Epiphyllum laui Kimnach
Epiphyllum laui is a much-branched cactus with flat shiny green stems, often reddish or brownish at the apex, with a subterete base, crenate margins, and prominent midrib. The stems are smooth, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) wide, and branch basally or laterally. The hair-like brownish-yellow spines are mainly present in the subterete part of the stems.
Flowers are funnel-shaped, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, nearly equal in diameter, and appear in spring, opening in the evening and remaining fully expanded for two days. The outer petals are yellow, while the inner ones are white. Fruits are carmine, pink when fully ripe, and contain white flesh and tiny black seeds. They are oblong, often ribbed, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long, and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.
Epiphyllum laui is native to Mexico (Chiapas). It grows as an epiphyte or lithophyte at elevations from 5,905 to 6,560 feet (1,800 to 2,000 m).
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Epiphyllums are hardy to about 50 °F (10 °C) but require at least 60 °F (15 °C) during the growing season, so they are best grown in a heated greenhouse, conservatory, or indoors. Place the pots in bright, filtered light with moderate to high humidity. To increase the humidity, position the pot on a tray filled with gravel and keep this topped up with water, but not enough so that the water reaches the surface. These cacti require sharply-drained growing media. Grow them in standard cactus soil with added grit or perlite. Alternatively, mix three parts loam-based compost, with two parts grit or perlite and one part peat-free multipurpose compost.
Overlong stems can be cut off or shortened. New shoots will usually develop just behind the cut. However, be careful not to overwater after pruning, as the plant's water requirements will be reduced. Large Epiphyllums can become unstable in their pots. Either repot into a heavier pot, such as terracotta, or a wider container, such as a pan. Alternatively, try using canes and tying the stems up, but this can look unsightly.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Epiphyllum.
- Back to genus Epiphyllum
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.