

If you live in a cold climate and are expecting temperatures below 40 degrees within the next five days after placing your order, we highly recommend adding a heat pack to your order. If you do not order a heat pack, we do not send one with your order.

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**FREE HEAT PACK WITH ORDERS OVER $50 before taxes and shipping- BY REQUEST ONLY, PLEASE MAKE A NOTE ON YOUR ORDER.

To prevent plants from freezing while in transit, orders placed for areas with extreme severe freezing temperatures will be held for shipment until it is safe to ship.

Plants that are in 3.5" pots and smaller will be shipped in its pot to prevent any damage to the roots. Any plant that is 6" and larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

Depending on the species and season, you will receive a very similar plant to the one in the picture. It may or may not be blooming at the time of your purchase.

We ship via USPS Priority Mail, and we calculate the shipping cost based on the weight and volume of your purchase. Care instructions are included in every package you order. Please allow us up to 3 business days to process your order. Depending on your location, we will ship the plants on a certain day to avoid transit time during weekends or holidays. If you wish to receive your order on a specific date, or have special instructions, please add a note on your order. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time.

  • Description
  • Key Plant Features

Introducing the Dancing Bones cactus, which is known as Hatiora salicornioides (formerly known as Rhipsalis salicornioides)! 

The Dancing Bones cactus is named for its thin, segmented, flexible stems that resemble bones and give it a "dancing" appearance when it moves in the breeze. It is also known as the Drunkard's dream cactus, spice cactus, and bottle cactus. 

This Hatiora salicornioides is like no other, with its bushy, deep green appearance and cylindrical stems that seem to sway to their own melodious beat. These epiphytic cactus stems can grow up to an impressive height of 2-foot tall along the tree trunk, composed of charming bottle-shaped segments that measure up to 1.2 inches wide. The stem segments of younger plants have an enchanting shape that resembles either a club or even a whimsical bottle, hence the common name. 

The Hatiora salicornioides has flowers with their bell-like shape hanging delicately at the ends of the stems; the small yellow-orange flowers that bloom from late winter to early spring add a touch of vibrant color to this already captivating dancer on our cactus stage. 

Additionally, the dancing bones plant is a friendly cactus for both pets and humans. So, you don't have to worry about any harmful effects if you come into contact with dancing bone cactus. It's always a good idea to handle plants with care and wash your hands after touching them, just to be safe. 

Watering Needs 

The Hatiora salicornioides is a drought-tolerant cactus that requires moderate watering. It is best to let the soil completely dry out between waterings.

In the spring and summer during the growing season, when you water your dancing bones, cactus make sure to give it a good soak but be sure to let the excess water drain away. Overwatering can be harmful to this cactus, so it's important to be careful not to give it too much water. 

In general, during winter, when your dancing bones are dormant, it's important not to overwater them. Keep an eye on the weather and adjust your watering schedule accordingly, making sure not to leave the cactus sitting in soggy soil.

If you're not sure when to water your dancing bones cactus, you can use a moisture meter to check the soil. This will help you determine when it's time to water the dancing bones cactus. 

Pay attention to signs of overwatering, such as yellowing or mushy stems, and adjust accordingly. It's always better to err on the side of underwatering and gradually increase watering if needed. 

Light Requirements 

The Hatiora salicornioides prefer bright indirect sunlight. When growing your dancing bones cactus indoors, it's best to place it near a window that receives bright, filtered light. If you notice the stems stretching or becoming pale, it may be an indication that it needs more light. Consider supplementing with artificial grow lights to provide the ideal light conditions. 

For outdoor cultivation, the Hatiora salicornioides prefers partial sun to filtered sunlight. It can tolerate some morning or evening sun, but direct afternoon sun can be too intense. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight for a prolonged period, as it can scorch the delicate stems. If you live in a region with hot summers, providing some shade during the hottest parts of the day can help protect the cactus from sunburn. If the dancing bones cactus doesn't receive enough light, its stems may grow leggy, and yellow to orange flowers will become paler, so make your cactus happy and give it plenty of light. 

Remember, finding the right balance of light is crucial for the health of your dancing bones cactus Hatiora salicornioides. Observe how it responds to the light conditions and make adjustments accordingly. With the right amount of bright, indirect light, your dancing bone cactus will flourish and showcase its unique beauty. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

The Hatiora salicornioides prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil. A good mix for these dancing bones Hatiora is one part peat moss, one part perlite, and one-part coarse sand. This will provide your dancing bones cactus with the right amount of drainage and acidity. Instead, make or buy a well-draining potting mix, or ideally, use our specialized cactus potting soil that contains 5 natural substrates and mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your dancing bone cactus to thrive. 

As for fertilizer, the dancing bones cactus don't require much. It's best to avoid fertilizing it during the winter months to prevent mold growth. If you do decide to fertilize it, use a balanced natural fertilizer with an equal mix of NPK (5-10-5). Fertilize the dancing bone once a year during the growing season, which is typically in the spring. 

