The Plant: Epiphyllum Cactus Orchids are colourful and easy to look after. An unusual, rather strange-looking plant, with fleshy green flattened broad stems with wavy edges. The beauty of the Epiphyllums is in the colourful bracts and flowerheads in bold colours of orange, red, pink, or creamy white.
Its needs: Good light, but not too much direct sun, and a rich well-draining potting mix. Warmth and humidity essential.
Care: Allow potting compost to dry out completely between waterings. Use a low nitrogen feed on a monthly basis from the beginning of the growing season. Reduce watering and feed during winter. Keep Orchid cactus warm. Take stem cuttings of Epiphyllum cactus orchids in early spring, place these upright in a sandy potting mix. Watch for scale pest and mealy bug.
Good for: Without its brightly coloured flowers and bracts most people would give the Orchid cactus a miss, but once in bloom the attraction of this Epiphyllum can be seen. Nice to have on display when in flower, but possibly kept ‘in the spare room’ when not at its best. Unusual ‘foliage’ of flattened stems.