Orchid cactus (Epiphyllum) is an epiphytic plant with broad, flat stems, lobed edges, and large, showy flowers. As a type of epiphytic plant, the orchid cactus absorbs nutrients from the air and its surroundings. This growth feature is like many orchids, which is why they are called orchid cacti.
Epiphyllum hybrids are also popular and produce trailing succulents with flowers in many shades and sizes. Most orchid cactus hybrids are a cross between species of Epiphyllum and Disocactus. Orchid cacti also have the common names climbing cacti, leaf cacti, epicacti, or just epis.
Orchid cacti are a type of succulent plant. This means that they don’t have leaves. However, their fleshy stems with rounded lobed edges look like leaves and are sometimes referred to as leaves.
Unlike most desert cacti, epiphyllums are not covered with spines. They do, however, have hair bristles or tiny spines in the areolas, some more so than others.
Like most cacti plants, orchid cacti are fruit-producing plants. The oval, edible fruits measure about 3” (7 cm) long. The delicious taste of orchid cactus fruit is described as sweet pitaya or dragon fruit.
Orchid cactus flowers are showy, fragrant, and colorful. The attractive cactus flowers feature huge, cup-shaped flowers made up of between seven and 20 petals and can measure 3” to 6” (8 – 16 cm) across. Flowers will be white!
Light: Bright indirect light, some direct morning sun is ok.
Water: Water when top inch of soil is dry. Less often in winter. They love humidity!
Pets: Non-toxic but these plants do have small spines near the ribs which could cause harm! Keep them out of reach!