Epiphyllum hookeri (Hooker’s Orchid Cactus)

Epiphyllum hookeri (Hooker’s Orchid Cactus) is a beauiful climbing cactus that grows up to 9 m high with its blunt-toothed stems. It produces a loose mass of long, flat, strappy foliage that results in a lovely sculptural effect. Each leaf can grow to varying lengths. Mature plants produces big, fragrant white flowers in summer. The white flowers can grow up to 9 inches long and 8 eight inches wide. The flowers open up only during the night and shut close when morning comes. It is perfect for grown in containers and hanging baskets.

Scientific classification:

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Epiphyllum
Species: E. hookeri

Scientific Name: Epiphyllum hookeri Haw.
Common Names: Climbing cactus, Hooker’s Orchid Cactus.

Epiphyllum hookeri

How to care and grow Epiphyllum hookeri (Hooker’s Orchid Cactus)?

Light

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

Soil

It will grow in soil with a pH of 5.0 to 9, however, they prefer soils with a higher-alkaline pH of 6.2 to 7.0. Adding organic fertilizer can add nutrients to the soil, and can likewise help balance pH levels, as most organic fertilizers have a pH of around 7.0. The addition of grit or perlite will give an extra layer of better structure and drainage while still giving proper aeration and drainage.

Temperature

Normal room temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C. To set blossom buds, the plant needs 8-10 weeks of cool 60-65°F/16-18°C days and 45-55°F/7-13°C evenings in winter.

Humidiy

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

Water

Keep the soil wet spring through fall, while the plant is growing. In winter, water sparingly until the point that new growth starts in spring. Never enable it to dry out. Shriveled, limp stems are a sign the soil is too dry. After blossoming, rest one month before fertilizing. Don’t over-fertilize.

Fertilizer

Apply a diluted NPK 10-10-10 fertilizer once a month during the growth period and cactus fertilizer (NPK 0-10-10) to promote flowering.

Propagation

Propagate from the seed in spring or late-spring. Also, propagate an Epiphyllum hookeri is by using stem cuttings. Cut a part of a maturely grown out part 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.

Pest and Diseases

It has no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for mealybugs and scale insects. Also prone to fungal leaf spots and stem spots. Spray with insecticides to kill bugs and stop serious infestation. Use insecticides like Neem or pyrethrins for visible bugs.

Last updated on July 17th, 2021

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