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How to Grow Epiphyllum From Seeds

Epiphyllum is a cactus that sports very large and colorful blooms. It sometimes is called the orchid of cacti because of its fragrant blooms. Epiphyllum can be grown from seeds, although patience is required as this is a very slow-growing plant. Epiphyllum grown from seeds can take 5 to 7 years before it reaches the blooming stage.

Extract seeds from an Epiphyllum seed pod by cutting the pod open, scooping out the pulp with its tiny black seeds and mashing the pulp with the back of a spoon. Put the mash in a shallow dish of water and discard any seeds that float. Separate the seeds and discard the mash.

Fill a shallow container with a mixture of three parts loam, one part perlite and one part peat-free compost.

Spread the Epiphyllum seeds on top of the soil in a container and sprinkle more soil lightly over the seeds.

Mist the seeds with water from a spray bottle until the soil is damp.

Cut a clean, 2-liter soda bottle in half lengthwise. Place half of the soda bottle over the Epiphyllum seeds so that the bottle forms a greenhouse over the seeds.

Place the bottle in a sunny window where it will get plenty of light and maintain a temperature of approximately 70 to 75 degrees F. The seeds should sprout in 3 to 4 months.

Prune An Epiphyllum

Disinfect bypass pruners in a 10 percent diluted bleach solution, mixing 1 part chlorine bleach with 9 parts water. Clip off all flowers after the blossoms expire. Make a cut just below the flower head. It is best to assume that any dead stem died as a result of disease and disinfect the pruners as a precaution before continuing. Remove any long stems that disrupt the balance of the epiphyllum, cutting them back to the parent stem. These are often located along the outer edge of the epiphyllum.

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