Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE THESE FLOWERS?
They are epiphyllums (pronounced “EP IH FILL UMS”), a type of cactus. Epiphyllum plants are native to the tropical rain forests of Central and South America.
HOW DO THEY GROW?
In nature, epiphyllum species grow in trees along with orchids and bromeliads.
WHEN DO THEY BLOOM?
Annually in the springtime and on into the early summer.
HOW LONG DO THEY LAST? I HAVE A WHITE ONE THAT ONLY BLOOMS AT NIGHT.
Some species produce white fragrant flowers that only bloom for one night. The colorful hybrids have individual blooms that may last from a few days to a week.The flowers last longer in cool weather. They last longer if not cut off the plant; and the smaller flowers tend to last longer than the larger ones.
ARE THEY HARD TO ROOT AND GROW?
No, they are easy to root and grow, but they are slow growing.
HOW LONG UNTIL I GET FLOWERS?
When you start with an unrooted cutting, it usually takes at least three years before you will begin to get flowers. A cutting takes time to grow new branches. Buds will appear in the notches (areoles) along the branches. A plant that is already rooted and growing will usually bloom in less than three years. We often have mature plants in bud or bloom available for purchase at our sales.
WHAT TYPE OF SOIL AND FERTILIZER DO THEY NEED?
A loose potting mix is needed. We start with camellia/azalea mix and add perlite and chopped bark. A balanced or low nitrogen fertilizer works best. Apply fertilizer in early spring to encourage blooms.
DO THEY NEED FULL SUN?
No. Unlike desert cacti, jungle cacti like shade. Too much sun can burn or even kill them.
Pot them in baskets and hang them on the patio or under a tree.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WATER?
As often as needed. Do not let the pot dry out completely. Smaller pots need watering more often than larger pots. They will need to be watered more often in warm weather than in cool weather.
CAN I PLANT THEM IN MY YARD?
Do not plant epiphyllums in the ground. The species are epiphytes, or plants that grow in trees, not the ground. Ground soil is too compact and the roots will likely die. Also, slugs and snails may eat your plants if kept on the ground.