Epiphyllum ackermannii 12cm
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Epiphyllum ackermannii - Επίφυλλο
Διάμετρος γλάστρας:12εκ, Ύψος:20εκ.
Its name comes from Greek and literally means "on top of the leaf", to indicate the origin of flowers, which bloom directly on the "false foliage".
Although it does not have spines, it is a cactaceous plant and it is considered an epiphytic plant, meaning that it grows, clinging to other plants, using them only as a support: in fact, it is able to take the nutrients it needs from the humidity of the air, by means of proper aerial roots.
Some species grow anchored to the ground, but their roots are too small to satisfy their needs for humidity, therefore they use the aerial ones as well. This genus has waxy stems, long and flat (which give it the nickname of "mother-in-law's tongue") with marginal notches: apparently, they look like real leaves, but in reality they are the branches, from which the night flowers bloom - another value of this spectacular plant.
The inflorescences are in fact very big and showy (they can reach up to 20 cm in diameter!), of a boundless scenic beauty: these wonderful blooms, together with the long branches without thorns and the climbing habit, make this cactus highly appreciated and used quite often to decorate any indoor environment!
Epiphyllum ackermannii is a very delightful epiphytic perennial cactus, that forms clumps about 30 cm high with a 60-100 cm spread.
It’s a heavy bloomer and easily flowered plant that has the very appropriate and descriptive popular name, the “Red Orchid Cactus”.
For many years this species has aroused much controversy among horticulturists and botanists alike and it was assigned to the genus Epiphyllum by Haworth in 1829 but later some botanists considered it to be a natural hybrid between Disocactus phyllanthoides and Heliocereus speciosus.
This is one of the original varieties from which many hybrids have been made.
It can be trained on a support, allowed to grow pendant, or grafted onto a straight stem of some other species to produce a beautiful small weeping tree. Older branches over two years old, which become brown and unsightly, can be cut away to the ground without disfiguring the plant.
- It requires a lot of light throughout the year, however, avoid direct sunlight especially during the hottest hours of the day.
- It is preferable to keep it at mild temperatures and never below 10 °C, for this reason it is recommended to shelter it during the winter period.
- Water moderately but only when the soil is completely dry. It is enough to water it once a week in spring and summer, reduce watering to once every two months in autumn, and to suspend it completely in winter.
- The perfect soil is a highly draining and porous one, for example a mixture of peat and pumice so that it does not stagnate the water.
- They do not need frequent fertilization, it is sufficient to dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.