Remember, it's important not to over-fertilize, as this can cause harm to the cactus. Keep an eye on your Hatiora salicornioides for any signs of nutrient deficiency, such as pale or yellowing stems. If you notice these signs, you can consider using a specialized cactus fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content to promote healthy growth. Always follow the instructions and adjust the frequency of fertilization based on the needs of your Dancing Bones cactus. 

Hardiness Zone & More 

Native to eastern Brazil, this ornamental plant Hatiora salicornioides is not frost-tolerant. If you live in an area with cold winters, it's best to keep the dancing bones cactus indoors during the winter months.  

The dancing bones cactus prefers temperatures between 60 and 80 F. If you live in a region with a mild climate, such as USDA zones 10-11, then you can consider placing it outdoors during the warmer months. It can tolerate higher temperatures, but it's important to avoid exposing your dancing bones to temperatures below 50 F. Just make sure to acclimate it gradually to outdoor conditions to avoid shock. 

As for humidity, the dancing bone cactus prefers moderate humidity levels. It can handle some dryness, but it's best to avoid your cactus family exposing it to extremely dry conditions. If you live in an area with low humidity, you can place a tray of water near your cactus to help increase the humidity levels.

Remember, providing a stable temperature range and moderate humidity levels will help your Hatiora salicornioides thrive, whether it's indoors or outdoors. 

Additionally, to propagate Hatiora salicornioides dancing bones, you can use stem cuttings, which involves cutting a healthy stem below a joint or segment. With Hatiora salicornioides care and patience, the cutting should develop roots and start new growth.  

The Bottom Line 

The Hatiora salicornioides (Dancing Bones cactus) is a fascinating cactus native to Brazil with thin, jointed stems resembling coral or seaweed. It prefers bright, indirect light indoors and thrives in a temperature range of 60°F to 75°F. Proper, well-drained cactus soil and drainage are crucial for your dancing bone cactus. The watering is slightly moist but not overly saturated, with the top inch drying out between waterings. Fertilizing is essential for growth and health, with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a year during the growing season. However, be cautious not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to nutrient burn or other issues. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dancing bones cacti poisonous?

The dancing bones cactus, known as Hatiora salicornioides, is not poisonous to humans or pets. You can safely plant regularly and keep it around your home without any concerns. However, it is always important to keep in mind that while the cactus itself may not be poisonous, ingesting any plant material can still cause discomfort or digestive issues in some individuals.

How do you care for Hatiora salicornioides?

To care for the Hatiora salicornioides (dancing bones), you should keep it in a bright, indirect light location and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight. It thrives best in moderate watering when the soil is dry to the touch, but be careful not to overwater it as this can lead to root rot. The dancing bone cactus prefers well-drained soil and can benefit from a balanced fertilizer once a year during the growing season. 

It thrives indoors in warm temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can also be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10-11. It's also important to keep an eye out for any signs of pests or diseases and to address any issues promptly.

How do you propagate a dancing bone plant?

To propagate a dancing bone plant (Hatiora salicornioides), you can start by taking stem cuttings from a healthy and mature plant. Ensure that the cutting is about 4-6 inches long and has several segments. Afterward, allow the cutting to dry for a few days before placing it in well-draining soil. Water the cutting sparingly, keeping the soil slightly moist until roots start to develop. It's important to provide indirect sunlight and maintain a warm temperature to encourage.

What is the best soil for Hatiora salicornioides?

The best soil for Hatiora salicornioides is well-draining and slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. It thrives in a soil mixture that is rich in organic matter, such as peat moss or compost, which helps retain moisture while allowing excess water to drain away.

Instead, make or buy a well-draining potting mix, or ideally, use our specialized cactus potting mix that contains over 5 natural substrates and mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your dancing bone cactus to thrive.

Bloom Season Late winter, early spring
Botanical Name Hatiora salicornioides
Common Name Dancing Bones cactus, bottle cactus, drunkard's dream, spice cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color White, yellow, orange
Genus Hatiora
Growth Habit Trailing, hanging
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 10, 11
Mature Size 2 ft. tall
Native Area Eastern Brazil
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By cuttings
Resistance Drought tolerant, heat resistance, pest resistant, deer resistant
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type specialized cactus potting soil
Special Features Showy flowers, easy to maintain
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Safe for humans, friendly to dogs, friendly to cats
Watering Needs Low

Pests & Common Problems of Hatiora salicornioides 

The Hatiora salicornioides is generally a hardy plant that is not prone to many pests or diseases. However, it can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites. If you notice any signs of infestation, such as white cottony spots on the dancing bone or webbing, you can treat the cactus with insecticidal soap or neem oil. 

One common problem that can occur with the dancing bone cactus is overwatering. It's important to avoid letting the plant sit in water and to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. If your dancing bone plant is overwatered, it can develop root rot, which can be fatal. Additionally, if your dancing bone cactus is not getting enough light, it can become leggy and lose its shape.

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