Sunday, 26 May 2019

Epic Epie sort out - Bank holiday Weekend

May is a wonderful month for enjoying Epiphyllum flowers  . I have pretty much dedicated this Bank holiday weekend to being with them up in the greenhouse .

                        Being utterly delighted and surprised by their beauty . . .

                             and fragrance   . . . I feel so spiritually uplifted .

                                 Epiphyllum crenatum sideways view .
            These flowers lasted for about two and a half days before fading away .

 So now I want to make more of this lovely plant and I have taken off this branch to make a couple of  cuttings .

 I write the names of the plants onto the leaves with a plant label pen .
 The proper names for the leaves of Epiphyllums are cladodes/cladophylls or phylloclades . They are actually a highly specialised way for the plant to climb towards the light , flattened stems which photosynthesise and find moisture and nutrients....growing in their natural habitat high up on cliff face and up in the branches in the tree canopy of the rain forests ...Epiphyllum crenatum is from Mexico . Most of them , Epiphyllums , come from South America .
 Epiphytes are plants which grow on other plants/trees taking their nutrients , air and moisture from the moss and bits that have fallen and collected in amongst the tree branches and crevices . They spread out their stems , climb and hang down , scrabbling along and propagating themselves as they travel .
 The stems send out long shoots called stolons which reach out and when they have found the perfect place on a branch, these stolons change their shape and become flattened and widened . . . and those beautiful flowers come from out of the nodes , the little indentations or crenations  or dimples on the leaves .
  I will refer to these cladophylls as leaves from now on , but it is interesting to know how these extraordinary plants grow and differ from other plants .

 So these aren't really a plant that will sit in a pot and grow neatly in one place .
         The more space you can give them, the happier they will be !
They do best given shade  or filtered sunlight . The species can take a bit more sun light but be very careful on that . A North facing windowsill is best in the house .
  My greenhouse is unheated , but we are warmer here in Cornwall , mine get through the winter with sheets of newspaper thrown on if we get a freezing weather warning . The greenhouse becomes hot in the Spring/summer and I open the greenhouse windows depending on the weather . I have fixed up shade net . If ever I have left a pot of Epies in the blazing sun by mistake and accidentally splashed them with water ...then the leaves have scorched and blistered remember ..they like warmth and shade .
They like to be in a consistently moist compost , but not drowning in water during the Summer and almost completely dry over Winter months .
 I will be feeding mine just once after they have finished blooming ..which is also when I do any re-potting that needs to be done .

         So this weekend , I am tidying them up a little and taking cuttings .

        Snails are a blooming nuisance , also a very annoying little yellow Oxalis corniculata , which I didn't take a picture of ....I pluck it out as soon as I see it , but  wonder if I should just give in and let it mingle in around the stems . ... it is  very pretty .....and then I think " NO !"... it is taking all the nutrients from my Epies !

 No , snails are the biggest nuisance for sure and I,m going to sprinkle slug pellets . I think they drop in from the open roof windows when I,m not looking !
Maybe I should set up "slug pubs " ..... maybe that would attract more of them ....aaagh !

 This is what snails have done to some of my Epies over this Winter ...sigh ....

So , snip , snip , clipperty clip ... I cut out all the tatty bits and take lots of cuttings .  The cut end of the stems need to callus over before I pot them up into , just ordinary multi-purpose compost with some perlite mixed in .(works for me). Actually , I have on occasion left out this step and they still do root away  no trouble , but it is better to leave them to callus over first .
  Once again , I write the names of the different varieties of the Epies on to their leaves makes it so much easier ...and if I do it when the plants are in flower I can be sure of the plants name and flower colour too .
I put more information on the plastic plant labels , such as name of the person I acquired it from ,such as Terry Hewitt Holly Gate nursery , Mr John Pilbeam , Mr John Horobin's collection etc and country of origin .

     So we have more buds coming and this photo was taken at about 7pm yesterday evening .


            This plant was sold to me as Epiphyllum "Bountiful" is huge !

 I think this is another Epiphylum crenatum ..but there are some others which are slightly different such as E. crenatum var. kimnachii and E.crenatum var.chichicastenango if any real and proper Epiphyllum expert knows the fine tuning on the name of mine as seen here , then please to let me know !

                                            7pm in  the  greenhouse .

                                           10pm Epiphyllum "Bountiful"

                       10pm Epiphyllum crenatum has opened out just one petal !

                                      5.30 am Epiphyllum " Bountiful "

                                           5.30 am Epiphyllum crenatum .

                                            Have a beautiful Sunday !


  1. I wouldn't have imagined that snails would bother them

    1. Oh yes Sue..I really have to keep an eye on them ! :)

  2. Interesting post and pictures. xx