This plant has a mild fragrance
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Orchid Cactus Overview
The genus Epiphyllum is commonly known by a few names, such as Orchid Cactus and Climbing Cactus. It produces distinctive fishbone-shaped foliage with zig-zag margins. This genus contains around 10 species with smooth, green, deeply lobed leaves. Lobes are rounded to rectangular and this species produces 6-20cm long, yellow or white, nocturnal and sweetly scented blooms. If you are an early riser and usually early to bed, you may miss the show! These plants appreciate cool temperatures and actually need to be exposed to between 10-15 degrees Celsius in winter for a couple of weeks to force their night-time blooms. They originate from Mexico and is commonly grown as an ornamental plant both in the house and outdoors in its native environment of tropical forests in Guerrero, Jalisco, Nayarit and Oaxaca. Epiphyllum plants are epiphytic and thus grow without the need for soil substrate, they are naturally found in the forks of tree branches or in rock crevices where enough humus has accumulated to retain moisture.
Common problems with Orchid Cactus
They have few insect or disease problems. Watch out for standing water around the roots and don’t over water or fungus gnats and stem and root rot will become a problem.
How to harvest Orchid Cactus
Take cuttings after flowering. Feed during spring during the growth season to encourage more long cane-like shoots and therefore more blooms.
How to propagate Orchid Cactus
Detach 4-6 in (10-15 cm) stem segments in spring and place upright in moist potting mix. Stem cuttings root easily, but you may wait a few years to see many blooms on a new plant.
Special features of Orchid Cactus
Fleshy stems store water for dry spells.
Bright indirect sunlight is suitable indoors.
Perfect for hanging pots. Repot every 2-3 years, moving up to a pot 1 size larger. Wait till early spring to repot, never while it's blooming.
Other uses of Orchid Cactus
Grown for its nocturnal flowers.
The fruit is edible.