Epiphylum Orchid Cactus
+ Comes in an 8" plastic pot with hanger.
This epiphytic cactus originated from the rainforests of Mexico, Central America, and South America, growing quickly from the jungle understory up through the tree tops. Interestingly enough the plant does not have leaves, the foliage you see is from modified stems that help store water in the drier conditions. These are very easily grown in hanging baskets, or along a trellis. This plant also has quite a mythos following it, with tribes in the rainforest regions believing that it is a flower from the gods, and therefore carries medicinal value used in healing rituals.
CLASSIFICATION / GENUS:
Epiphyllum Oxypetalum / Epiphyllum
Queen of the Night / Epiphyllum / Epiphyllum Oxypetalum / Orchid Cactus / Dutchman's pipe cactus / Christ in the Manger / Honolulu Queen / Flowering ceroid / Dama de Noche
As the plant grows it will shoot long stems that are designed to grab onto nearby trees so that it can grow with them in the wild. These stems, or often called stolons, have small root-like structures that help it grip onto the other plants. This plant can grow up to 10 feet tall given the proper conditions.
This does well outdoors in zones 10 through 12, in cooler zones, these cacti can be raised indoors as houseplants. The optimum temperature that this plant should have is between 50-90 degree F.
Partial shade and lots of indirect light. These cacti are epiphytes, which means that in the wild, they grow on other plants for support (do not confuse them as parasitic plants). If grown as an interior plant, a South facing window will allow it to have about 6 hours of indirect sunlight (make sure to also give it something to lean on). If growing outdoors, plant them underneath a larger plant that it can grow into for support and use as shade. These plants also do not like drafts.
This is considered a succulent vine, so it does not need a lot of water to survive, with that said do not wait until the soil of this plant is too dry before watering it. It can damage the plant and prevent the roots from developing. Unlike desert cacti, these plants need to maintain a little moisture in the soil and will not tolerate being too dry for long periods of time.
Cactus or succulent mix is great for this plant. This plant does not need a lot of space in the pot, and prefers to be root bound.
DOES IT FLOWER?
Yes, they bloom large star shaped fragrant white flowers that open only at night, and often for only one night. They tend to open for 2 hours, reach full maturity after 5 hours, and then close quickly before dawn, it can often be tricky to catch them in full bloom. Be forewarned, these are not easy flowers to get to bloom, and most of this is based on the amount of indirect light they receive, and the right temperature in the home environment. Pot bound Epiphylums tend to bloom more, and to encourage blooms it's best to keep the plants around 40 degrees F in winter time to trigger its hibernation.
IS IT POISONOUS/TOXIC?
CAN IT BE PROPAGATED FROM CUTTINGS?
Yes. These plants grow best from cuttings. You can simply cut off a stem and directly plant into soil. They may seem wrinkly for a couple of weeks while they establish themselves, but they will. Do not overwater them during this time. If the cutting starts to water, you have watered too much.
These are relatively pest and disease free indoors, but can be susceptible to common plant pests like: Mealy bugs, scale, aphid, and spider mite. If outdoors, slugs and snails go to chow town on these, so be careful.
WINTER TRAVEL: PLEASE MAKE SURE TO PURCHASE A HEAT-PACK (FOUND WITHIN OUR STORE) IF THE PLANT IS TRAVELING IN BELOW 50 DEGREE WEATHER.