How to Grow an Orchid Cactus


The orchid cactus, or phyllocactus, is a member of the cacti family, but acts quite different than standard desert cacti. Preferring to grow on other plants and draw its nutrients from the air, this plant falls into the family of epiphytes. Although it is a cactus, orchid cacti do not have spines and prefer an environment with temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees F.

Step 1

Fill the container with loamy potting soil and plant the seed 1½ inches beneath the surface. Water the seed and wait for it to sprout.

Step 2

Water the plant once during its first week after sprouting to avoid over-watering. Continue faithful watering and place where it will receive primarily filtered sunlight. This cactus only requires water every three to four days so that the soil is permitted to completely dry out.

Step 3

Fertilize monthly after its first growing season from spring until winter. The cactus will bloom in its second or third year.

Things You'll Need

  • Orchid cactus seeds
  • 4-inch container
  • Loamy potting soil
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer


  • Ephiphyllum
  • Orchid Cactus Care
Keywords: orchid cactus, phyllocactus, growing phyllocactus

About this Author

Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.