Mistletoe Cactus vs Pencil Cactus – Which Cactus is Right for You?

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Are you looking to add unique and low-maintenance plants to your indoor garden? Look no further than the mistletoe cactus and pencil cactus! Both plants are low-maintenance and easy to care for, making them excellent options for those looking to add some greenery to their home or office.

However, with so many types of cacti available, choosing the perfect one for your space can take time.

In this guide, we will compare two popular cacti – the mistletoe cactus and the pencil cactus – to help you decide which one is best suited for your home or office.

Mistletoe Cactus

The rare and exquisite Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera) thrives throughout Central and South America. It gets its name from how it looks, with its long, thin stems branching out in all directions like mistletoe. These cacti have pretty little white flowers that grow in the summer, making their already unique look even more beautiful.

Care Tips

  • Mistletoe Cactus blossoms in bright, indirect light but tolerates low light conditions.
  • Keep the soil always wet but not soggy. Too much water can lead to root rot.
  • This cactus prefers well-draining soil and does well in potting soil, perlite, or sand.
  • During the growth season, use a balanced fertilizer once a month.
  • Mistletoe Cactus can accept temperatures between 60-85°F (15-29°C) but should be held from drafts and excessive heat or cold.


  • non-toxic
  • great low-maintenance plant


  • requires enough light
Mistletoe Cactus vs Pencil Cactus

Pencil Cactus

The stunning Pencil Cactus (Euphonia Tirucalli) has long, slender branches that reach pencils. It is native to Africa and India and does well in warm, dry climates. The Pencil Cactus is in the genus Euphorbia, even though it looks like a cactus.

Care Tips

  • Pencil Cactus blossoms in bright, direct light and can even handle some full sun.
  • Wait to water the dirt again until it’s scorched. If you overwater the plant, it can die.
  • This cactus does well in a well-draining cactus or succulent mix.
  • During the growth season, use a balanced fertilizer once a month.
  • Pencil Cactus prefers warmer temperatures and performs poorly below 50°F (10°C).


  • low-maintenance plant.
  • excellent option for indoor greenery.


  • Toxic
Mistletoe Cactus vs Pencil Cactus

Main Differences Between Mistletoe Cactus vs Pencil Cactus

While the Mistletoe Cactus and Pencil Cactus have similar appearances, the two plants have some critical differences.

Mistletoe Cactus

Pencil Cactus

Native to Central and South America.

Pencil Cactus is from Africa and India.

Small white flowers.

Pencil Cactus does not flower.

Belongs to the Rhipsalis baccifera

Belongs to the Euphorbia family

Mistletoe Cactus prefers indirect light and needs consistently moist soil.

Pencil Cactus is more drought-tolerant and can handle full sun.

Mistletoe Cactus can tolerate 60-85°F (15-29°C) temperatures.

Pencil Cactus thrives above 50°F (10°C) and struggles below.

Both plants make great additions to any indoor space and are relatively easy to care for. Their unusual appearance and little upkeep make them popular with plant lovers. Some more differences are discussed below.

When choosing the right indoor plants for your space, it’s essential to consider the potential health risks and toxicity of the plants you are interested in. Mistletoe cactus and pencil cactus are both beautiful and unique options for indoor gardens, but it’s essential to be aware of their potential health risks.

Mistletoe cactus is non-toxic to humans and pets, making it a safe choice for indoor gardening. In contrast, the pencil cactus (Euphonia tirucalli) is poisonous and irritates the skin.

Hence, handling it with care and keeping it away from children and pets is essential. Always consider the potential health risks before adding new plants to your indoor space.

Which Cactus is Right for You?

It is crucial to consider the plant’s toxicity and health dangers while selecting an indoor cactus. The mistletoe cactus is excellent for indoor gardening because it isn’t poisonous to people or animals.

Conversely, if consumed, the pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) is skin-irritating and poisonous. You must handle the pencil cactus with extreme caution and keep it away from youngsters and dogs.

When bringing greenery into your home or business, either cactus is a beautiful, low-maintenance option.

Whichever one you choose, be sure to do your research and provide the proper care to ensure a happy and thriving plant.


Which cactus requires more sunlight?

The Pencil Cactus requires more sunlight than the Mistletoe Cactus. It thrives in bright, direct sunlight, while the Mistletoe Cactus prefers bright, indirect light.

Are these cacti easy to care for?

Both the Mistletoe Cactus and the Pencil Cactus are relatively low-maintenance plants. They require well-draining soil and infrequent watering.

Can these cacti be kept indoors?

Yes, the Mistletoe Cactus and the Pencil Cactus can be kept indoors as long as they receive enough light.

Are Mistletoe Cactus and Pencil Cactus harmful to pets?

The Mistletoe Cactus and the Pencil Cactus can harm pets if ingested. Make sure animals can’t get them and get veterinarian assistance if they do.

Can I propagate a Mistletoe Cactus and a Pencil Cactus?

Yes, the Mistletoe Cactus and the Pencil Cactus can be propagated through stem cuttings. Cut a healthy stem and allow it to callous over before planting it in well-draining soil. The cutting will develop roots and grow into a new plant with proper care.


In conclusion, the mistletoe and pencil cactus are beautiful additions to any indoor garden. While they may have some similarities in appearance, their origins, care needs, and potential issues make them unique plants with distinct personalities.

By understanding these differences, you can provide the best care for these plants and enjoy their beauty and benefits in your home. Why not add a mistletoe cactus or pencil cactus to your collection today? Explore more indoor plants and expert tips on our website.

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