Epiphyllum - 12 species with photos of a flowering cactus
Epiphyllum is very popular among gardeners. It combines fairly large flowers with a wonderful aroma, while it belongs to the cactus family, that is, it combines the characteristics of succulents and flowering plants.
However, the epiphyllum cannot be fully called a cactus, since it is distinguished by a pronounced lignified base and rather long leafy stems.
This flower is attributed to epiphytic cacti, and it is found in the region from the tropical regions of America to Mexico.
The plant was described by the English botanist Adrian Haworth in 1812. The name is made up of two Greek roots - epi ("top"), phylum ("leaf"). It was understood that the flowers are formed directly on the leaves. However, there is a mistake here, because the flowers are formed on the stems, and not on the leaves.
The stems of the epiphyllum really look like fleshy leaf plates with serrations and spines along the edge. Flowers are large (real leaflets form under the sepals of the bud and look like small scales) and can be painted in white, red, pink or cream color with variations in shades.
The plant can bloom and even bear fruit at home, but for the formation of the ovary, it is necessary to ensure pollination of the flower. The fruit is large, resembles a plum, but there may be thorns on the surface.
Popular home-grown species
Florists with pleasure contain many varieties of epiphyllum on their windowsills.
Epiphyllum anguliger angular (Epiphyllum anguliger)
This representative of the species is distinguished by a bushy shape and lignified stems, which are highly branched. The leaves are oval, elongated, up to a meter long, 4 to 9 cm wide, with pronounced carved edges.
Flowers stand out in a very large size - there are cases when the opened inflorescence exceeded 15 cm. Unfortunately, the photo is not able to convey the exquisite aroma that the anguliger emits.
Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Epiphyllum oxypetalum), or acid
Oxypetalum, or Princess of the Night, is remarkable in that even in the conditions of an apartment it can easily reach up to three meters in height. Stems are similar to twigs, similarity strengthens the lignified base.
Large flat semicircular notches are present on flat wide stems (can reach 10 cm). Flowers are also notable for their size and dizzy aroma.
Based on this variety, several hybrids with a wide variety of petal colors were bred.
Epiphyllum akerman (Epiphyllum akermanii)
It differs in modest sizes, a long flowering period and long drooping stems, on which pronounced notches are present.
The plant can be planted in hanging flower pots, which will allow you to create decorative compositions for flowering.
Guatemalan Epiphyllum (Epiphyllum guatemalense)
This subspecies is divided into two varieties, their main difference in the structure of the stem. At the first, the stem is similar to oak leaves interconnected.
The second form of the stem is arbitrary. But the flowers are almost the same - in pink with small variations of shades.
Acute-epiphyllum (Epiphyllum hookeri), or white epiphyllum
The nickname "white" epiphyllum received for many white flowers covering the bush during flowering. The main name is due to the structure of the stem, which at the edges has a large number of processes in the form of narrow leaves.
Epiphyllum lau (Epiphyllum laui)
It grows very quickly. It has long (up to 5 mm) soft brown needles. It blooms only at night, the color of the sepals is cream.
Interesting! Flowers fade very quickly - literally in a couple of days.
Epiphyllum serrated (Epiphyllum crenatum)
It grows to a medium-sized bush. It is notable for the color of the stems - bluish-green. The primary stems become woody over time, the secondary stems can reach a length of a meter and differ in pronounced notches without spines.
It blooms at night. The buds are yellow in color, lasting up to a week.
Epiphyllum marniera (Epiphyllum marniera)
This plant is assigned to the epiphyllum by mistake and belongs to another family - selenicereus. Correctly called a plant is a yellow-hearted marnier.
The bush grows large and sprawling. It produces very large (up to 25 cm) white or cream flowers with a yellow core.
It has gained popularity due to its healing properties: it is able to remove poisons and toxins from the body. But a striking appearance adds extra points to the Dreamland epiphyllum.
Indeed, during the flowering period it is covered by large, very spectacular flowers of red, pink, white or cream color with a very pleasant aroma.
Epiphyllum phyllanthus (Epiphyllum phyllanthus)
Phyllanthus has very different primary and secondary stems. The primary stem can reach a length of about a meter, while the secondary does not exceed half a meter. During the flowering period, it is covered with many large bright pink flowers with a wonderful aroma.
Epiphyllum Thomas (Epiphyllum thomasianum)
In the natural environment, it is a giant whose stems can grow up to 4 meters. In indoor growing conditions, the cactus does not exceed 70 cm, has drooping stems and looks great in hanging flower pots and baskets.
Blooms in large white flowers.
Otherwise, "forest cactus." Its peculiar structure of the stems resembles a fish skeleton. Deep recesses are located along the entire length of the meter-long stem.
It blooms very effectively - raspberry corollas with a yellow or cream base open on the shoots. It has a very long flowering, which can last more than a month.
Epifillum care at home
Epiphyllum is a room flower and very unpretentious, even a beginner grower will cope with it.
There are few difficulties with the epiphyllum. The main question is how to root a flower bought or taken from friends - It will not cause problems, since plants in flower shops or planted sprouts have a completely viable root system. In the future, for the healthy development of the cactus, the selection of a pot and earth is important.
A good home for the epiphyllum will be capacity with drainage hole, low sides, wide enough.
The fact is that the roots of the cactus are not able to penetrate deep into the soil, and to stimulate rapid growth, they should be a little cramped in the pot.
A thick layer (at least 2 cm) of drainage is necessarily filled up to the bottom so that excess moisture does not come into contact with the roots. The presence of water will cause root rot and destroy the plant.
Soil and fertilizing
Any land bought in a store or taken from a personal plot will not suit the epiphyllum - it Fertile, well-permeable fertile soil required.
At the same time, the cactus is sensitive to soil acidity, it should not exceed the Ph value of 6, and absolutely does not tolerate the presence of lime.
