Epiphyllums fall into the category of forest cacti and do not resemble the plants that most people will think of as cacti. There are no spiny growths on this one and if you are familiar with the”Easter” and “Christmas” cacti, these too are forest types. But by far, the most spectacular when it comes to flowering are the Epiphyllums.
Forest cacti grow in their natural environment attached to trees. The stems are thick and fleshy with a trailing habit. This makes them ideal candidates for hanging containers. They can become quite large so bear this in mind when choosing a position for one in the home.
I have had an Epiphyllum thriving quite happily in my south-facing conservatory for many years although it does spend the summer months outdoors on the patio in the shade of some large tubs. It will be going outside this week now that we are well into June once I have persuaded it to release its hold through the slats of the shelf where it lives! This spell outdoors will harden the stems and prepare the plant for its next flowering session. When I brought it in last autumn I was delighted that it produced a display of blooms before Christmas and I wasn’t expecting it to perform at its usual time of late winter/early spring. However, because this is its normal cooler (and drier) period it put on a grand performance as usual. I increase the watering when I see buds start to form. The huge double pink blooms cascaded beautifully from the high shelf on which the plant sits.
I have acquired a cutting from an epiphyllum this weekend with flowers which are cream with a yellow edge so I am greatly looking forward to nurturing this one to flowering stage.