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How much sun?

Posted by hopefulauthor z5IL (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 26, 08 at 16:59

Does anyone know how much sun Epiphyllums need? What about fertilizer? Which type works best?
I'm also confused whether or not they're succulent or tropical. Their thick leaves make me think succulent, but do they not grow in tropical rain forests? Please help.
One other thing. I have a Rick-Rack Epi??? It was listed under the heading, Succulent. Is Rick-rack even an epi? Thanks, Toni

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How much sun?

Epiphyllum and Christmas or Easter cactus are succulents (as their leaves have the capacity to remain a large amount of water). They are also true cacti but they are from tropical climates. I'm not sure if they are native to mostly tropical rainforests or tropical climates with distinct wet and dry seasons, or both. Though you would NOT find them native to desert areas. I believe most Epiphyllum appreciate some direct morning/late afternoon sun but I would protect from intense midday sun in the warmer months. I grow mine in hanging baskets and have them on the front porch. The ones hanging on the south side get bright light all day (but little direct sun because the sun angle is too high this time of year). The ones on the western side get some late afternoon direct sun). If you are growing them exclusively as indoor plants, light quality is MUCH lower inside and I wouldn't worry about them burning (a shear curtain would protect from the brightest windows--probably more important in winter). The only "jungle cactus" I give more sun to is my Dragon fruit (sorry, don't remember the Latin name). This one, I give direct sun all day (even in summer). As for fertilizer, I use something like a 5-10-5 to encourage flowering. Good luck!

RE: How much sun?

Hi NJ..The Latin name is Hylocereus..for some reason, depending which site you research, different species names come up..One is guatemalensis, another polyrhizus. LOL. Unless there's more than one type of Dragon fruit, I have no idea which is correct.

Most plants go out in summer, especially those that flower/fruit.
The Dragon Fruit will definately go out when night temps don't dip below 55F, but finding a spot that isn't too shady or one where leaves will burn is the problem.

I intended to start hauling plants out this wkend. Last Thursday it was 87F. Now they're talking possible snow tomorrow..sheesh..I've got a few plants out now, but they're coming back in..darn.

So, your Dragon fruit is in full sun? Mine is young, does size/age make a difference? What size is yours? (Just has 5 leaves, the longest is 5 1/2")
Also, you mentioned using flowering fert. Because mine is a baby, should I focus on growth instead of flowers/fruit fertilizer, perhaps higher Nitrogen?
Thanks for all your help. I researched some sites, but each offer different advice, including species name like I mentioned above. LOL I'd rather hear from ppl who actually grow certain plants. Thanks so much, Toni

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