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Plant of the week Jan 16, 2021 is the Epiphyllum oxypetalum (White Night Blooming Orchid Cactus)

This incredible flowering house plant was gifted to me when it was 18 inches tall. I had no idea what it was variety wise but it seemed to be growing well so I thought I would transplant it. I moved it into a 2 gallon nursery pot and it just took off! It sent up a single shoot about 5 ft high and it looked vigorous. So it looked like an obvious climber so I purchased a metal half circle trellis about 6ft tall and planted the plant with the trellis in a heavy clay pot and stood back! Well it really liked that! It then started to send out several of these4 long skinny climbing shoots to the top of the trellis and beyond. I had this plant out on the patio in a part shady spot and the season was coming to an end so I move it into my living room near my large picture window.  It then proceeded to grow to the ceiling with about 5 shoots! By spring the shoots were growing along the ceiling and so I grabbed them and tied them down to the bottom of the trellis. At the end of May i moved it back to its spot outside and it continued to grow. Then the flowers came and I was able to identify it as Epiphyllum oxypetalum. Wow what a bloom!  The first one came and I missed it because it bloomed at night. It’s pollinated by Bats! I found the finished flower hanging limp the next day. That was sad but there were more buds so I was able to catch it flowering and the rest is history.

The plant is still in the same pot and has grown to the ceiling at least 3 more times since and I just keep tying it down and enjoying the fabulous fragrant blooms when every they arise. The Orchid Cactus group do live in the tropics and often in rain forest areas so the care instructions are basically the same as most tropicals. They need watering every time the soil dries out. Medium light and occasional plant food through the spring and summer. They like to be hosed top to bottom as they love the humidity and actually absorb some nutrient through their leaves. This is possibly my all-time favorite plant. I like plants that grow fast and bloom randomly inside or out. Check out this video I did last time it bloomed it is quite the incredible plant!

https://youtu.be/DWJHuVYQ6uI

 

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