- Native to Central America
- About 2 ft (60 cm) tall
- Bright, but indirect sunlight. Insufficient light results in spindly growth and fewer blooms.
- As the plant grows, keep the soil moist in spring and fall.
- In winters, water scarcely till new growth starts in spring.
Orchid cactus stems are broad and flat with jagged edges, growing up to 2 feet (60 cm) long and about 2 inches (5 cm) wide.
Big, cup-shaped blooms in striking colors make growing orchid cactus very pleasurable. Display them boastfully in hanging baskets and pots and allow the long stems to spill over the pot.
Flowers can be 4-8 in (10-20 cm) wide, growing at the ends of the stems. Epiphyllum grown these days are mostly hybrids and can be pink, red, white, yellow, purple, orange or bicolored.
Exposing your tropical cactus to plenty of light will give months of blooms.
The plant should not be allowed to dry out. Excess dryness results in shriveled, limp stems.
Avoid over-watering as it can lead to stem rot. Remove any damaged part of the stems.
Humidity: Moderate indoor about 40-50% relative humidity. Keep some pebbles on a dish and fill this dish with water such that water remains lower than the pebbles and the pot’s bottom does not touch water. It will boost humidity, if necessary.
You can raise the humidity level in your house by using a cool mist humidifier.
Average room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C.
To initiate flower buds, the plant needs 8-10 weeks of cool days 60-65°F and 45-55°F nights in winter.
Mix 1 part peat moss-based potting mix and 1 part perlite for fast drainage.
Feed every 2 weeks from early spring through fall with a high-phosphorus water-soluble fertilizer. Stop feeding during the winters.
Propagation can be done by stem cuttings.
Pruning Orchid Cactus
Prune your Orchid Cactus if you want to control its size. The best time to prune it is immediately after it stops flowering.
Use sharp, clean pruning shears to avoid tearing the stems.
These Orchid Cactus cuttings can be easily propagated to have more of these captivating plants.
Repot every 2-3 years, with a pot 1 size larger. Orchid Cactus likes to be slightly pot-bound and blooms best this way. Never repot when it’s blooming as it will cause its buds and blooms to drop.
How to initiate blooming in Orchid Cactus
Growing Orchid Cactus is easy, but you can help it to bloom with a few things.
Give it a rest in winter. A cool, dry rest of about 8-10 weeks in winter will help the plant to set buds. Water scarcely and stop fertilizing at this time.
Keep your orchid cactus in bright, indirect light throughout the year. If it is kept outdoors for the summer, shade the plant from direct sunlight.
High-phosphorus fertilizer will support more blooms. Start feeding in early spring continuing through fall.
As the buds appear, keep the plant in the same place. Light and temperature changes due to moving it around will make it drop its buds and flowers.
Keep it away from drafty areas such as doorways and heat/AC vents.