Growing epiphyllum from cuttings doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Epiphyllum is also known as the "orchid cactus" for its curiously beautiful presentation as a desert succulent with exotic orchid-esque blooms. Epiphyllum originated from South and Central America, and despite the appearance of their blossoms, they are bona fide members of the family Cactaeae. Grown mostly indoors in urban settings, epiphyllum are night bloomers, and thus their flowers are lighter, brighter shades of yellow and white to attract nature's night-bearing pollinators, moths and bats. Learn from garden experts how to grow epiphyllum from cuttings and establish this ancient yet modern blooming cactus in your own home garden or landscape setting.
How to Propagate Epiphyllum from Cuttings
While the newer hybrid types of epiphyllum are initially grown from seed, existing varietals are propagated exclusively by cuttings. The first step is to obtain a cutting, which can be done by purchasing a cutting from a varietal you would like to start cultivating or simply by cutting off one of the stems of an existing epiphyllum plant. The next step may seem counter-intuitive, but it is necessary to allow the stem to harden and dry completely prior to planting. This can be accomplished by placing the cutting in a paper bag until they gain a dry, wrinkled appearance. At this time, they are ready for planting.
Formulate a potting mixture of three-quarters soil and one-quarter perlite or pumice, and place the cutting small side down no more than two inches deep in the potting mix. Add supportive staking if needed, and do not water at first, but just mist them until a few weeks have passed. Only begin a regular watering schedule after several weeks have gone by. Contrary to the process of preparing the cuttings for planting, once installed, epiphyllum require moisture just like any other cactus would. Also ensure that the pot has adequate drainage holes to avoid root rot.