Epi - Getting ready to POP!!

rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)August 22, 2008

I got this cutting in 9/02 (snail mail swap) and it's getting ready to pop...tonight I think! It's the Epiphyllum oxypetalatum, night blooming and so fragrant they say it will run you out of the house. E. strictum has been blooming for several years for me but this is the first time this one has bloomed!! Yeah, I'm just a little excited! :)

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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Neat! They do smell wonderful, and are VERY powerfully scented.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 7:26PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

It's opening now at 9:30 (started abt 9:00). It smells a little spicy so far, but not overwhelmingly just yet.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 9:32PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Here it is opening...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:39PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:57PM
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gnomey(7b SC zip296)

Wow.. mine has never bloomed! That's so pretty.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 2:55AM
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dogridge(7b nc)


    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 7:52AM
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amyflora(7 NC)

Wow! My daughter just looked at this with me, and she said it looks like a wedding dress!! That is really stunning. Thanks so much for documenting its debut.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 9:25AM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Glad you all liked it. It was something to see! The more it opened the more you could smell it's incredible fragrance!

Not a great pic but was trying to show the size of it. Hard to hold the ruler and camera at the same time, lol...

I tried to pollinate it about 2 with a little brush and it starting closing as soon as I did that. You could watch and see it slowly start moving. Could even hear it make little sounds like a rustling as it started closing in.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:11AM
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Oh my goodness what a gorgeous bloom!!!
One of these days i'll have a pretty bloom like that! lol

What does it smell like?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:05PM
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squirrelspur(6B/7A NC)

Very pretty! Are epis difficult to grow, I'm always interested in scented plants?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 7:19AM
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Epi's are not difficult to grow if you have a bright window with blinds...and a good draining soil.

They like bright indirect light, and the soil mix I use is 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 perilite.
I only have cuttings so far....so what I do is let the cuttings heal for a week after being cut, then dip them in rooting get and plant them in my mix.
I mist them daily for about a week, then I start to water very very sparingly. They DO NOT like being wet.

For the little extra effort you give them....you can get blooms that are sometimes 7-12 inches big! Not too shabby! lol

The easiest ones to grow are Epiphyllum Oxypetalum or I have found Epiphyllum Ackermaii to be really easy to get to root as well.

From a cutting it takes from 2-3 years to get a bloom.
Some of the more fragrant hybrdis are: Acadia, Bright Star, Cooperii, Desert Sunrise, Anguliger, oxypetalum, and Wrayi.

If you want to learn alittle more info go to Junglecactus.com and go to the culture section...they give great care instructions...and, you can take a peek at some gorgeous flowers!!
A really good source on Ebay for Epiphyllum plants or cuttings is Don C. from Epiphyllum World...he is really nice and helpful!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:55AM
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squirrelspur(6B/7A NC)

Thanks for the information red. My plant buying budget is very limited right now but maybe I can get cuttings at one of the swaps coming up or in the future.

Wonder if it is possible to grow from seed?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 4:51PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Red, I thought it was a pretty spicy/earthy scent, pretty overpowering if you stayed in the room with it for too long, but mild through the rest of the house. These hang on my front (north facing) porch in the summertime, but we brought it in that night to watch and take photos. Also do you have the actual species E. ackermanii or the hybrid, there's a lot of confusion about that one? I bought one and after doing some research found out I actually had the hybrid.

Squirrel, they're some of the easiest indoor plants (winter) that I've ever grown,... you can grow them from seed, they're normally pollinated by bats and large moths, but can be hand pollinated.

They're epiphytic "jungle" cactus and like to be a little moist unlike desert cacti which like to dry in between waterings. I keep mine moist, but not soggy, try to never let them dry out all the way and use a lot additives with regular potting soil... orchid bark, permatill, coarse sand and soil conditioner so it does drain real well.

In nature they live in the top of rain forest trees, oak trees in Mexico and the Caribbean. They live off the dead bugs, bird droppings, fallen leaves, etc that land in the crotch of tree branches. In the summer time I water them a lot and then barely in the winter. They do fine in the house over winter, but they seem to like the coolness of the greenhouse to set buds. Strictum has bloomed after wintering indoors, but the others may be a bit pickier.

