The hanging cactus plant Orchid Cactus has trailing succulent stems and beautiful colorful cup-shaped blooms in lovely hues of white, pink, orange, or red. The stems of orchid cactus grow up to 24 inches (60 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide, and are flat with scalloped or serrated margins. The profusion of gorgeous blooms that bloom at the end of cascading branches is a appealing attribute of the orchid cactus plant.
Cactus flowering plants make up the majority of cactus varieties. Orchid cacti, on the other hand, produce the most stunning and biggest of all cactus blossoms for shows. Orchid cactus, on the other hand, requires special treatment, as do many cactus species.
An orchid cactus, for example, relies on frequent watering to keep its soil moist. Some orchid cacti, like the ones seen here, are night bloomers and produce flowers only once a year. Other orchid cactus species, on the other hand, are prolific bloomers during the day. The flowers of most orchid cactus are huge and fragrant, and they brighten up hanging baskets.
This article will teach you how to grow a variety of interesting orchid cactus at home. You’ll also discover when orchid cacti bloom, as well as which hybrids bloom during the day and when.
What is Orchid Cactus?
An epiphytic plant with broad, flat stems, lobed edges, and large, showy flowers is the orchid cactus (Epiphyllum). The orchid cactus absorbs nutrients from the air and its surroundings, making it a type of epiphytic plant. These cactus are known as orchid cacti because of their fast growing nature.
Trailing succulents with flowers in a variety of colors and sizes are also popular among Epiphyllum hybrids. A cross between species of Epiphyllum and Disocactus is responsible for most orchid cactus hybrids. Climb cacti, leaf cacti, epicacti, or just epis are all popular names for orchid cactus.
Succulent plants that are called orchid cacti. As a result, they don’t have leaves. Their fleshy stems, which have lobed edges and appear like leaves, are occasionally referred to as leaves. Orchid cactus leafy stems have no spines or jagged edges, much like succulents.
Outside in USDA zones 10 to 12, cactus plants from the Epiphyllum or Disocactus genera thrive. Orchid cacti, like other cacti species, are fruit-producing species. The edible fruits are roughly 3 inches (7 centimeters) long. Orchid cactus fruit is likened to sweet pitaya or dragon fruit in terms of flavor.
Orchid Cactus Flowers
Orchid cactus blooms are bright, fragrant, and beautiful. They’re queen of the night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum). The lovely cactus blossoms range in size from 3 inches to 6 inches (8 to 16 cm) and are composed of seven to twenty petals. White, yellow, pink, red, or bi-colored flowers may be found on the ends of orchid cactus stems.
The flowers of some Epiphyllum plants, such as the night queen cactus, resemble a cup and saucer. Petals on other types of orchid cactus are thin and spread out in a star pattern. Finally, the circular blossom of the showiest orchid cactus has a large protruding stamen in the center and a central stigma.
It features an abundance of colorful petals. Flowers on orchid cactus hybrids emit a pleasant fragrance, which is a characteristic. When some white orchid cactus blooms at night, for example, their fragrance may fill a room. The fragrance of queen of the night blooms may be smelled up to a quarter-mile (400 m) away in warm regions.
A stunning sight to behold is an orchid cactus in bloom. At the end of lengthy cascading stems, masses of colorful flowers bloom. Depending on their color, orchid cactus hybrids bloom during the day. White or yellow flowers bloom in late spring, pinks and reds in May, and June and July for the other colors. Orchid cacti typically bloom from late spring to mid-May.
It is important to provide the trailing plant with enough sunlight and be root-bound slightly in order to encourage blooming. In addition, a plant will get the nutrients it needs to create a profusion of blooms that will last for many weeks if you apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer. Please first check the sun requirement of certain orchid cactus combinations, since some perform better in partial shade or dappled sunlight.
Only one evening per year does the night-blooming orchid cactus bloom. The night queen cactus, for example, blooms in June and July. The showy white blooms will be fully opened in a few hours, and Blooming may begin between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. The gorgeous flowers, however, wilt and perish by daybreak.
Orchid Cactus Care
Grow the epiphyllum in a light, well-drained potting medium in bright indirect light and average room temperature to care for an orchid cactus. When the top 1″ (2.5 cm) of soil is dried, water the orchid cactus. In the spring and autumn, use a balanced fertilizer, and in late winter, use a low-nitrogen fertilizer.
