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Epiphyllum laui (Orchid Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Epiphyllum laui Kimnach

Common Names

Orchid Cactus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Hylocereeae
Genus: Epiphyllum

Description

Epiphyllum laui is a fast-growing cactus with soft and shiny stems up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) wide. They are crenate, with sparse hair-like spines, branching basally or laterally. The flowers are funnel-form, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and wide, opening in the evening and remain fully expanded for 2 days. The outer petals and yellow and the inner are white. The fruits are oblong, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) thick at middle and pink when fully ripe.

Hardiness

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 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 a standard cactus soil with added grit or perlite. Alternatively, mix 3 parts loam-based compost, with 2 parts grit or perlite and 1 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 Epiphyllum can become unstable in their pots. Either repot in to 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

Origin

Native to Mexico (Chiapas).

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