Where To Buy Epiphyllum Orchid Cactus Plants

Fans of the Epiphyllum refer to them as “Eppies,” which are epiphytes.

Epiphyllum, sometimes known as “eppies,” are commonly referred to as orchid cacti due to their massive and exquisite blooms. Their blossoms, unlike those of actual orchids, typically only last a few hours, but fortunately, they frequently have numerous over the course of a few days or weeks, giving you a chance to carefully examine them as they go through their transformations.

Where do Epiphyllum Grow?

You can get an idea of the circumstances that these plants prefer based on the ecosystem in which they have developed; for example, give your epiphyllum adequate drainage, a high level of organic matter in the soil, and bright but filtered light, and it will thrive.

Schlumbergera, or Christmas Cactus, Rhipsalis, Hatiora, and a number of other closely related taxa are related to Epiphyllum, as are other jungle plants that grow high in the tree tops. They occasionally interbreed to create novel and fascinating hybrids.

How to Propagate Epiphyllum Cuttings

In no time, you’ll catch the propagation bug and start producing your own hybrids.

I spent a few years in the 1990s working at the now-defunct Fletcher Greenhouses in Tomslake, British Columbia. Dick and Sheila Fletcher were the owners, and they propagated a large number of exquisite Epiphyllum from cuttings as well as from seeds.

The seeds are produced inside a red fruit that is then removed from the plant to ripen and dry before being harvested for consumption.

They don’t require stratification or any other kind of treatment because they are a tropical plant and can germinate right away.

A succulent or a cactus, what is an epiphyllum?

Over a dozen cactus species make up the genus Epiphyllum, many of which are epiphytic, or use other plants (such trees) as hosts. Due to its distinctively vivid and lovely blossoms, the epiphyllum plant is also known as a leaf cactus, an epiphyllum cactus, and an orchid cactus.

Since the plant prefers hot, humid weather, epiphyllum plants are native to tropical regions of Mexico, Central America, South America, and sections of the Caribbean, particularly rainforests in those areas. They are trailing plants and succulents for the most part.

How is an Epiphyllum orchid cactus grown?

To cultivate Epiphyllum cactus, pick a spot with filtered light. The optimal location for their growth is one that provides full morning sun but shade from intense midday sunshine.

Use a 10-10-10 fertilizer that has been diluted during the spring and fall growing seasons. Use a 2-10-10 ratio in February to encourage flowering and root growth. Stop feeding the plant once flowering starts and don’t resume it until October.

These plants prefer low temperatures, and to induce blooming in the winter, they need to be exposed to temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 and 15 degrees C). However, if the temperature falls below 35 F/1 C, the plant will die.

Maintain a moderate moisture level in the top third of the soil, but keep an eye out for standing water around the roots and avoid overwatering to prevent stem and root rot.

Water and light requirements for epiphyllum plants must be balanced. With proper care, they have minimal pest or disease issues and can blossom and possibly bear fruit all season long.

Does epiphyllum grow well indoors?

Cacti belonging to the Epiphyllum genus, sometimes known as orchid cacti, are frequently planted as indoor plants due to their low maintenance requirements. Large, beautiful flowers that are typically delightfully fragrant and last two days or longer are produced by these cacti. Some species, including Epiphyllum oxypetalum, are nocturnal and only bloom at night. The majority of epiphyllums are epiphytic, which means they only rely on other plants for support while growing. To accommodate their long, drooping, leaf-like branches, they are frequently cultivated in hanging baskets, though they can also be grown in containers.

Growing Conditions

Epiphyllums are best cultivated in heated greenhouses or indoors because they are hardy to roughly 50 F (10 C) but need at least 60 F (15 C) throughout the growing season.

Set the pots in filtered bright light with a moderate to high humidity level. Place the pot on a tray packed with gravel and keep the tray moistened, but not so much that the water reaches the surface, to increase the humidity.

Epiphyllums need growth medium with a strong drainage pattern. Grow them in regular cactus soil with additional perlite or grit. Alternatively, combine one part peat-free multifunctional compost with three parts loam-based compost, two parts grit or perlite, and one part.

