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The first picture below shows 2 Epiphyllum branches selected to make appropriate sized cuttings. The optimal cutting size is 6” to 8” inches and up to 12”, but not any larger than that. If the cuttings are larger two things might happen 1) The Epiphyllum cutting will be top heavy and wind or a strong spray blast from your water hose can knock it over easily 2) New Epiphyllum growth will not emerge as fast, due to the water and nutrients being used up by an oversized stems needs only, its less likely to grow roots then. So an appropriate size stem to root should be from 6" up to 12" in length with anywhere in the middle being optimal.
This second picture below> shows typically how you will receive your Epiphyllum cuttings from us. All the Epiphyllum cuttings will have there name written on them clearly and will have the date they were cut. In addition you will receive a large T label for each Epiphyllum variety from Mattslandscape.com if your located within the U.S. The 2 Epiphyllum branches on the above picture were made into 4 appropriate sized cuttings. Notice that the bottom ends were cut in a V fashion, which will provide larger edge surfaces for roots to develop from. Next to the scissors are the pieces that were not selected. After the ends of each Epiphyllum cutting that were selected are scared or calloused over well, about 7 days to 3 weeks there ready to be planted. NOTE; A shorter wait is nessary in summer (warm season), wait longer if its winter or stems are very thick.
This third picture below > shows one of the Epiphyllum cuttings in soil mix. Visit the Soil Mix Page for Epiphyllum cutting mix recommendations. It’s about 1-1/2” to 2 inches deep in a 4” inch pot, planted in the center and straight up. The soil should be filled to slightly below the top edge of the pot. Only tamp the soil down enough for the Epiphyllum cutting to stand up on its own.
Now you lightly mist the Epiphyllum stem planted in the pot with water, every other day or more in warm summer weather. In cooler winter weather less often. In a few weeks you will notice new growth emerge from one of the Epiphyllum stems aerioles, thicken or straightening of the stem, new growth from the tip or maybe all three. These are all signs of the planted Epiphyllum stem putting out roots. Epis are semi-dormant in winter and grow much slower so expect a little longer response in winter. Once your Epiphyllum cuttings has rooted now begin watering the soil as needed. As it grows repot each Epiphyllum variety into a larger container as it grows, always labeling well so you will know the name of the Epiphyllum variety.
For more information on Epiphyllum soil mixes and for soil mixes recommended for other plants offered on this website
Heres a 2 part video that shows how to root your new Epiphyllum cuttings and what to expect in 1 to 3 months after planting them.
Question- Don’t you have to use rooting hormone on Epiphyllum cuttings?
Answer- Some growers chose to use rooting hormone and you might improve your success with some other types of plants, but many experienced growers of Epis will tell you that they notice no significant difference with or without rooting hormone.
Question- How can I tell when the Epiphyllum cuttings are rooted?
Answer- Besides the three signs mentioned above, Give the Epiphyllum stem a tug if it stays in its rooted. Another easy way instead of the solid colored pots above, are to use a clear Dixie cup with holes cut in the bottom. Then you will be able to see the roots develop.
Question- Why is my Epiphyllum cutting turning brown or yellow at the base?
Answer- Most likely too much water, re-cut the Epiphyllum cutting removing the rotted mushy section and after letting the end scar over well replant the cutting in fresh soil mix, being careful not to over water the soil. If you lose any you purchased dont be ashamed, it can happen just let us know so the next time you order we can send replacements for free-provided there still available.
Question- Why is my Epiphyllum cutting turning red on the tip?
Answer- Most likely too much sun. When too much sun is given tips will turn reddish or maroon in color. Ok for most large mature Epiphyllum plants but full sun could dry out a cutting before roots have a chance to grow so not recommended.
Question-Rooting in perlite; Can you root cuttings in 100% perlite?
Answer- Yes you can, and you will get almost zero chance of rot, but remember perlite is inert (has no nutrients) so once rooted they will need soil mix to grow well. You can get some growth in 100% perlite but its from the energy in the rooting stem it already had stored, so perlite roots well but longer term the rooted plant/stem will need soil mix.
Notes;Transfer the rooted Epiphyllum stem to soil mix soon after rooting 1 month to two months on average. Rooting Epiphyllum cuttings in 100% perlite is a good choice if your climate has very high humidity, it rains allot or if you just tend to over water too much.
See how to root Epiphyllum in 100% perlite by clicking the link below.
(Above L to R : Epiphyllum 'WRAYI' blooming (also very fragrant), Middle; Rooting in 100% perlite, 1 gallon-what to expect when rooting 1-3 months after.)
Sunlight Exposure for new cuttings
If your rooting cuttings in soil mix or perlite try to follow these sunlight percentages for the best success. New Epiphyllums cuttings like on average around 40-50% shade, once rooted they can take a bit more sunlight down to 30% shade and 70% sunlight on average for well rooted Epiphyllum plants. The more spines or thicker the growth typically thats a sign for mature rooted Epiphyllum plants that they will take more sunlight even a few hours of direct full sun each day, but dont try this until your Epiphyllum plant has an extensive root system. If theres no roots then the plant will not be able to draw up water when needed on a hot day and the stem could dry out. Few varieties like full sun all day long especially the mid-day summer sun. If giving full sun, early morning sun or late afternoon sun is best with a structure or large tree casting a shadow upon the Epiphyllum plant the other part of the day. Some Epiphyllum growers that live in mild weather areas by the coasts can grow several different varieties in the sun all day. Inland growers with hot/dry weather may need more shade on there Epiphyllums, although they cannot typically take full sun at inland areas. Growth in these warmer areas under shade can be much faster than mild weather areas are.
How To Water Your Rooting Epiphyllum Cuttings
Water or mist the Epiphyllum stem or cutting only every few days. Do not water the soil but should a little water from misting the stem drop down to the soil thats fine. The idea is until rooted your keeping the soil very dry and keeping the Epiphyllum cutting always hydrated. Waterings are every few days on new Epiphyllum cuttings but could be every day if the temperature at your location is over 90 degrees or warmer. If its been constantly windy in your area watering every day is recommended so that the stem never completely dries out that way. Typically you water every other day depending on weather.
Once Your Epiphyllum Is Rooted Now Water The Soil
After a few weeks growth or roots will appear you then begin watering the soil, you want the soil to dry out about 80% before watering it again. Once establishe you will water larger plants less often but give them more water when you do since the larger the pot more soil to retain water. Mature large plants are watered once maybe twice a week depending on weather. Medium sized plants a bit more often also depending on weather. In winter they are not in active growth so sweating from the stem cells ET- Or Evapo-transportation is almost zero, so they need little water. In summer and plants are in full active growth ( ET is high) i water maybe 3 times a week if hot weather.
Want to know what Rooting Hormone is and how to use it to root cuttings?
This page will show you step by step with pictures how to apply Rooting Hormone to Epiphyllum Cuttings. It will also answer these questions; What is rooting hormone? Is it toxic? Is it safe to use? Is rooting hormone nessary for all Epiphyllum cuttings? And other questions you may have wanted to know about Rooting Hormone.