Fishbone Cactus
Plant Care,  Rare Houseplants,  Succulents and Cacti

Fishbone Cactus

Fishbone cactus will be happy as long as you give them plenty of light and let them dry out fully before watering.

Fishbone Cactus Summary

Light needs:Plenty of indirect sunlight. 
Watering needs:Let it dry out completely before watering again. 
Fertilizer:Cactus fertilizer once a month in the summer months.
Soil:A cactus and succulent potting mix.
Humidity:They do well in almost any humidity except really high.
Temperature:15-25°C (59-77°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Rik rak cactus, zig zag, disocactus anguliger.
Common issues:Over and under watering.


Welcome to our guide to the fishbone cactus. The fishbone cactus aka the rik rak or zig zag cactus is know for it’s long wavy shape. It’s easy to look after, we’ll run down how to get the best out of your plant in the following article…

See also: Blue Torch Cactus, Fishbone Cactus, Bear Paw Cactus, Coral Cactus, Haworthia Cooperi, Whale Fin Plant, Snake Plant Care, Mother Of Thousands, Senecio Barbertonicus, Sansevieria Moonshine, Cereus Jamacaru.

Light Needs

Give your fishbone cactus plenty of indirect sunlight. They can do well with some direct sunlight too, they are cacti after all.

How Often to Water

You should let your cactus dry out completely before watering again. This will mean about once a week in the summer and once every 3 weeks or so in the coldest winter months.


Fertilizing is not totally necessary but it can help the plant to grow quicker and will also encourage flowering. Use a dedicated cactus fertilizer once a month in the summer months.


Use a cactus and succulent potting mix for your fishbone cactus, they need to be in a well-draining medium.

For more on which cactus and succulent compost to buy or how to make you own, see our guide: Succulent Soil.

When To Repot

Cacti will grow relatively slowly and they will not out grow their pots very quickly but it is a good idea to repot the plant every 2 years to refresh the soil at least.


Fishbone cacti will do well in almost any household humidity, they do not need any special care like misting.


The main thing with cacti like this is to not let them get down to below 10°C (50°F), normally they will do well in 15-25°C (59-77°F).

Where To Buy a Fishbone Cactus

These pop up for sale in nurseries and garden centers, if not try Etsy.

Other Names for Fishbone Cactus

Rik rak cactus, zig zag, disocactus anguliger.

How To Propagate

Propagating a fishbone cactus is easy, you just need to take a cutting from a section of the leaf. Then leave it in a warm and dry pace for 3 days so it callouses over (this is to reduce the likelihood of rot). Then plant it in a pot of cactus soil, making use that it is the same way up it was on the original plant.

FAQs and Common Problems

Common issues with fishbone cacti are overwatering, and underwatering which can cause the leaves to become dry or brown.

Why Is My Fishbone Cactus Wrinkled?

The most common cause for wrinkling is underwatering, so if your plant is really dry give it a good soaking, then maintain a regular watering schedule.

Why Is My Fishbone Cactus Turning Yellow?

Yellowing is most likely a sign of underwatering, however it could in some case be due to overwatering, so check the soil and if it is dry you can give it a good watering, and if it is wet, take the plant out of the soil and let it dry out before repotting it in dry soil.

Does Fishbone Cactus Flower?

Yes they can flower when the plant reaches maturity and, and if given correct care they can bloom.

How To Get Fishbone Cactus To Bloom?

The key to getting your fishbone cactus to bloom is plenty of bright indirect sunlight, and even some direct, as well as monthly fertilizer in the summer.

Is Fishbone Cactus Toxic To Cats?

Fishbone cactus is not toxic to cats.

Do Fishbone Cactus Like To Be Root Bound?

They are ok to be a bit crowded, but pot them up a size if they get overly crowded as it can slow down growth to keep them root bound.

Can You Propagate Fishbone Cactus In Water?

You can propagate your fishbone cactus in water, it’s a good idea to let the cutting callous over for a day for the wound to heal, this will reduce the chances of rot. Then you can root them in a jar of water.

Other Articles You Might Like

Hope you enjoyed our article on the fishbone cactus, you might also like our other articles Propagating Succulents In Water, Lithops Care and Echeveria Succulent.

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