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Epiphyllum 'better times'

Pronunciation: Ep-ih-fye-lum
Family: Cactaceae
Common Name: Better times hybrid epiphyllum, orchid cactus, epicactus
Cultivar: Better times
Plant Type:
  • epiphyte, terrestrial
  • perennial
  • succulent and cactus
Height to: 18 to 24 in
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • late spring
  • early summer
  • mid summer
Bloom Description: Better times hybrid epiphyllum produce large blooms in shades of cerise
Soil Type: Moist but not wet, needs organic matter, slightly acidic
Toxic:
  • No
Plant Perks:
  • Fragrant
  • Suitable for Houseplant
Pests and Diseases: Mealybugs, aphids and glasshouse red spider mite. Fungus and bacteria epi hybrids seem subject to a number of fungal and bacterial diseases sometimes showing up as black rot. Not much is known about why this happens or how to cure the problem. Infected plants should be destroyed at once before the problem(s) spreads to other plants. The best control is to give your plants the growing conditions they prefer and to make sure the areas where they grow are really well ventilated. The addition of a small fan in a greenhouse can work wonders. Don't, however, aim the fan at the plants. Drafts and chills should be avoided. Spots or holes on stems spots on stems or holes in them can sometimes appear. These are usually due to a drastic difference in temperature from day time to night time with rapid cooling in the evening. The plants and flowers are not really affected by these problems. You cannot avoid the occasional spot or hole unless you can provide a perfectly controlled environment and most of us just cannot do that. Some spots may appear on stems which have come into contact with spines on other cacti or other epis. These are harmless. They just ruin the look of the stems. It is wise to keep your epis from coming in contact with other plants with spines or thorns. And of course avoid having them so close together that they tend to puncture each other. Sunken spots on stems creating a mottled effect may be caused by improper feeding or forcing by too strong fertilizers. Sunburn plants that have had too much sun will take on a yellow look. If moved to a shadier place they should regain their green color in time. A bad sunburn may not kill the plant but will scar the stems permanently. Withered stems a stem will wither when it has literally almost flowered itself to death. After a rest period and attention to watering, the stem may return to normal. If it doesn't, remove it. Dieback if stems die back it is a sign that either the root system is damaged or the plant is not getting enough food either from spent soil or from lack of proper fertilizing. Dried sunken areas on stems these are an indication of root rot. Dried sunken areas on stems with yellow/orange discolored blotches this is a sign that soil is too soggy or roots have been badly disturbed in the repotting process.
Propagation: Divide better times hybrid epiphyllum in early spring, ensuring that each piece of rhizome has at least one growing point.
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification: Better times hybrid epiphyllum is a rhizomatous, terrestrial, herbaceous orchidmy epi won't flower. Why not? Epis need a period of several weeks at the end of winter when they should only have the same amount of light as light appears outside. These short days trigger flowering in spring for spring blooming species. This poses a problem for plants indoors which receive light from artificial lights in the house. You have to cover the plant at dusk and remove the cover next morning to give the short day effect. Another factor in blooming has to do with pot size. If the pot is too big a plant it will spend its time producing roots to fill the pot at the expense of concentrating on flowering.
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
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