Epiphyllum is a genus of tropical succulents often called orchid cacti or climbing cacti. There are over a dozen species and many associated hybrids of various shape and size. They usually have long, flat, non-thorny and trailing stems. With proper care, they show off bright, large, fragrant and night-blooming flowers in spring or summer. In the wild, these mostly epiphytic plants grow on branches or trunks of trees rather than developing roots in the soil. They absorb the moisture and nutrients they need from the humid environment around them.
In a garden landscape, the trailing stems of orchid cacti look great in hanging baskets. Despite their common name, they don't like full sun and dry air like regular cactus species. Epiphyllums do best in warm, moist and shady places that mimic their natural habitat in the tropical forest. This makes them a good choice as an easy-to-grow, slow-growing bathroom plant.
Orchid Cacti Care
Unless you can provide your epiphyllums with mild temperatures, subdued sunlight, humidity, and porous potting mix, grow them indoors. They like similar conditions to orchids and bromeliads. Grown outdoors they should have protection from strong winds and ample air circulation.
Orchid cactus plant with white star-shaped flowers and long leaves in hanging pot
Orchid cacti thrive in filtered sunlight, which mimics the lighting conditions they receive in their natural tropical forest habitat. A few hours of full morning sun should suffice, but keep them out of full afternoon sun to prevent scorching or white crusting. Outdoors, growing in a hanging basket under the shade of a tree works well.
Do not place your epiphyllum in a room with long light after sunset, as this may affect flowering the following year
If your plant gets too much light, it can cause wilted growth and yellowing. Low light can cause limp, frail growth.
Your epiphyllum should not grow directly into the soil. Ordinary soil is too compacted and the roots cannot cope, resulting in the death of the plant. Stick to a loose, fast-draining potting soil mix with extra light and porous materials to promote drainage. An azalea mix with added perlite, bark, cocoa chips, or pumice stone can work well.
Finding the right balance with water is the key to successful grow. Unlike their traditional cactus relatives, orchid cacti require regular watering throughout the growing season. The potting mix should be moist, but not soggy. Ideally, you want the top 1/3 of the potting mix to dry out before watering again. Water less in winter and move the plant to a cooler place. This will help produce healthy, large blooms the following season. Using distilled or filtered water instead of tap water is beneficial for these sensitive plants. to be. If this becomes a problem, remove diseased branches, repot in a dry, fast-draining mixture, and be a little more careful with watering.
Temperature and Humidity
If you're growing epiphyllum outdoors, it's best to grow them in pots or hanging baskets so you can move these delicate plants indoors when temperatures drop.They will not survive frost or if the temperature drops below 2 degrees.
If you keep your orchid cactus indoors, it may need a different place in winter than during growing season. From spring to fall temperatures up to 32 degrees are best, and a cooler place that still provides filtered light is ideal in winter. Temperatures of about 10 to 15 degrees are optimal and away from radiators and cold drafts. When the bloom buds appear, move back to a warmer location.
Epiphyllums need higher humidity to thrive. Standing on a tray of wet gravel (make sure the roots of the plant don't absorb the water), misting the stems, or using a humidifier can help.
Conservatively fertilizing your epiphyllum a few times a year is beneficial for encouraging strong growth and budding. But because they grow naturally in a low-nutrient environment, be careful not to overfeed. A balanced, slow-release strain that does not contain too much nitrogen works well (i.e. no more than 10%). An early spring application of 2-10-10 can help promote healthy blooms.
Botanical name Epiphyllum Altitude 70cm Pot size 21cm Place Parashadow Water requirement Keep moist Toxic Animal-friendly Repot Every 3 years Packaging Special plants mail box Maintenance Normal