Skip to Content

How to propagate a ric rac cactus

Love your zig zag cactus? Here’s how to propagate a ric rac cactus in water or soil – it’s super easy to do!

My mom gave me a ric rac cactus for Christmas and let’s just say my jaw hit the floor I was so shocked and thrilled with the gift.

This plant is gorgeous with its sprawling branches and unique zig zag vines.

potted ric rac cactus on a shelf

Ric rac cactus is also known as:

  • Zig Zag cactus
  • Fishbone cactus
  • Selenicereus Anthonyanus
  • Epiphyllum Anguliger
  • Cryptocereus anthonyanus

Be sure to check out my ric rac cactus care guide!

If you find yourself with one of these plants, you might want to try to make some baby plants to share! Let’s talk about propagating fishbone cactus and the best way to do that!

Propagating your zig zag cactus has the benefit of also pruning it. Cutting leggy stems will encourage the plant to grow bushier and more full!

how to propagate ric rac cactus

How to propagate a ric rac cactus

There are 2 methods for propagating zig zag cactus from a stem cutting: in water or in soil. I tested both methods and had more success with propagating in water.

But, propagating in soil still worked – it’s just a delicate balance to keep the soil moist enough but not soggy. Let’s discuss each method.

How to propagate a ric rac cactus in water

My top choice for propagating fishbone cacti is in water.

Select a segment of the plant – preferably one with new growth – and cut it off. Choose a pieces that’s at least 3 inches long.

Place so the cut end of the plant is in water in a jar or vase. I used my test tube propagation station.

ric rac cactus cutting rooting in water

Place in bright indirect light.

Refill the water as needed and change the water weekly or as it gets foggy.

These cactus plants are a bit slow to root, but once they get going they grow pretty well!

Once the plant grows roots 2-3 inches long, plant it in soil. Choose a succulent potting soil and a pot with a drainage hole!

ric rac cactus cutting roots

How to propagate a ric rac cactus in soil

You can also propagate your zig zag cactus directly in soil. I did this successfully, but you do have to keep the soil slightly moist or the cutting with get wrinkled and withered.

Use a sharp knife or scissors to take a cutting as described above. Let the cutting sit on the counter for 24-48 hours for the cut end to callous over.

Wet the bottom 1-2 inches of the cutting and dip in rooting hormone.

Stick into soil mix and place in bright indirect light.

Water weekly.

Since you are rooting directly in water, you don’t have to transplant the cutting – just let it grow straight into that pot!

ric rac cactus cutting rooting in soil

How to propagate ric rac cactus via division

One final option for propagating these plants is division. This is especially handy if your plant gets root bound or too big for its pot.

Simply remove your plant from the pot and gently separate it at the base. Divide into pieces and plant in separate pots.

Use a potting mix for cactuses or orchids and make sure the pot has a drainage hole.

potted zig zag cactus plant on a shelf

Where do you cut a ric rac cactus to propagate?

These plants don’t have nodes like some other plants. You can cut anywhere and they will root! I like to get at least 2-3 inches for a nice healthy cutting!

Yield: 1 ric rac cactus cutting

How to propagate a ric rac cactus

how to propagate ric rac cactus

Here's how easy it is to propagate a ric rac cactus plant.

Active Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Difficulty easy


  • Ric Rac cactus parent plant
  • Pot of soil OR jar of water


  • Sharp scissors


  1. Identify a healthy branch with new bright green growth on the tip
  2. Take a cutting at least 3 inches long
  3. If planting in soil, let callous over for 24-48 hours until the cut end looks dry
  4. Wet the end and dip in rooting hormone
  5. Place in water or succulent mix potting soil
  6. Place in bright indirect light
  7. Change the water OR water the soil weekly
  8. Roots will take 2-3 months to form
  9. If rooting in water, once they are 2-3 inches long, move to soil

Any more questions about ric rac cactus propagation?

Thanks for reading!

About Me Plant picture

Sharing is caring!

Skip to Instructions