The ideal environment for caring for this cactus is bright light, moist soil, and medium to high humidity. The orchid cactus needs to be kept at temperatures of 50°F to 60°F for a few weeks in the winter in order to bloom. Unfortunately, orchid cactus cannot survive temperatures below 35°F (1.6°C) and will perish.
Orchid Cactus Types
Let’s take a closer look at the numerous varieties of epiphyllum that may be cultivated indoors or outdoors in warmer climates.
Queen of the Night Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)
The most popular kind of night-blooming orchid cactus is the Queen of the Night Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum). The beautiful cactus plant has wide, flat scalloped stems with large white blooms that give off a lovely fragrance.
In ideal conditions, the leaf-like stem can grow up to 20 feet (6 meters) long. Night-blooming cereus, lady of the night, and Dutchman’s pipe are just a few of the names for this queen of the night cactus.
The night cactus has a lot of flattened stems, which it gets from flattening them. Furthermore, because of its lengthy training process, this plant is an ideal succulent for hanging baskets. Purplish-red, oblong fruits mature to 5 inches (12 cm) long and 3 inches (8 cm) broad on the night cactus queen. The succulent, meaty fruits have a wonderful flavor like dragon fruit.
Orchid cactus flowers: Queen of the Night is a large, pure-white cup-shaped bloom with a star pattern. Orchid cactus blooms may be up to 6 inches (15 cm) broad. The spindly petals of the snow-white funnel blooms create a star pattern at the bottom.
German Empress (Disocactus phyllanthoides)
The German empress, also known as the Disocactus phyllanthoides, is a decorative orchid cactus. Flattened stems with funnel-shaped pink blooms and small oval fruits that turn red when mature are all characteristics of this appealing blooming cactus. Average temperatures, shade, and above-average humidity are ideal for the orchid cactus.
Orchid cactus flowers: The 4″ (10 cm) long and 3.5″ (9 cm) broad German empress blooms are pink and cup-shaped. German Empress Flowers do not have a fragrance and bloom during the day, unlike the Night Queen.
Epiphyllum pumilum is a 4–6″ (10–15 cm) star-shaped white orchid with arching scalloped stems that blooms on an orchid cactus. When it blooms once a year, this orchid cactus produces highly fragrant flowers that bloom at night. At the ends of lengthy stems, the flowers bloom.
Partial shade and ample humidity are required for ornamental Epiphyllum pumilum cactus to thrive. Unfortunately, the tropical forest plant can only survive at 53°F (12°). Despite this, the hanging orchid will bloom in the summer or early fall if given the right care. Little oval fruits with a sweet taste are produced by Epiphyllum pumilum.
Orchid cactus flowers: The petals of the Epiphyllum pumilum bloom form a creamy-white star behind a bowl-shaped blossom. They are thin and spindly.
Climbing Cactus (Epiphyllum phyllanthus)
Climbing cactus (Epiphyllum phyllanthus) is a multi-stemmed epiphytic cactus with narrow, flattened succulent leaves and white showy star-shaped scented blooms that bloom on the end of 12″ (30 cm) long stems. This plant thrives on plenty of sunlight and moist soil, as do other night-blooming orchid cacti.
Orchid cactus flowers: When compared to other orchid cacti, the climbing cactus blooms are quite modest. The petals of the creamy-white blooms create a star pattern and have a tiny cup-shaped center.
Crenate Orchid Cactus (Disocactus crenatus)
The nocturnal cactus Disocactus crenatus has large white bowl-shaped blooms and a flat woody stem that grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) broad. The wide blossoms bloom on stems that are 7–12 inches (18–30 cm) long. The crenate orchid cactus blooms for a few days, unlike other night-blooming orchids.
Orchid cactus flowers: White cup-shaped blooms with an open shape that reach up to 8″ (20 cm) wide characterize the spectacular crenate orchid cactus. Pinkish-white linear petals create a spiky disc behind the showy flower. The center of the blossom is filled with bright yellow curled stamens.
The curly Epiphyllum guatamalense is one of the most unusual orchid cacti. The stems of this spectacular hanging succulent bend and twist, resulting in curls. The stems reach up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and twist and arch. Epiphyllum guatemalense, orchid cactus flowers, are known as “Monstrose,” “Curly Locks,” and “Curly Sue.” They measure 3″ (7.5 cm) wide and 6″ (15 cm) long. During the blooming season of early summer, the flowers only open at night. The purple-red colored eggs of the edible fruits
The star-shaped flowers of the Epiphyllum baueri orchid cactus are pointed linear petals with a dark center. The delicate orange cup-shaped blossom in the midst is the appealing characteristic of this nocturnal orchid. The white petals point downward toward the stem, and the night-blooming flowers have long, showy pink stamens in full bloom.
