HousePlant identification: Orchid Cactus Care

Could you identify this houseplant and tell me how to care for it?

Hi Tina,

I think your plant is an Orchid Cactus, Epiphyllum oxypetalum, though it doesn’t look happy. Here are some Orchid Cactus Care tips that might help you plant feel better.

Orchid Cactus care tips for this "Curly Sue" variety with thick, green, curly leaves.

An Orchid Cactus likes very bright indirect light.

Water: Keep the soil of an Orchid Cactus moist but not soggy in the Spring, Summer, and Fall when the plant is producing new growth. Keep the soil fairly dry in the winter. Once the plant starts producing new leaves in the spring, increase the water.  Never allow the soil to totally dry out. The stems of your plant look pale and limp which usually means the soil is too dry. If the soil is wet and your plant looks this way, you may have over-watered and destroyed the roots of the plant.

Plant Food: Feed an Orchid Cactus about twice a month during the Spring and Summer with a plant food high in potassium. Always dilute the plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength. Do not feed an Orchid Cactus in the Fall and Winter.

Rest: Orchid Cactus need to rest in a cool, dry place during the winter. Resting for about 10 weeks helps the flower buds set. While the plant is resting, keep the soil fairly dry and do not feed the plant.

Temperature: Average room temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C. To set flower buds, the plant needs 8-10 weeks of cool 60-65°F/16-18°C days and 45-55°F/7-13°C nights in winter.

With the proper care, an Orchid Cactus produces beautiful flowers as shown in this picture below.

Tips on Orchid Cactus care for this flowering plant with bright red flowers and thick, narrow, draping jagged leaves.
Orchid Cactus
Epiphyllum oxypetalum