Epiphyllum are epiphytic cactus. An epiphyte is a plant that grows on the surface of another plant such as a tree and takes moisture and nutrients from the host plant or from the air.
Epiphyllum are spineless plants with flattened, scallop-edged stems and enormous flowers. They often grow pendant-like, but they can be trained to a stake, trellis, or other support.Flowers of species Epiphyllum are white, but hybrids come in many colors.
Grow Epiphyllum in porous, sandy soil and keep the soil just moist. Epiphyllum flower best when they are grown in bright light. They are frost-sensitive and must be brought indoors in winter.
Epiphyllum are widely hybridized. There are more than 3,000 named hybrids.
Get to Know Epiphyllum
- Plant type: Cactus, epiphytic cactus
- Hardiness temperature: 50℉ (10℃); Epiphyllum will not tolerate frost
- Shape and size: Spineless plants with flattened, scallop-eged stems grow to 10 feet long.
- Flowers: Species have large white flowers; hybrids in many colors
- Bloom time: Spring and summer
- Common name: Epiphyllum
- Genus name: Epiphyllum
- Family name: Cactaceae
- Origin: Mexico and Central America
- Grow Epiphyllum in a porous sandy soil or cactus mix.
- Epiphyllum grow best when the roots are crowded; grow them in potter smaller than you might otherwise use.
- Epiphyllum require humidity and warmth.
- Grow Epiphyllum where it will get plenty of light; light triggers flowering.
How to Water and Feed Epiphyllum
- Rest Epiphyllum in winter; keep the soil barely moist.
- Epiphyllum can be staked or grown on a trellis or other support.
- Epiphyllum grown outdoors should be brought indoors in winter, an unheate shed or garage is suitable.
Growing Epiphyllum as a Houseplant
- Grow Epiphyllum where temperature and humidity are average and light is bright.
- Grow in cool temperatures to promote flowering.
- The potting medium should be slightly rich.
- In winter, when temperatures are lower, allow the medium to dry slightly between waterings.
- When flower buds form, increase watering so that the medium is kept evenly moist.
- If flower buds drop, the plant is not receiving enough water.
- Avoid moving the plant after flower buds have formed; any disturbance may cause the buds to drop.
- After the plant has flowered, pinch it back to keep it compact and tart monthly fertilizing, stopping in the fall.
Epiphyllum Pests and Diseases
- Epiphyllum may be attacked by spider mites and may develop rot and wilt diseases.
- Cuttings can be used to root new plants.
Epiphyllum Species to Grow
- Epiphyllum anguiler (fishbone cactus). Dark green flattened stems, heavily notched grow to 36 inches long; white flowes to 3.5 inches long in summer.
- E. oxypetalum (dutchamn’s pipe).
- E. strictum.