Epiphyllums forum: Epiphyllum care

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Name: Sharon
Canada (Zone 2b)
Jun 27, 2017 12:41 AM CST
I have an Epiphyllum but it seems all wildly growing every which way. I have seen some outside in the forums but if I place mine outside to the north it produces really thin looking stalks. It does this inside on the windowsill facing South West as well. Inside, away from the window, but it still gets lots of light, just not direct, it gets wide and thick. Quite frequently the stalks turn a slight bit yellowish and begin to take on a leather look appearing to be under-hydrated while other parts of the plant are perfect. I have no idea of what is good or what is bad. How do I care for this amazing plant?

Three years ago in May, just after I got it, it produced the biggest flower I had ever seen on an indoor plant and since then nothing. Please let me know what type of soil I should use. Right now I just use potting soil but since it's a succulent I was wondering if more sand is required. How much light does it require as well? Should this plant hang over something or stand straight up? I have no idea what to do with this plant.
Thumb of 2017-06-27/Candsgee/a6f681

Name: Mike
Mountain View, Hawaii
Region: United Kingdom Region: Hawaii
Jun 27, 2017 7:34 PM CST
Hi Sharon,

Looks like you have a nice healthy Epiphyllum. Sorry I can't name it for you but that is an average size bloom. Different varieties have larger or smaller blooms and come in number of different colors as I'm sure you have seen from the threads here.

They need partial sun. Mine do best in full early morning sun and then bright shade for the rest of the day. Soil must be well drained but never dry out. These are tropical rain forest cactus, not desert cactus so sand would not be good. In the wild they grow hanging from trees with roots in the rotting leaf mulch.

You might want to go up one more pot size but they do like to be a bit root bound to encourage blooms but don't repot it until its finished blooming. Maybe do that in October.

You have different problems in Canada because of your seasons so I will let someone else address your season challenges. Here in Hawaii they grow year round and our humidity rarely drops below 55%.

Good luck.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Jun 27, 2017 8:02 PM CST
Everything Mike said, plus. I use a cactus mix, but any fast draining soil will work. Feed with a balanced fertilizer during growth period (spring to fall) then no food while dormant. I have seen photos of them being trained upright with a tomato cage type support, but since they grow on trees in nature, hanging baskets work much better...if you have room for them. You can trim off branches and root them. I personally don't think they are suitable as house plants due to their light and water needs...and the large size they can attain. The long, skinny growths you mentioned are looking for more light and will develop roots to climb for it. Here, they don't actually GROW year round , but they do live outside, hanging in my lemon tree. I don't think they could take any frost, but I don't know that for sure. Watch for Scale, snails, and slugs.

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