Growing Instructions for Epiphyllum Seeds

Overview

Traditional epiphyllums are a group of flowering cacti that produce white, fragrant flowers that appear and disappear in a single night. Hybrid versions of this showy specimen will bloom during the day and come in violet, pink, yellow and orange. Although epiphyllums are usually propagated via cuttings, you can grow epiphyllums from seed. Bear in mind that it can take four to seven years until the epiphyllums flower.

Step 1

Remove ripened seed pods from an epiphyllum plant. A good rule of thumb for knowing when the pods are ready is when the pods turn red or yellow and feel soft when squeezed.

Step 2

Cut open the seed pods to remove the shiny black seeds from within the pod. Fill up a container with water. Place the epiphyllum seeds in the container of water to soak for 24 hours. This will help separate the seeds from the pulp.

Step 3

Spread the seeds out onto paper towels to allow them to dry for two to three days. Once the seeds are dry, remove any dried pulp from he seeds using a small brush, if necessary.

Step 4

Mix a quality potting media that is formulated especially for cactus with one-third of either coarse sand or horticultural perlite. Or, mix together 40 percent of a good quality potting media with 30 percent coarse sand or horticultural perlite and 30 percent compost or leaf mold to make your own cactus potting media.

Step 5

Scoop the potting media into individual 3- or 4-inch plastic pots. Each pot should have enough potting media in it to fill it within about 1/2 inch from the top.

Step 6

Sprinkle four or five of the epiphyllums seeds out onto the surface of the potting media. Sprinkle no more than 1/8 of an inch of fine sand over the seeds to make sure there is good seed-to-soil contact. You can also push the epiphyllum seeds into the potting media to a depth of no more than 1/8 inch using your fingertips to ensure good contact.

Step 7

Spray a fine mist of water over the epiphyllum seeds until they are visibly well dampened.

Step 8

Place the pots inside of a plant propagator that is set to keep the temperature at 70 degrees F, suggest the UK's Royal Horticultural Society. You can purchase a plant propagator at a garden center or plant nursery. An alternative to using a propagator is placing the pots into a shallow tray. Slide the tray of pots into a clear plastic bag and close it loosely.

Step 9

Remove the tray of pots from the plastic bag, or plant propagator once germination begins in three to five weeks. The potting media should remain moist, but not soaking wet. Use the spray bottle to mist the potting media as often as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Knife
  • Paper towels
  • Brush
  • Cactus potting mix or coarse sand, perlite and leaf mold or compost
  • 3- or 4-inch pots
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic bag or plant propagator

References

  • The Amateurs' Digest: Growing Epiphyllums
  • Royal Horticultural Society: Epiphyllums

Who Can Help

  • British Cactus and Succulent Society
Keywords: propagating epiphyllums, epiphyllum seed planting, planting epiphyllum seeds

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on gardenguides.com. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.