Fishbone cactus - 10 seeds

Fishbone cactus - 10 seeds


Epiphyllum anguliger is an epiphytic cactus with smooth green skin and extensively branched stems. The primary stems are often woody. Secondary stems are flat and succulent, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide, and deeply lobed. The lobes are rectangular or slightly rounded. The white or pale yellow flowers bloom nocturnally, exuding a strong, sweet scent. They are up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and up to 3 inches (7.5) cm wide. The fruit is up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) thick, ovoid and brownish, greenish or yellowish in color.

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Rain forest cacti such epiphyllums require humidity and moisture, but should never be allowed to become waterlogged. They prefer bright but filtered light, and will burn if they receive too much sun. Epiphyllums do well in ordinary household temperatures and will tolerate a cool greenhouse or sun porch as long as temperatures do not drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. During the plant’s active period of growth in spring and summer, it requires monthly fertilizing with a 10-10-10 plant food.

Seeds are the typical way of reproducing. These cacti will easily grow from seeds and some from cuttings. Seeds can be sown in the spring or summer in well-drained pots of soil for cacti. Sow the seeds thinly on top. Cover them with a bit of fine quartz grit. Moisten and lay a piece of glass across the top. The pots should be set in a warm greenhouse until they start to sprout, after which the glass should be progressively removed so they can receive full light and air. It isn't good to keep the glass over the seedlings. The well developed seedlings can be planted separately in small pots. Cuttings made from pieces of the stem of any size can be detached and laid aside for a few days to allow a protective "skin" to form over the cut. They can then be planted in pots. Place them in a spot where they'll receive sun, and do not water until the soil becomes fairly dry. After a while the soil can be moistened regularly, but never kept constantly saturated.

Epiphyllum are hardy to about 50°F (10°C), but require at least 60°F (15°C) during the growing season, so are best grown in a heated greenhouse, conservatory or indoors. Place the pots in bright, filtered light, with moderate to high humidity. To increase the humidity, position the pot on a tray filled with gravel and keep this topped up with water, but not enough so that the water reaches the surface. Epiphyllum cacti require sharply-drained growing media. Grow them in a standard cactus compost with added grit or perlite. Alternatively, mix three parts loam-based compost, with two parts grit or perlite and one part peat-free multipurpose compost.