Rainforest Drops

What Are Rainforest Drops?

Rainforest Drops are vertical gardening, houseplants and container gardening, all rolled up into a ball and reinvented. Each Drop is constructed in a frame of wire and grape vines, filled with bark and sphagnum moss, and planted with curious tropical cacti of the rainforest treetops called Rhipsalis.

Also known as mistletoe cactus, Rhipsalis are similar to the familiar Easter cactus and Christmas cactus, but are arguably tougher, more graceful, and come in a wider variety of forms. Every Rainforest Drop is a unique work of art, and one of a kind. I like to juxtapose varying textures of species and play them off against one another, highlighting their unique qualities.

All photos are of newly planted Rainforest Drops. I will add new photos as they grow.

How can I display it?

You're only limited by your creativity. They can be hung at eye level singly, in groups, or in strands, for a mesmerizing display of installation art. For an elegant centerpiece, simply place one on a platter where it can be admired up close. If you live in a warm climate, grow them outdoors by hanging from trees as nature intended.

Hang a mistletoe cactus laden Rainforest Drop over the doorway during the holidays as a convenient excuse for romance. Better yet, why not at a wedding? Can't think of anywhere else to put it? Place one at the base of a houseplant, where it will take off and spread like it would in its habitat. Your Rhipsalis might even outlive the original houseplant!

How fast will they grow?

While each Drop is simply shipped out with unrooted cuttings embedded inside the ball, you'll begin to see lush growth in as little as a month. New growth will emerge, eventually draping down in a curtain of green. After a year or so, you might discover delicate white flowers along the stems, followed by equally ornamental white berries.

How do I care for it?

After Rhipsalis is established, it's incredibly easy to care for. While you're waiting for the roots to establish, it's best to water often, never letting the bark dry out for too long. Because the cacti are planted epiphytically and without soil, they can be watered and misted as often as you please. Conversely, they can tolerate considerable neglect... until the plant signals distress with shriveled stems. If your climate is humid, they can take even more neglect. Watering can be carried out by watering can, mister, nozzle (be gentle at first!) or even by immersing in a bucket of water.

Rhipsalis like shady spots outdoors, and when grown indoors they like bright and indirect light. Experiment and see what works best, as they are an adaptable lot. If the Rhipsalis gets too big for your liking, simply trim as desired. New growth will resprout where the cut was made.

Since Rhipsalis are tropical, keep them away from freezing conditions and drafts. Whatever you do, don't hesitate to bring them outside during warm weather! Rainforest Drops bring a touch of artistic elegance to any outdoor living space.

How are they hanging? 

Use a sturdy picture hanging wire, chain or rope, and attach it to a strong hook on the ceiling. Even if your Drop doesn't seem heavy now, all of that luxuriant growth can add up! Err on the side of caution and start out with strong hanging equipment from the beginning.

How do I get one?

They can be ordered by emailing me at steve_asbell @ yahoo.com (minus the spaces) for $30, plus $6 shipping and handling. At this time, payment can only be made by check or money order. (I had to raise the price due to high demand and the time necessary to grow and assemble - all orders prior to the price change will still honor the $20 price point.)

You will be receiving a one of a kind, handcrafted piece of horticultural art that will last for years to come. I make each Rainforest Drop to order, and each drop takes a total of one week to make. This time includes taking cuttings, hardening off, applying rooting hormone, making the ball, and allowing it to dry. While I ask that you allow two to three weeks for the best possible product, I can try to put a rush on your order if requested.