Pruning and Training

Cut or trim stems that are too lengthy. Usually, new shoots form immediately behind the incision. However, because the plant will need less water after cutting, take care not to overwater.

In their pots, large Epiphyllum can become unstable. Repot the plant into a broader or a heavier pot, such as one made of terracotta. Alternately, try tying the stems up with canes, but this can be ugly.


The two most effective ways to multiply Epiphyllum are by seeds and cuttings.

planting seed:

  • Plant seeds in the spring or summer.
  • Spread the seed evenly over the top of a container once it has been filled with cactus compost;
  • Lightly sprinkle the compost with a fine mist sprayer;
  • add a thin layer of fine grit as a finishing touch;
  • Keep the pot around 70F (21C) by covering it with a clear plastic bag or putting it in a propagator;
  • Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the covering;
  • Ensure that the compost is moist but not soggy;
  • When the seedlings are crowded and big enough to handle comfortably, prick them out;
  • Their flowering period ranges from four to seven years.
  • Cut the leaf-like stem into parts of 6 to 9 inches (15 to 22.5 cm) and let it in a warm area for several days to callus;
  • Add cactus compost to a pot until it is one-third full, then top with grit. One to two inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of cuttings should be inserted;
  • Keep the temperature between 65 and 75 F (18 and 24 C) and keep the compost gently damp;
  • If plucked early in the season, they should root in three to six weeks and bloom the following year.

Grower’s Tips

Water the plants as the soil starts to dry up from mid-spring through late summer, but avoid letting them stand in water. Apply fertilizer to cacti every two weeks. Move Epiphyllums over the winter to a colder location, around 52 to 57 F (11 to 14 C), and keep the compost just moist until the flower buds form to promote blooming. Once this has occurred, turn up the heat and start watering again as usual.

Is an orchid cactus a Christmas cactus?

Plants that only bloom once a year in short but beautiful displays are frequently kept around by gardeners. This entails taking care of the plants throughout the year and watching for the stunning first blooms to open.

Some plants blossom at the end of the long winters and provide a springtime tonic.

The orchid cactus, which is closely linked to the more popular Christmas cactus, is one illustration. A few of the flat-leaved, lobed stems from a parent plant are broken off and placed into a pot of soilless mix to reproduce the plant.

Even if I occasionally plant into pure soilless mix and add the sand to the soil surface, I always add a little bit of sand to the cactus mix because all cacti thrive in light, well-drained soil. The sand eventually becomes a soil improvement by sinking into the ground.

The slips take root quickly, and soon the quickly expanding stems will spill over the pot’s edge. These stems will blossom after a year.

The branches begin their growth upright but become pendulous as they grow longer. Along the primary stems, lateral branches grow as the stems become longer. A good specimen plant can be created by planting about six slips in a six-inch pot.

Like the Christmas cactus, an orchid cactus enjoys bright light but does not like a lot of direct sun or scorching, midday sun.

The soil should be maintained somewhat dry throughout the winter, but it should never be allowed to entirely dry out since this could prevent the plants from blossoming.

Orchid cactus need to be slightly root-bound before they bloom because most cacti want to be pot-bound.

If the plant is fertilized a few times in the early spring and again after it blooms, the lovely, mid-green leaves will keep their healthy appearance.

The orchid cactus enjoys low winter temperatures like the Christmas cactus, which promotes the formation of buds. Due to its photosensitivity, it needs complete nighttime darkness in order to set buds.

The earliest flowers, which are brilliant red and funnel-shaped, appear around the beginning of May. Each bloom lasts for a few days, and buds develop over the course of three to four weeks.

The orchid cactus can be relocated outdoors for the summer in a spot that receives filtered sunlight, just like its cousin, the Christmas cactus, but the plant needs to be brought back inside before the risk of fall frost.

How are orchid cactus divided?

