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Epiphyllum Hookeri Care – Orchid Cactus Guide

Epiphyllum Hookeri Care – Orchid Cactus Guide

Being part of a large variety of the cactus family, Epiphyllum hookeri is a long, strain-like plant that branches out in all directions.

Though the leaves of this cactus are flat, upon first glance, it is like looking at a beautiful, sculpted piece of artwork.

In the summer months in which this cactus grows, gorgeous white flowers bloom. These fragrant flowers bloom only at night and close in the morning.

They are native to South American countries and their neighboring islands – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, and Mexico.

As a houseplant, they are fairly easy to grow and take care of. When doing so, trying to mirror their native conditions in the aforementioned countries would be best.

Ensure temperature levels are warm, humidity slightly higher than normal and that the soil is sturdy that can be well-drained completely in between waterings.

An Epiphyllum hookeri is one surely unique houseplant to add to your family. They are more than just a plant that just sits there waiting to be nurtured.

They also add so much more charm and vibrance to your home on an aesthetic front. Scroll through this care guide to see how to allow your epiphyllum to live life to its fullest!

 

 

EPIPHYLLUM HOOKERI PLANT CARE GUIDE

 

SOIL

A Epiphyllum hookeri needs soil that is well-drained, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as this applies to essentially all cacti species out there.

You can use a standard, store-bought cactus mix, but because of its nature, add in some grit or perlite.

The addition of grit or perlite will give an extra layer of better structure and drainage while still giving proper aeration and drainage.

Alternatively, you can try for an orchid bark soil mixture. This would consist of tree bark and any materials that will help retain water – perlite, peat moss, or even coconut husks.

 

LIGHT

When it comes to lighting, an Epiphyllum hookeri would require full lighting when it is in its growing phase.

These cacti species do prefer full sun. Though at home, placing it in a partially shaded spot inside or outside works just as well.

Summer weather can be quite harsh, especially when the sun peaks during the day. Even though an Epiphyllum hookeri appreciates full-blown sunlight, beware not to let it bake in these scorching conditions.

As a houseplant owner, be prepared to set up a safely shaded spot that can house this cactus in different conditions as seasons change.

 

WATERING

Perhaps the most crucial part of maintaining the needs of a prosperous Epiphyllum hookeri is its watering.

The top inch of the soil should be dry before you quench its thirst again by watering it next. This cacti species does not enjoy sitting in wet to moist soil for a period of time.

When you do water this plant after it has been thoroughly dried from its last watering, water until you see water running from the base of the plant.

This means that all parts of the soil have been well taken care of. As you water your Epiphyllum hookeri, wet the soil, but try to avoid wetting the plant (specifically, the leaves).

If you live in dry conditions though, you can consider misting the leaves.

Ideally, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Underwatering is better than over-watering. Hence, practice a soak-and-dry method of watering this cactus.

 

TEMPERATURE

Epiphyllum hookeri plants hail from warm, tropical places. As a houseplant owner, you may not live in such conditions native to this cactus.

This cacti species can withstand temperatures ranging from 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.9 degrees Celsius) to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

While home, it is normally best to house an Epiphyllum hookeri indoors. If you have a heated greenhouse, that is even better!

This applies especially when it is growing. The ideal temperature for when this cactus is growing ranges from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 degrees Celsius).

 

HUMIDITY

Although an Epiphyllum hookeri does not like being left in moist conditions from watering or even from the water level in the air, they are able to live in slightly higher humidity levels than most cacti species.

An Epiphyllum hookeri can withstand moderate to high humidity levels. In fact, they would need such moderate to high humidity for its growth.

If you want a quantifiable reference point in terms of humidity at home, try to stick to moisture

levels of at least 30% and up to 50% to 60% at most. This would be the safest choice. These plants are tough to endure periods of parched conditions.

Their thick leaves are what helps them thrive as they are able to retain water in them.

 

FERTILIZER

In the growing season for Epiphyllum hookeri, which takes place in the summer to early fall, it is recommended to feed this cactus plant with fertilizer once a month.

You can aim for a balanced nutrient level of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium of 20-20-20. When feeding, dilute to one-quarter strength, or to the recommended amount based on what fertilizer you are using.

Unless you have your Epiphyllum hookeri potted in a container, liquid fertilizers work best. Sprinkle some fertilizer at the base of the plant for a hearty feed.

As with watering, over-feeding your cactus is more detrimental than under-feeding. Therefore, be cognizant of how much is too much.

For your general knowledge, fertilizers contain nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and

potassium. When purchasing fertilizers, you may notice a three-digit number ‘#-#-#.’ This shows

how many pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium there are in the mix, respectively.

 

PROPAGATION

To propagate Epiphyllum hookeri, you can do so using two methods. One method is to use

seeds to initiate new growth. Another method is to use leaf cuttings to carry out the growth of a

new cactus. Both methods will be discussed further in detail in the propagation section below.

 

GROWTH

An Epiphyllum hookeri is known to be a climbing cactus that grows abundant foliage of long and strappy, yet sturdy, leaves.

