Epiphyllum Cultivation

Overview

The epiphyllum, a hybrid of epiphytic cacti species, produces a variety of flowers in a wide range of colors. The fragrant blossoms range in size from 1 inch to around 12 inches across. The flowers appear with single, multiple and even ruffled petals. A few varieties of epiphyllums produce flowers that last only for a day but most will offer blossoms that span several days before falling from the plant.

Space

The epiphyllum plant produces long, pendulous stemlike foliage that benefits from being grown in hanging baskets or on plant stands which allow the long foliage to hang down. Each epiphyllum requires a minimum of 3 feet of space to meet its needs.

Fertilizing Needs

During the spring and summer feed the epiphyllum monthly. It benefits from a light fertilizer such as a water soluble 8-8-8 fertilizer. When fall arrives stop fertilizing the epiphyllum because it is preparing for the winter months. The plant also does not require fertilizer during the winter.

Humidity and Water

The epiphyllum benefits from morning misting which helps raise the humidity around the plant. Water abundantly during the spring and summer months. The plant adores abundant water and should never completely dry out. The soil should feel moist to the touch at all times. Watering can be reduced during the winter months because the plant uses less water as it enters a semi-dormant state with no abundant growth.

Light Requirements

The epiphyllum grows best in filtered sunlight. When grown indoors it enjoys receiving both morning and afternoon sunlight.

Flowering

In order for the epiphyllum to flower it requires low wintertime temperatures. The plant prefers to be maintained at 50 degrees F. When the sun sets keep the plant in darkness and do not expose it to artificial light. Flower buds will begin to develop during the late winter months so adhering to a strict light and temperature agenda will help the plant to bloom. Plants begin to bloom between 1 to 4 years of age.

Repotting

The epiphyllum requires repotting every three to four years when it becomes root-bound. Choose a pot that is one size larger then the pot the ephiphyllum is currently in. Use a potting mixture that contains fir bark, perlite and sand. The combination offers ideal drainage. Repot the plant after blooming has ceased.

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About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.