A pink-flowered orchid cactus that is around 5 years old and 4 feet long is what I have. It is really lovely when it is in bloom. The plant is rather packed in the container; is it possible to divide it in half? A few stems had dark stains on them as well. Do I need to cut those off? I’m from San Mateo. Do you know where I might go to gather information on the plant?

A: Tropical rain forests from Mexico to Argentina are home to orchid cacti, also known as epicacti or epiphyllums. The ones we cultivate are probably hybrids, frequently a blending of more than two species. The majority of the wild parent plants grow on forest tree branches, while a few others have their roots tucked into rock crevices. They do best in potting soil that contains a lot of organic material, especially from decomposed leaves, and has perlite or coarse sand for good drainage.

The adult stems of these plants often lack spines, however the young branches of these plants may have them like other cacti. Large, brilliant flowers are typically produced in the spring or early summer and are carried on the sides of draped, leafless, flattened stems.

When somewhat confined to their pots, orchid cacti bloom at their best. You can cut out a few branches if yours is blooming and growing nicely but is very crowded with them. Start by removing non-blooming, older, less appealing stems by cutting them out at the base with a sharp knife. You could remove these unsightly branches right away if you discover that the stains on some branches are not caused by insects (see below). But don’t take out more than a third of the plant.

You could resolve the issue by relocating your plant to a larger pot if it is currently too crowded to thrive. Select one with a diameter that is no wider than 2 inches. Because the plant’s roots are sensitive, move it with caution.

Dividing plants

Large plants can, according to growers, be divided. If yours was originally generated from numerous cuttings, you may only need to carefully separate the roots. If it’s a large plant, it can be divided in half and divided again. Before repotting, let the halves dry for two days. After that, maintain them in a cool, shaded area for two weeks without watering.

You might cultivate some from cuttings as a backup plan or just to have some extra plants. Cut flat, 8 to 12 inch long branches off near the root, allow them to dry for a few weeks, and then bury the bases in potting soil. Before planting, some growers apply rooting hormone to the cut ends, while others claim they don’t need to. Numerous items in a single pot will speed up the process of filling it. In two to three years, cuttings typically blossom.

(Delay pruning, dividing, or making cuttings until the plant has finished blooming.)

How many hues are there in epiphyllum?

Flowers on orchid cacti are colorful, aromatic, and showy. The eye-catching cactus blossoms have enormous, cup-shaped blooms with between seven and twenty petals that can range in size from three to six (816 cm) across. White, yellow, pink, red, or bicolored flowers can be seen at the ends of orchid cactus stems.

Some Epiphyllum flowers feature blossoms that resemble a cup and saucer, like the queen of the night cactus. Other varieties of orchid cactus flowers feature slender, star-shaped petals that stretch out. Finally, the most eye-catching orchid cactus flowers have a profusion of vibrant petals, lengthy stamens that stick out, and a prominent stigma in the middle of the spherical flower.

The blossoms of hybrid orchid cacti have a delicious aroma, which is one of its characteristics. For instance, when some of the white orchid cactus species bloom at night, the smells they release can fill a room. The perfume of queen of the night flowers can be perceived up to a quarter mile away in warm areas (400 m).

A blooming orchid cactus is a magnificent sight to see. On the ends of protracted stems that cascade, masses of bright blooms blossom. Daytime-blooming hybrids of an orchid and a cactus produce flowers based on their color. Late spring is typically when orchid cactus with white or yellow blooms bloom, followed by pink and red in May, and then different hues in June and July.

The trailing plant has to receive lots of sunlight and be slightly root-bound in order to promote blooming. A low-nitrogen fertilizer will also provide the plant with the nutrition it needs to grow an abundance of blooms that will persist for a few weeks. Please check the sun needs first, though, as some orchid cactus hybrids thrive in shadow or dappled light.

Cacti that bloom at night often only do so on one evening each year. The queen of the night cactus, for instance, blooms in June and July. The magnificent white flowers will fully open in a few hours after blooming may begin between 8 and 10 pm. The lovely blooms, nevertheless, fade and pass away by daylight.