Epiphyllums are very easy to grow and will tolerate more neglect than any other type of plant and still reward you with large, vivid blooms in the spring. They require filtered light under a tree, on a patio or in a lath house, also grown indoors if moved outside in the early spring. They do not tolerate either full sun or freezing temperatures, in fact, they may show some signs of damage under 35 deg and do best if kept at 40 deg or more. They will not bloom if they don't have fairly bright light though.
Although most of the Epiphyllums offered on this site are HYBRIDS, there growing conditions are simular to the species that were used to hybridize them. Here is a map of the Epiphyllum Species habitat range to give you an idea of what type of climate you need to simulate: See our species page and maps at Mattslandscape.com
CUTTINGS AND MIX
When you receive your cuttings, they are in no hurry to be potted - in fact - be sure the end is well calloused before planting (Usually two-three weeks after they were cut). I will date your cuttings so you will know about when to prepare to plant, during warm summer months a week maybe enough time as it’s hot and there in active growth. If not well calloused just leave cuttings in cool dry place until well calloused. Epi's will not bloom until they are root bound. It's a good idea to start two to three (same variety) cuttings together to fill a pot 6 inches or larger sooner, or one cutting in a 3" or 4" pot. Plant about 1-1/2" deep or enough so the stem stands up on its own in a slightly damp rooting soil mix. You can experiment with other mixes as there are as many mixes as Epi growers. Just be sure it has good drainage.
For more info on rooting cuttings visit our 'Rooting cuttings page' at Mattslandscape.com
For more information on soil mixes visit our 'Soil mix page' at Mattslandscape.com
WATER THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF EPI'S TOO MUCH WATER!
Epi's should not be over watered, especially when first potted. Just mist the stem for the first few weeks. Do not begin watering the soil until roots are established. To tell when your cuttings are rooted look for new growth or give a slight tug. Small pots need watering at least once a week in warm weather, less frequent in winter months. They should be kept on the dry side. Epi's love rain water, it helps to leach out the salts in fertilizer and most city supplied water. The plants love to be misted, early in the morning is best. When I water my Epi's I water them well for established plants and do not water them again until there completely dry on the surface. Use a pot with good drainage that has sufficient drain holes. If you think there getting to much water replace the soil before rot sets in. Once plants are larger you won’t don’t need to be as careful, healthy stem growth will be a sign if there happy in most cases.
ABOUT WATER Epiphyllums like a lower ph or acid soil as most city water is high or Alkaline. Heres some information to help correct that in the water or soil mix you use:
'PH Levels for Epiphyllums' visit the growing page at Mattslandscape.com
A balanced fertilizer (10-10-5) or equivalent can be used monthly from June through October, begin application after blooming has ended. Give them rest from November to mid-January. Then give them an application of low nitrogen bloom fertilizer (0-10-10) or equivalent or higher from mid-January until blooming/bud development ends. For most varieties this is in May-June. Unless you’re on the other side of the world like OZ, New Zealand or South Africa and it’s in reverse.
To understand what these numbers mean and for advanced blooming techniques visit the
Epi's are relatively pest free but watch for snail damage. Scatter snail bait in the spring, if you have them in hanging baskets or on stands you will have fewer problems with snails. A good preventive measure for other pests is to give Malathion for aphids, mealy bugs and just about any soft skinned insect. For hard scale you can use horticultural oils, Marathon or scrape them off and wipe with rubbing alcohol. Because some growers live in various locations and although these pests are less common I’ve made a pest page that gives some info for each pesky critter. Most growers will experience only the ones mentioned above but depending where you live these can be a problem too.
For more information on SCALE and dealing with less common pests visit our 'Pest Page!' at Mattslandscape.com
it’s a good idea to put a label in each pot as the original cutting with the name will eventually die back and the name could be lost. I will include a label for each kind of cuttings you purchased in your shipping box and write the name/date cut in permanent marker pen on the cutting; In addition you can use a metal tag, label tape on the pots or a china marker.
Once you grow these awesome plants for a short while you will realize how easy they are to care for but should you have any questions/difficulty growing just e-mail us.