Epiphyllum

Epiphyllum are absolutely breathtaking when in bloom!  We purchased ours quite a few years back from Simply Succulents in Fort Bragg, CA.

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The nursery had two very full flats of different hybrid Epiphyllum leaf cuttings that they had been intending to root and pot up to sell.  When we showed an interest in the plants, the nice lady offered them all to us for just $20!  Yippee Skippee!  Not only was it a chance to try out a new type of plant, but I had a chance to try out a  bunch of different types!  We have the names of some of these hybrids, but many of them were unnamed or the name which was written with Sharpie has faded over time.

The good news is that they root easily.  The bad news is that I love to experiment!  Most have survived my torture, but there were a few that just couldn’t handle it.  I have learned that mounting them to trees works great……..as long as they have proper humidity or at least some water in the 100+ degree days and they have some cover from freezing.  They survive the freeze, but their leaves get ugly.  They also survive our HOT dry summer with little irrigation, but they don’t appreciate it.  I finally put many of them in what I call my Epiphyllum ball (2 over-sized hanging baskets mounted together into a globe shape with very well draining soil).  They love it!  Even though I am not great at watering them on a regular basis or fertilizing them as often as they would prefer, they still provide large beautiful flowers in April and May!   I try to fertilize them heavily in February and March just before they put on their show and boy oh boy, what a show they can give when I do!   Even when I forget to feed them, they still bloom, just not as well.  During the winter, we move them to an area with overhead protection to keep them away from the cold rain and freezing days.  They handle temperatures down to 19 degrees Fahrenheit, but they do not like to be wet when this occurs.

Epiphyllum may provide some absolutely beautiful flowers, but they do have one draw back…… albeit a small one…….. they are not the prettiest plants when they are not in bloom, which is most of the year for us.  The show they do give you when they bloom makes the behaviorally challenged leaves and the long wait well worth it!