How to Grow Rhipsalis and Epiphyllum
All of our Epiphyllum were originally sourced from the Adam's Jungle Cacti collection. Adam's Jungle Cacti was a small private collection of epiphitic plants, most of which originate from Central and South America, with a handful from Madagascar, Africa, Sri-Lanka, India, SE Asia etc.
Step 1: Obtain your Rhipsalis / Epiphyllum cactus cuttings.
You can buy Epiphyllum cactus cuttings from a garden center or an online plant store.
- Cactus cuttings are sections of a mature stem which are planted and used to grow a whole new plant.
- If you already own an Epiphyllum cactus that is strong and healthy, you can make your cuttings. Choose a healthy leaf of approximately 4 inches (10 cm) and cut it off at the stem below the base of the leaf. Repeat this process until you have obtained the desired number of cuttings.
Step 2: Let the cut tip callous over
Store cuttings in a cool, dry place away from the sun for 10-14 days. Good places include a garden shed, bathroom, or basement. Because the Epiphyllum cactus is a succulent plant, cuttings can remain good for up to a month. (Remember to take into account the postage time).
- Storing the cuttings will allow them to cure. The purpose of curing the cuttings is to allow calluses to form over the ends of the cutting. The calluses protect the cuttings from rot.
- If you purchased the cuttings and don't know exactly when they were made, cure them for a week before planting.
Step 3 Plant your cuttings
- Plant in a high quality Succulent / Cacti mix. This should be a well draining mix, made up of soil, sand, perlite, and bark.
- Drainage is key, if the plants stay wet for too long they will rot.
Step 4 Refrain from over-watering they are well-rooted.
- If you over-water the cuttings in the first two weeks they will rot.
- If a cutting has rotted, take it out of the pot, cut away the rot, cure the cutting, and pot it again.
Step 5 Decide where you want to grow your cactus.
- Epiphyllum need bright, but indirect light.
- A shady spot under a tree or beneath a shade structure / shade house provides the perfect light conditions for Epiphyllum. If grown in direct sunlight, cacti can get burnt. If set in too shady an area, the cactus can become overly lush and will be shy to produce flowers.
- If you keep your cactus indoors or in a greenhouse, make sure to provide moderate to high humidity for your cactus.
- Epiphyllum cacti love growing in hanging containers, and doing so will provide a good base for the pendulous growth of the plant.
Step 6 Water your cactus 1-3 times a week
Watering schedules will vary depending on the season and temperatures. In Summer we recommend watering 2-3 times a week, in Winter we recommend only watering once a week.
- Check the soil regularly to gauge whether you need to add water.
- When you water, make sure to add enough water so that any excess water flows out of the drainage holes. This will rinse out the soil and prevent the accumulation of soluble salts in the soil.
Step 7 Lightly fertilize your cactus with a time-release fertilizer.
Epiphyllum cacti bloom best when you give them regular, light fertilizer applications.
- Only use about one-third to one-half the amount of fertilizer that is recommended on the label. Since cacti naturally grow in relatively low nutrient environments, they won't require as many nutrients for healthy growth.
- During the winter, fertilize with a low or no nitrogen fertilizer. Use a 2-10-10 or a 0-10-10 formulation. After the blossoming season is past, fertilize with a balanced formulation like 10-10-10 or 5-5-5.
The following are the tips that you can make use of to ensure that your orchid cactus blooms well.
- It is important for you to give the plant much needed rest during winter. This means that it needs a dry rest for about 8 to 10 weeks of the winter season in order to set the buds.
- You should only water the plant very sparingly during winter and never think of fertilising the plant during winter time.
- It is important that the orchid cactus gets partial sunlight all round the year. If you are moving the plant outdoors during summer time, make sure you are placing it in a shaded place away from direct sunlight.
- Feed the plant with organic high potassium fertiliser to aid in blooming. This fertiliser has to be fed from early spring through to Autumn.
- Never move the plant from its location once it starts to bud. You should never change the temperature and light when it starts to bud as this might cause it to drop the flower and the bud.
- You should also move the plant to a bigger size pot every two to three years. Repotting must be done only during early spring and this way your Epiphyllums will bloom regularly during spring time.