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Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

Posted by Johanschantz none (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 3, 12 at 14:11

Hi,
I'm having some trouble getting my cactus cutting to sprout. I'm not sure if this is an epiphyllum or a disocactus. It has been planted now for at least three months, but nothing seems to happen. It developed a small bit of growth on its tip shortly after planting, but nothing further. I suspect it might have rooted fine, as it hasn't rotted at all. A few weeks ago it did straighten up, as it had been slightly drooping before that. Do these plants usually take this long to sprout or is this a lost cause?
Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

Here's a photo from the side


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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

And one of the bit of growth at the top


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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

Your soil is way to water retentive. If you removed this cutting you'd probably find a small, weak root system if any at all. Roots may grow when the soil dries out only to rot away when watered again. You want a porous soil that allows you to water until the pot drains without rotting the roots. I can see from your pics that your current soil forces you to water in small amounts to discourage rot. As an example, here is a soil that I use with many plants.

Soil ingredients, Perlite, Turface, and fir bark

Soil mix, 4 parts perlite, 3 parts fir bark, 2 parts Turface

If grown in a soil at all similar to this, given sufficient light, and watered heavily as necessary, I can virtually guarantee your cutting would show lots of new growth after 3 months. The downside is that good soils like this don't come in a bag. They have to be mixed by hand. There are tons of soil topics here and plenty of people willing to help if you want more specific info.

-Chris


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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

Also, the pot is way too large, sorry, but it encourages rotting before it's had a chance to root.


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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

Thanks, I'll try a more appropriate soil mix and smaller pot.


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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

I find that this type of cactus needs a lot more humus than normal cactus. It does like a soil more close to an orchid or african violet soil. They grow in trees in the jungle and like water more frequently and humidity but they like a light porous soil heavy in leaf mater and bark. I do have some sand, rock and perlite.


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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

The soil it's in is fine.I have a very vigorous ten year old Epiphyllum oxypetalum in the same type of soil as yours. It blooms off and on all summer, each year. Tropical forest cacti prefer richer soils then cacti from arid regions. I do however agree that the pot it's in is way too large. A 4 inch pot seems more appropriate. I find they only really put on a lot of top growth, once they have filled their pots with roots.


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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

It took about three years for mine to build up the critical mass to really start blooming. I did cut it back to get it to branch from the base after it had put on some good growth. It has flushes of blooms throughout the summer. Sometimes 40- 50 blooms at a time. It will bloom more from last years growth than the new growth so cutting back a plant every year can put the bloom back a year.


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RE: Epiphyllum or disocactus cutting?

People frequently use and recommend heavy, organic peat based soils when growing epiphytic cacti because epiphytes naturally grow in trees where humus collects in small pockets. These plants, however, do not care in the slightest whether they are growing in organic or inorganic soils, just that they are getting the proper amounts of water, air, and nutrients. Some people may have a set of conditions that allows a heavy peat based soil to work adequately, but even more will struggle with such soils. A highly porous and durable soil will provide roots with the oxygen they need, even immediately after watering. I have grown in both peat based and gritty soils, and the gritty soils as pictured above always yield better results, especially with epiphytes.

-Chris


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