Each leaf can grow to varying lengths and can sometimes take over a year to grow to its mature length.

For a houseplant, you may see some of the leaves growing so long that parts of it touch the surface of the floor.

The white flowers can grow up to nine inches long, which translates to 22.5 centimeters. In diameter, the flowers can get up to eight inches wide, which is 20 centimeters.

They open up only during the night and shut close when morning comes. Their blooming time is during the summer growing months for this cacti species.

 

POTTING

When picking out a pot to grow and house this cacti species, you can use a container. Though, you would want to think long-term in choosing a pot that will accommodate the size it will grow to be.

For this type of plant, go for a pot that is slightly wider than the plant at its current state.

To obtain a pot that will satisfy proper water drainage from the soil and provide a good flow of aeration at the same time, clay and terracotta pots work well.

These kinds of pots do well in housing most cacti species due to their porous nature. Overall, go for a pot that also has holes at the bottom to let water drain out efficiently.

 

Epiphyllum hookeri Care

Epiphyllum hookeri Care

 

EPIPHYLLUM HOOKERI PROPGATATION

An Epiphyllum hookeri is an easier cactus plant to propagate when in comparison to some other types of cacti.

On the other hand, it is a slow grower. There are two ways to propagate this cactus – leaf cutting or using seeds.

The first way to propagate an Epiphyllum hookeri is by using leaf cuttings. Cut a part of a maturely grown out leaf and let it sit up to several days for the cut end to dry, or callous.

Once the piece has dried, it is ready for potting. Obtain a fresh pot of soil mix to plant in the calloused piece.

Sprinkle in some fertilizer diluted at one-quarter strength and just water under the usual recommended amount when freshly potted.

The second way to propagate this cactus is by using seeds. As an Epiphyllum hookeri is a slow grower, not many experts of cacti would recommend this method.

All you need is a fresh, clean pot that is filled with a new soil mixture. Spread the seeds around the soil, slightly push them in and then water them.

Place them in a brightly lit room if you propagate indoors. Another point to note is that if you live in cooler conditions, propagating this cactus plant indoors would be best.

 

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH EPIPHYLLUM HOOKERI

An Epiphyllum hookeri plant is prone to things like yellow spotting and fungal disease. These occur due to how you are watering them.

As mentioned in the watering section, avoid wetting the leaves. This would cause the yellow spotting.

Also, ensure that the soil can properly drain water otherwise the moisture retained will cause high humidity levels, which in turn can cause fungal disease.

Another common problem that an Epiphyllum hookeri faces is the amount of light it gets. This plant does enjoy full sunlight, however, be cautious of when the summer season kicks in.

You want to avoid extreme peak sun hours that may disrupt its growth.

 

TIPS TO KEEP EPIPHYLLUM HOOKERI PROBLEM-FREE

To keep your Epiphyllum hookeri problem-free, investing in the proper equipment and care for them is vital.

Make sure that the pot you use allows water to be fully drained from the soil. After each watering, use your finger to feel the surface of the soil and see if the top inch can be completely dry.

Another tip is to be able to have some partial shading on hand when you plan to plant this cactus outside.

When the weather starts warming up, you want to be as prepared as possible for when the summer sun strikes.

If you plant this indoors, be able to choose a brightly lit room and position the plant at your discretion.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT EPIPHYLLUM HOOKERI

 

What do I do if I over-watered my Epiphyllum hookeri?

If you have over-watered your Epiphyllum hookeri, let it sit untouched for a few days to see if the water can still be completely drained from the soil. If it does not after some time, then consider repotting the plant. The steps to repot this cactus are outlined in the third frequently asked question here.

 

Do I need to prune Epiphyllum hookeri?

Cacti species like Epiphyllum hookeri require little to no pruning. If you do prune because the size of the plant becomes overwhelming, pick a point along the stem where the leaves branch and cut above this point. You want to be careful here so as not to accidentally cut a part where new growth can develop.

Another point to note about pruning is that when you do decide to take this step, don’t over water the cactus when freshly pruned. Watering levels should be reduced.

 

How do you repot Epiphyllum hookeri?

An Epiphyllum hookeri does not need to be repotted often. When you do decide to repot though, get a fresh, clean pot of new soil mix. From there, make a small hole in the center of the soil and place the plant in this hole just enough that it can stand on its own while being supported by the soil mix. You would thus follow the same steps as with planting this cactus for the first time.

 

Why is Epiphyllum hookeri called a climbing cactus?

An Epiphyllum hookeri is called a climbing cactus for its appearance. It grows in a manner where it looks like it is climbing and is able to take a steady upwards appearance with its sturdy leaves.

 

CONCLUSION

Not sure where to get your hands on this beautiful plant? Check out Air Plant Decor as they offer this cactus and many similar others to your liking.

An Epiphyllum hookeri is an amazing plant to introduce to your home for that extra green foliage.

Not only do they look rich and strong, but the number of leaves that sprout off of them can also represent abundance if you believe in such luck!

Following the right steps to care for this plant as outlined in this article, you would be able to provide an easy, breezy livelihood for them.

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