Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:03 pm
Leaf cacti come in numerous species, which differ not only in shape and color their flowers, but also in their requirements for care. Only when this is optimal, the leaf cactus can develop its beautiful flowers.
Leaf cacti are also called epiphyllum or epi-cactus
The best known species of the leaf cactus are the Christmas cactus and the Easter cactus. But there are a number of other species, which even belong to different genera.
In nature, leaf cactus species live almost exclusively on the leaves of other plants. Therefore, they are called epiphytic. In the home, the cacti that are not frost-hardy are usually grown as hybrids, as they are more hardy.
The species of leaf cacti differ in the color and size of flowers. Except for blue, all flower colors are represented. Depending on the species, the flowers can grow up to 20 centimeters in size. Some species emit a strong fragrance. Leaf cactus species do not bear spines or bear them only very weakly.
Leaf cactus species do not tolerate drought well
Unlike other cactus species, the leaf cactus cannot handle complete drought. It must be watered regularly in the summer. However, waterlogging must not occur.
Cactus soil is not suitable as a substrate, because it contains too few nutrients. Therefore, plant a leaf cactus in special leaf cactus soil or make it yourself from garden soil and sand.
Some species need several hours of darkness
If a young leaf cactus does not bloom, this is quite normal. Most species do not bloom until they are several years old. They do not set flowers until they reach five years of age.
Some varieties of leaf cactus need several hours of complete darkness every day after flowering, because otherwise they will not bloom. Among them is the variety Schlumbergera.
In winter, leaf cacti need to be placed in a cooler place so that they can form flowers. If they stand too warm throughout the year, the flowering will not occur. You will also need to water foliage cacti during the winter, but the amount of watering will be noticeably reduced so that the substrate is only just moist.
All species of leaf cacti are easy to propagate yourself from cuttings or seeds. Cuttings you can cut in the spring or summer.