The following instructions are to help you successfully grow your Orchid Cacti (Epiphyllums):
Orchid cacti will be happy in a bright spot or in filtered sun coming through a window in your home. They will thrive on a lightly shaded patio or hanging under a tree as long as they receive a few hours of partial sun or filtered sun daily.
Keep plants slightly moist but not wet. Do not allow soil to completely dry out. Include a diluted solution (half the recommended strength) of household plant fertilizer with every second or third watering during growth period (spring and summer). Stop feeding in the fall to promote bud set in the spring.
Use a very porous soil mix, but one that is high in nutrients, i.e. leaf mold, humus, etc., or mix half cactus mix with half houseplant mix. Press soil firmly around plant. Do not bury too deeply; use the same soil level it is presently in. Remember, clay pots will dry out much faster than plastic pots, but clay allows more air to enter, which is very beneficial to the root system.
How to make Orchid Cacti flower
The flowering period for Orchid Cacti is usually in April, May and June. Blooms come from the last year’s leaves. During their active growing season, which is spring and summer, give your plants lots of light in a partial sunny position for plump and health leaves. The young shoots will ripen into fat, solid stems with a slightly bronzed flush. You can even withhold a little water during the late summer (August and September) to fully ripen the leaves. Bring your plant in before danger of frost as they will freeze. Give your plants a winter rest by keeping them just moist. If they grow too much in the winter, the new leaves will be too weak for next year’s flowers. They like cool night time temperatures of 45 to 50 degrees, although 60 degrees would not be a problem. Orchid Cacti can usually withstand the winter outdoors if the temperature does not drop below 28 degrees F.
Your Orchid Cacti will grow larger every year, becoming more handsome and producing more flowers.