Epiphyllum question

I need some info on epiphyllums. I've found general culture info but I would like to hear opinions on the best way to root cuttings and the best indoor climate for them. I'm thinking of putting them either with my orchids or in my computer room. Anyone's experiences will be welcome.
I've gotten two larger plants which are about two years old plus several cuttings and two very small plants which are outside right now.
Also any input on potting media would help. I had thought of using cactus soil mixed with regular potting soil and maybe some perlite and a bit of charcoal.
Thanks Shell
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Weeble,
Epiphyllums are very easy to root. There are many successfull methods, here is mine. 1. allow cuttings to 'cure' for AT LEAST a week. Longer is fine. I've left cuttings in a cool, shady spot for three months before rooting with no ill effects. 2. Place cuttings about 1/2 inch deep in COMPLETELY DRY potting mix. Do not water for at least a week and when you water use about a tablespoonful per cutting. Excess moisture will quickly rot the cuttings, lack of moisture will not harm them a bit. If the humidity is fairly high, 60% or so, cuttings will root without watering. 3. Keep an eye out for signs of rooting. - stems begin to look plump - arial roots begin to develop at the tips of the cuttings - aerioles begin to develop hairs - new growth appears 4. Gradually increase watering as new growth appears. 5. Rooting is best at temperatures of 70F or above.
I have used many potting mixes with success. The main requirement is good drainage. My county has a municipal compost facility which composts leaves collected in the fall. This stuff is the ultimate medium. It is coarse with excellent drainage while providing tremendous fertility. I have also used commercial peat/perlite mixes such as ProMix or Southland Professional. I have found MiracleGro potting mix to be far inferior to all others. For rooting cuttings I use a 50/50 peat-perlite/perlite to assure good drainage.
Epiphyllums need a 30-90 day period of cool, dry dormancy during the winter to develop flower buds. I keep mine in a mud room that gets down to 30F on the coldest January nights. I doubt that you will get any flowers if you keep your plants in your computer room during the winter. Your orchids would be a better choice but if you get no flowers you will have to find a cooler winter spot.
Hope this helps, --beeky
Weeble wrote:

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Thanks for the help :) I've never really tried to root anything before so this sounds like I should be able to do this with no problems. My garage sounds like the perfect place, nice and warm and humid with fairly good light.
My house is usually cod inside, somewhere between meat locker and north pole. Usually harder to keep things warm than cool. I may give the front room a try since it gets good filtered light all day.
I appreciate the advice on potting medium very much. Sounds like the finer stuff in the orchid mix might work mixed with a little peat and perlite
Shell

methods,
I've
Do
fairly
good
leaves
with
Southland
all
to
if
orchids
best
cactus
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<snip>

to
if
orchids
I pretty much agree with everything you said, although I've had good luck rooting them in ProMix that was kept slightly moist.
I can't agree with the last statement that epis require the type of dormant period you described to blossom - at least not the ones I've raised for the last thrity. Mine do just fine next to my wife's orichids. I still have a beautiful red one that has overwintered and thrived in a sun room for the past twenty-five years. I keep it slightly drier in the winter than the rest of the year which is exacty the same way I treat my other house plants. Each spring I increase water and fertilize. I now live in zone 6 and last spring had at least twenty blossoms on the plant during April and May. When I lived in zone 3, the plant rebloomed off and on throughout the summer when kept outside in the shade, but that is not true here. My guess is that they require a cool period to set blossoms, which we don't have here - no problem with MN nights. :) I have noticed that buds develop copiously along the stem, but most abort once the first flower on a stem opens.
Go ahead and put it in a cool, bright window with the orchids during the winter. It'll do just fine! :)
John
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They are confusing Epiphyllum with Schlumbergera. They are not the same.
The ironic thing about the so-called Epiphyllum hybrids is that most have absolutely no Epiphyllum genes in their parentage. They are mostly hybrids between day blooming species of Heliocereus, Nopalxochia, Disocactus and Aporocactus.

flowers
a
dormant
the
rest
Each
spring
lived
problem
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Well, whichever, they're pretty :)
Shell

down
find
luck
a
the
kept
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I shouldn't have any trouble with keeping them cool at night, my house is usually pretty cold inside. I'm in zone 9 so I'm hoping they thrive
Shell

flowers
a
dormant
the
rest
Each
spring
lived
problem
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I used to let my cuttings heal over and then place them in a sandy rooting soil. If I remember right, they were easy to propagate. I cut them at a natural joint. I had them in a lath/gardening area, outside in summer, took them inside in the winter. Lived in Texas then. Eventually I hope to have some again. (moved away from my collection) Jackie

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I'm in Houston so no problem with humidity or heat :) I plan to keep them inside even though I've heard they won't bloom indoors. I've also heard they will bloom too so I figure I have a good chance of having some nice flowers next spring.
Shell

best
cactus
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Shell,
I noticed you did mention "indoor climate". When I first started years ago, all my epis were indoors. I didn't have the luxury of a yard. I have been successful with getting them to bloom, but it's a whole different ballgame growing them outside. The growth of the stems is much quicker, which will result to having more blooms.
I'm not going to answer how to root cuttings, since most have already done that here.
But for me, dormant period is important. Aside from just temperature, it also means, very very little watering, and changes in seasonal photoperiods. If the room has a light turned on at night.. not a good thing.
BTW, started a small site for epiphyllum fans last week. You can find plenty of info there in the FAQ section
plug: http://www.epiforums.com
Happy epi-ing, Eddie
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