I start feeding them a bloom booster about Feb (no or low nitrogen). After they bloom let them rest a bit and then use a fert w/nitrogen. Stop feeding in the fall.

Epiphyllums are related to Hylocereus (Dragon Fruit) which I'm trying to grow as well. Red gave excellent advice about rooting them, the only thing I would add is they root a whole lot better in summer or even fall than they will in winter. They'll root in winter but veeery slowly making it eaiser for them to rot.

Once rooted keep them root bound in a small pot and they'll grow better. Once big enough to bloom they still like to be crowded. The leaves are actually modified stems and they can get pretty straggly looking, but it doesn't effect the blooming once it starts.

I finally got the last of the closing pics uploaded....

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 7:18PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Here's 'Birthday Wish' which bloomed last May. It's hard to tell from the pics but it started out a salmony orange and turned more pink as it opened.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 8:28PM
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Wow.. absolutely beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 8:35PM
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    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:04PM
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I traded for an Ackermanii, and it should be here tomorrow ( I hope) .
I have heard there is a lot of confusion about that type....I guess I'll have to hope mine blooms before I'm 90. lol

I wish I had some mature plants so I could see some blooms!
I always heard Oxypetalum was one of the fasted growing Epiphyllums....but, yours did not bloom for 6 years....the being discouraged has set in! lol
Just pickin'!!

I won 4 Oxypetalum cuttings on an Ebay auction about a month ago...and they rooted in no time flat!

The only one I have now that refuses to root is a William Clarke cutting......he doesn't like me I don't think.
He's in the exact same conditions as everyone else...but nothing. :(
I moved him over to the top of the a/c unit for a little extra warmth to the soil...I'm hoping this works!

When do you bring your epi's in? I'm too big a chicken...I was thinking in another 2 weeks or so about moving them indoors....I just can't stand the thought of anything happeneing to them after all the baby-ing i'm doing to them. lol

I can't wait to smell my first Oxy bloom...you inspired me! :O)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:12PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Red, I think they like a little chill. Mine are under the front porch roof so I leave them out until they're calling for a good frost. They use to come into the house for a couple months and then under the house (crawlspace) for the rest of the winter, but last year I had them all in the greenhouse so they got a lot more chill. Some of what I've read suggest that they don't like any light at night in the winter to set blooms. This is one of those plants that everyone has an opinion on as far as getting it to bloom. Sometimes I think the plant just does it when it's good and ready, lol...

I do think one of the factors in getting them to bloom is they like to be rootbound. When a strap gets too long I started cutting it off and stuck it back into the pot. The absolute fastest to bloom for me has been the E. strictum. It started blooming the next year. I had a nice sized cutting with that one, so that might have made a difference. John had a cutting with no roots bloom! Oxy, might not have taken so long to bloom if I had understood a little more about its needs.

Don't fret about the non rooting one. Some just like to take their sweet time. I've had a few that way. Just keep it spritzed and out of the sun.

Now that oxy and bw have started blooming, each year they'll increase the number of blooms. Strictum has set multiple blooms at least 6 times this year and is still setting blooms! It'll probably bloom all the way up to frost and last year it bloomed again just after bringing it in.

If you ever get the chance to go to our zoo in Asheboro they have a huge E oxy in the bird house. Some of the straps are several feet long. It travels all over the place!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:00PM
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Oh, I haven't been to the zoo in Asheboro in forever it seems like!

My husband was born and grew up in Sophia, NC....He used to camp every weekend right outside the zoo. lol
Good place for him! heheh

I'm going to have to go to the zoo the next time I come up to visit my parents! I had no clue they had an Oxy in there!!!
Is it still real crowded in that bird house? lol

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:13PM
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I've bought some epi's over the years and gladly taken some cuttings off Rootdiggers hands. There is something magical about storing tropical plants in a simple greenhouse in the winter. I build a large "hoophouse" with pvc pipe and plastic sheeting that I heat with a simple electric space heater most nights and then a kerosene heater on the really cold nights. There are a few nights that get down to freezing but obviously not throughout the entire structure. Plants that I have owned for millions of years suddenly started blooming regularly! Nun Orchids, Bromeliads, all sorts of tropical cactus, Citrus trees - a lot of things need a winter chill period they just don't want to actually freeze.

