Growing Instructions for Epiphyllum


Epiphyllum is a houseplant known by many growers as an orchid cactus or rainforest cactus. The plant is a member of the cactus family, yet it has no thorns. There are about 100 varieties to choose from and each one produces colorful flowers. Epiphyllum thrives in humid, tropical climates but it can be grown indoors in any region if proper growing instructions are followed.

Step 1

Purchase an unrooted cutting from a nursery or garden center. Cuttings between 5 and 8 inches are ideal.

Step 2

Place the cutting in a cool, dark place for two weeks.

Step 3

Fill a medium-size pot with potting soil.

Step 4

Use your finger and dig a 2-inch hole in the soil. Put the end of the cutting into the hole. Refill the hole with soil and gently pack the soil around the cutting.

Step 5

Place a small plant stake into the soil beside the cutting. Loosely tie a piece of yarn around the stake and the cutting.

Step 6

Dampen the soil with water. Do not over-water. The plant receives its moisture through its leaves, not its roots. The purpose of keeping the soil damp is to enable roots to grow and strengthen so the plant can stand upright.

Step 7

Put the pot in an area in your home away from windows. The plant does not need to receive sunlight for two months. Keep the soil damp. Never allow the soil to completely dry out.

Step 8

Place the pot where it can receive indirect sunlight. Continue to keep the soil damp.

Step 9

Use a water bottle and lightly mist the plant every three to four days.

Step 10

Fertilize with a diluted liquid plant fertilizer every seven to 10 days from April to September. Determine the amount of fertilizer to use based on the label's directions then add one additional part of water.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium planting pot
  • Potting soil
  • Plant stake
  • Yarn
  • Water bottle
  • Liquid plant fertilizer


  • Orchid Cactus: Planting and Growing Instructions
  • Texas A&M University: Cactus
  • University of Rhode Island: Cacti and Succulents

Who Can Help

  • San Diego Ephiphyllum Society: What is an Epiphyllum?
Keywords: grow orchid cactus, growing epiphyllum, growing rainforest cactus

About this Author

Leigh Walker has been working as a writer since 1995. She serves as a ghostwriter for many online clients creating website content, e-books and newsletters. She works as a title flagger and writer for Demand Studios, primarily writing home and garden pieces for and Walker pursued an English major/psychology minor at Pellissippi State.