Of course, in a garden or flower shop it is not difficult to choose a ready-made substrate for succulents, but you can make a soil mix yourself.
The composition and proportions of the soil are as follows:
- 4 parts of coarse sand and 1 part of sheet land;
- 1 part humus, 1 part sand, 1 part sod land and 4 parts leaf land (you can add another 1 part charcoal, but this is optional).
Despite the general undemanding nature of the plant, the main question of beginning gardeners is why does not bloom at home epiphyllum.
Most likely, the plant lacks nutrients or conditions (humidity, lighting, temperature) are unfavorable for the formation of buds. In spring and summer (during periods of active growth), a flower needs regular feeding.
You can purchase complex fertilizers for cacti and apply during watering according to the instructions.
Attention! Epiphyllum responds well to periodic top dressing with organic fertilizers, such as mullein.
Epiphyllum does not apply to plants that need high humidity, but also air is too dry, it does not tolerate well. The optimal indicator is slightly lower or slightly higher than 50%.
In winter and summer, you can additionally spray the stems with warm, settled water or gently wipe them with a sponge. But do not have a bath for the epiphyllum on a sunny day - This will lead to burns.
The amount of watering depends on the time of year and the condition of the plant. So, when epiphyllum blooms, it needs more moisture, but do not forget that this is a cactus, and "often" means "once a week."
In winter or in rainy periods, watering is reduced to 1 time in 14 days. Water for irrigation should be warm enough, and better not right from the tap.
Trimming and tying stems
Epiphyllum is not only pruned for aesthetic reasons. Preventive pruning rejuvenates and heals the plant. Without pity, they remove all weak (too thin, dried up and bearing traces of mechanical damage) branches.
It is worth getting rid of shoots that can not even potentially bloom (dry, sick and lignified). A sharp sterile knife is prepared for the procedure, it is recommended to cut the slices with crushed activated carbon.
Epiphyllum is allowed to rest from November to the end of February - the rest period stimulates the formation of peduncles. To do this, reduce the number of irrigation and lower the temperature to +15 ° C.
Usually the epiphyllum blooms often and abundantly. But there is a nuance: the cactus does not begin to bloom immediately, but after 3 years of age.
Flowering occurs in mid-late spring and can last until the end of July, but there are varieties that can produce buds twice a year.
At the moment when the epiphyllum released the peduncles, it is impossible to touch and somehow move the pot with it. The buds are very fragile and can simply fall.
Reasons why it does not bloom
Most often, the epiphyllum does not produce peduncles due to a violation of the rules of care:
- the pet does not have enough sunlight;
- excess watering rates, especially in winter and during dormancy;
- excess nitrogen in the soil;
- too big pot;
- high temperature in winter.
Ways to make bloom
To stimulate flowering, take the following steps:
- Increase the amount of ultraviolet radiation by applying a phytolamp for illumination.
- Revise the frequency of watering: reduce the amount of moisture, reduce the number of procedures.
- Maintain the correct temperature. In summer, the thermometer should not rise above +25 ° С, and in winter it is optimal to keep it in the range from 11 ... 15 ° С.
- Plant is regularly pruned annually after a dormant period.
- Epifillum is transplanted if it became obvious that the pot is small for the bush.
- Properly organize a winter.
Epiphyllum at home is propagated vegetatively and by seed.
Perhaps the most popular way. Cuttings are prepared in spring during pruning. It is better to choose healthy shoots and cut the cuttings with a length of not more than 15 cm. The cuttings are dried, fixed over an empty container for 2-3 days, so that the juice drains and the cut is tightened.
After the twig is buried in a container filled with a nutrient substrate for cacti, to a depth of not more than 2 cm, and put in partial shade.
The formation of an individual root system in cuttings takes about a month, after which they can be transplanted into larger pots.
Reproduction by seeds is a time-consuming method that requires patience and certain skills from the grower. A plant obtained in this way will bloom only for 5-6 years of life.
Prepared seeds are sown on a nutrient substrate, moistened with a spray bottle and covered with cling film. The container is placed in a warm bright place.
The greenhouse is recommended to be aired daily and regularly, but not too often watered. Seedlings may appear uneven after about 30–35 days. When the seeds have sprouted, the film can be removed.
Reproduction by dividing the bush
This option of vegetative propagation is used when transplanting an adult epiphyllum. The mother bush is divided into two parts or more, each planted in an individual pot. Further care is carried out as usual.
Pests and diseases
The main parasites that live and eat due to the cactus include:
- scale shield;
- spider mite;
The methods of control are treating the plant with insecticides, removing diseased shoots and removing the topsoil from the pot. In extreme cases, cuttings are separated from the bush, and the affected plant itself is destroyed.
Most epiphyllum diseases develop due to a violation of the rules of care:
- Black rot affects the root system due to too frequent and heavy watering.
- Mosaic diseasemost likely will lead to the death of the flower. Light stains appear on the stems. The plant very quickly loses strength and withers. You can try to save the epiphyllum by removing all affected stems and treating it with Fitosporin.
- Fusarium - root rot. Caused by violation of the watering regime. A plant transplant is required. In the process, all affected roots are removed, the plant is moved to a completely new soil (the former must be removed from the roots as much as possible).
Signs and superstitions
Epiphyllum is surrounded by a flurry of mystery. It is believed that a flowering cactus protects the house from troubles and bad thoughts of envious people.
But here giving a flower to a loved one is not worth it - it promises a quick separation. One of the signs says that the flowering of epiphyllum in a married couple is a harbinger of imminent replenishment in the family.
Exotic and at the same time unpretentious cactus, characterized by expressive colors, will certainly become a central figure in the house. Its interesting stems easily fit into any, even the most minimalistic and technological, interior.