Some people say that with some species the leaves have to reach a certain length before the plant will bloom and others say that the entire plant has to reach a certain weight before blooming happens. None of mine are all that large and like Deb said, one of her cuttings bloomed before it had rooted. One thing I do believe is that the hybrids tend to bloom longer - the flowers open at night but stay open for the next couple of days.

I will be bringing some epi's to the Raleigh Swap.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Well, I do beleive I will be attending the Raleigh swap then! lol

I have been rooting some cuttings from my babies...so I should have enough to take to both the Triad and the Raleigh swaps.

I think my husbands popular time at work should be coming to a close by then...so I could make that trip. I need to pick a plant up that way anyway!!

John, do you have a local place you buy Epi's?
I can say....there really is no place to buy Epi's here....except the occasional ric rac at Lowes....or if you are lucky...a curly leaf Epi.

I'm so scared to leave these out for a chill....it sounds like the thing to do...but, it makes my heart skip a beat to think about it! lol

I need to think about a way to build my own greenhouse structure!
My husband has been telling me as soon as we get all the DIY stuff around the house done he'd build me one....but, he has been working so much that we haven't even started the DIY stuff yet. lol
We have an old shed that was left on the property that was once going to be the manshed with Go-cart stuff in it...but, the go cart hobby was left in the dust for r/c racing stuff...and it's all left in the house.....so the shed just sits there.
It's an old aluminum one.....I'll have to think about that!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:44AM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Red, OH, OH, OH, you've seen the curly epi around? I want one of those!! Tell me where?? LOL!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 1:49PM
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Oh my goodness.....if you would like some of mine...buy all means you are welcome to some! I have some already rooted sitting on my a/c unit right now. lol

The Lowes in Ft. Mill, SC usually has an outstanding selction of houseplants....however, there is like a better than 40% chance that you are going to have to figure out what you have if you buy a Hoya or a Rhipsalis.....they are mislabeled A LOT!!

Maybe we can set up a side trade for the curly epi.....and I'll bring them with me to the swap!! :)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 3:11PM
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The cuttings that I have the most to swap are the fishtail or ric rac type of epi. Most of these are hybrids and never bloom. Where I used to work they have a wild species plant of the foundation for all the ric rac epi's and it bloomed - it was a disappointment, nothing showy, kinda brownish small flowers.

I buy some at Logan's Trading Company in downtown Raleigh but they do not stock them on a regular basis. There is a family run cactus specialty nursery that mans a booth at the Raleigh Farmers Market - I'm not sure they are there this year but they were up until the drought set in.

There are epi only greenhouse/nurserys usually out of florida where they send the cuttings to you unrooted. I believe they have every color known to exist and sometimes two tone ones. You'd need to do an online search to find them (there are many). Most of the larger plants around Raleigh (like Logan's) are pretty expensive ($14-$20).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 5:01PM
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Thank you for the good information! I know this will sound aweful...but, I'd gladly spend $14.00-$20.00 for a mature plant...in fact...I'd do it in a heartbeat. lol

I want some blooms! I have been buying my cuttings from Junglecactus.com...and I have bought rooted cuttings from Don's epiphyllum world...he's really nice.

On Ebay the more mature plants sell for 40 bucks or more!

You are having problems with your hybrids blooming?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 9:15PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Red, Thanks!! I had been drooling over that one for some time, but have never seen it locally.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 1:46PM
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indeed I'm in HEAVEN.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:17PM
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Very nice epi-plants! The problem I always run into is that after they are established, they grow rapidly. Then you go from one small cutting to multiple pots overflowing with plants. I have limited greenhouse space, so it gets filled up quickly.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:09PM
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