Epiphyllum ‘King Midas’
The orchid cactus blooms are pastel orange or pink blossoms that are roughly the size of your hand and bloom on the Epiphyllum species. A central cup-shaped blossom with long and white fuzzy stamens in the middle is made up of beautiful oblong peachy-colored petals.
Epiphyllum ‘George French’
The huge cup-shaped white or yellow blooms with showy yellowish-white stamens are borne by the hybrid Epiphyllum “George French” cactus. The flowers feature linear petals that form a star-shaped saucer, as do other showy orchid cactus blooms. The 6″ (15 cm) wide gold orchid cactus bloom is lovely.
Epiphyllum ‘Helmut Oetken’
Epiphyllum has lovely white and pink showy blooms, which are a hybrid of orchid cactus. In the center, the protruding white petals make a cup shape. A ray of light pink or white pointed oblong petals surrounds it on all sides.
Epiphyllum laui has huge white bowl-shaped flowers on the ends of 6″ (15 cm) long stems, and it is an orchid cactus. The 6″ (15 cm) wide flowers of the Epiphyllum laui orchid The spindly orange linear petals that make up the rays behind the cup-shaped flowers are an unusual feature of the orchid cactus.
Epiphyllum hookeri, sometimes known as Hooker’s Epiphyllum orchid cactus, has pointed white linear petals that create a ray disc. The cup-like shape of the lovely delicate petals is flipped upward. A center stamen with a pink stigma and yellow or orange tip is surrounded by showy white stamens in the middle of the bloom.
Epiphyllum ‘Miss America’
The Epiphyllum orchid cactus blooms in a rich crimson color that is truly stunning. With a crimson cup-like blossom in the center, the scarlet petals make a star pattern. If the weather is warm and humid, the stunning red orchid cactus blooms in the spring and summer.
The Epiphyllum ‘Unforgettable’ orchid cactus blooms in gorgeous pink or deep crimson. A showy rosette-like orchid bloom is created by the lovely ovate petals, which span multiple rows. Late in the spring, anticipate the lovely blooms to appear.
The Epiphyllum ‘Wendy’ has lovely pink cactus orchid blooms with pointed ovate petals that form a funnel shape. Long, pointed linear petals create a ray disc at the base of the orchid cactus to add to its display. Unfortunately, there is no fragrance from the beautiful pink blooms of this day-blooming orchid cactus.
Epiphyllum ‘Chichicastenango’ is a lovely example of small but appealing flowers with creamy-white petals. The cup-shaped core is formed by ten to twelve petals, with a brownish petal ray forming a ray disc.
Epiphyllum ‘Punch Bowl’
The beautiful deep pink orchid cactus blooms are white in the cup-shaped center with a thick cluster of pure white stamens. They are one of the most stunning orchid cactus blooms. The rays of the long colorful petals make a star-like saucer under each orchid cactus bloom, as do all showy orchid cactus blooms.
Epiphyllum ‘Deutsche Kaiserin’
The Epiphyllum orchid cactus has a lovely white funnel-shaped pink center with pale pink stamens. The showy pink blooms, which are open linear or oblong in shape, are surrounded by a ray disc.
Epiphyllum ‘Madras Ribbon’
The orchid cactus ‘Madras Ribbon’ features three or four rows of large pink wavy petals that contrast with the dark green scalloped stems. In addition, the dramatic look of these orchid cactus flowers is complemented by the yellowish-white stamens.
Epiphyllum ‘Anton Gunther’
When the cactus is in bloom, the big pink blossoms on Epiphyllum ‘Anton Gunther’ create a gorgeous floral show. The enormous pink orchid blooms bloom on the ends of long stems, measuring 6″ (15 cm) across. Also contributing to the flower’s showiness are feathery stamens with a center big bright pink stigma.
Epiphyllum truncatum is a bright red showy orchid cactus that grows on long green stalks with end segments. With small funnel-shaped red flowers and arching succulent stems, the Epiphyllum truncatum looks like a Christmas cactus. A tuft of cream white stamens and a long protruding red stigma are seen on the crimson blooms.
Little light pink cup-shaped blooms droop from the ends of long green cactus stems, and Epiphyllum ‘Five’ is a type of orchid cactus. The yellowish stamens in the center of the light pink funnel blossoms and a single white stigma.