NOTE: In this article, Orchid cacti and Epiphyllum Spp. may be used interchangeably; in fact, Epiphyllum Spp. is the botanical name for Orchid cacti.
Orchid cacti or climbing cacti are often referred to as Epiphyllum. There are over a dozen species, many of which are associated with different shapes and sizes. They usually have long, flat, and trailing stems.
They show bright, large, fragrant, and night-blooming flowers in the spring or summer with the right care. In the wild, these plants grow on branches or trunks of trees rather than roots in the ground. The humid environment around them gives them the vitamins and minerals they need.
Why does my Epiphyllum Spp. roots have rot?
Root rot on your Orchid cacti (Epiphyllum Spp.) can be fatal if not treated with care. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you follow our guide to keep your plant alive if the symptoms occur: Root soft and blackened.
Why does my Orchid cacti have gray mold spots?
Gray mold spots are a specific fungus that regularly harms flowers and spreads swiftly. If you notice any brown (or gray) spots, this fungus is probably to cause. You risk your plant dying if you ignore these warning indications.
The answer is obvious once you recognize the cause of the problem. Most frequently, it results from the Epiphyllum Spp. being overwatered. We strongly advise you to remove the damaged plant parts, cut off the diseased roots and leaves, and then repot your plant in a new container with sterile potting soil.
Why does my Orchid cacti have leaf spots?
If your plants exhibit symptoms like rapid color changes in the leaves or leaves that wilt or droop, we give you all the information you need to recognize them and rescue your plants. For owners of Orchid cacti, this kind of illness is among the most distressing.
Why are my Orchid cacti leaves turning yellow?
Yellowing leaves are arguably the most prevalent issue in the gardening world. Overwatering or a lack of nutrients are the 2 main causes of this issue.
Whether you think your plants are getting too much water, cut back on how often you water them, and take the following measures to see if they might be nutritionally deficient:
Each deficiency produces a different yellowing on the Epiphyllum Spp. in question, here’s how to spot them:
- Yellow patches between leaf veins on elder leaves are the first sign of magnesium shortage. Veins continue to be green while the leaf’s core turns yellow. The leaf’s edges yellow last.
- Yellowing between leaf veins is another sign of iron shortage, but young leaves on plant tops and branch tips are initially affected.
- Sulfur deficiency starts with the newest leaves, turning them yellow throughout.
- Potassium deficiency shows itself when leaf edges turn bright yellow, but the inner leaf stays green. Older leaves show symptoms first, and leaf edges soon turn brown.
- A lack of nitrogen is indicated by a widespread yellowing. Older, inner leaves are the first to yellow. As the yellowing progresses, it eventually touches young leaves as well.
According to the symptoms mentioned above, you just have to act accordingly. You can reduce your watering frequency, or fix a deficiency in Potassium, or Nitrogen, for that, you just have to buy a special soil for your deficiency, a consultant in a gardening store will know perfectly well how to inform you.
Is my Orchid cacti sunburned?
It is quite easy to find out if your Orchid cacti (Epiphyllum Spp.) has been burned by the sun. Just like on us, your plant will change color in this case, it will start to turn yellow or white.
The leaves of your Orchid cacti can also change color in case it gets too much water or not enough light, as we saw above.
To find out if the yellow leaves have been sunburned, look at the part of the bottom that is tinted closer to the base. The yellow leaf is probably burnt and not something else if this portion stays greener.
Why are my Orchid cacti leaves turning brown?
A plant’s browning leaves are typically a symptom that it has been sunburned and has been exposed to excessive amounts of direct sunlight. Don’t worry; your plant probably won’t perish as a result, but its growth will be negatively impacted.
Should I leave my Epiphyllum Spp. in direct sunlight?
No! Don’t leave your Epiphyllum Spp. (or Orchid cacti) in the sun if it displays the symptoms mentioned above; that’s why it’s in such a bad situation.
As stated in the paragraph above, the cure is straightforward: simply position your plant’s Orchid cacti so that it is out of direct sunlight. With proper watering and this method, your plant should quickly come back to life.
Why are my Epiphyllum Spp. leaves drooping or wilting ?
When you become dehydrated, this usually happens. Large plants are more vulnerable since they need more water on a regular basis than smaller plants.
An easy way to know if your Epiphyllum Spp. is lacking water is to under-weigh its pot, if it looks light, it means that the soil and the roots are probably quite dry, and therefore need water!
If the soil in the container is completely dry, you must first moisten it to guarantee that your plant’s roots absorb the benefits of the water. One common mistake is to drown the Orchid cacti right away after a dry time because you think it needs a lot of water.
This is the case, but giving too much water at once is the best way to finish it off, you should actually water the soil normally, resuming a quiet watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Epiphyllum Spp.
Water is essential to the survival of your plant, however, it is important to balance the rate of watering. As we explained above, overwatering could have fatal consequences for your Epiphyllum Spp..
The best way to know if your plant needs water or not is to touch the soil, if you feel it is still wet, it is probably a good idea to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
Maintaining a consistent temperature for your Epiphyllum Spp. is also a good idea, especially if it is kept indoors. At GreenShack, we typically advise reserving a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees F. Of course, avoid positioning your Epiphyllum Spp. close to air conditioners, radiators, or other sources of hot or cold air.
Keep your Orchid cacti Dust-Free
This one is about houseplants. Your indoor plants’ leaves get dusty just like your furniture does. The problem is that this might prevent photosynthesis from beginning, which would result in the plants gradually losing their color.
This would also make the pests happy, a real descent into hell for your Orchid cacti.
Take a microfiber cloth and gently massage the plant’s leaves to get rid of the dust. Use a damp cloth to make dust removal easier, but avoid using corrosive materials like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you have a tendency to overwater, you need to keep an eye on your drainage, we advise you to opt for a pot with drainage holes if it is not already the case and a saucer.
In the meantime, if you don’t have holes in your pots, you can add volcanic rocks (or any rocks with holes) at the bottom of your pot, this way it will create a channel so that the water doesn’t stay in your skin too much (to avoid that roots start to rot!)