Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Climbing Cactus, Hooker's Orchid Cactus
Epiphyllum hookeri

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Epiphyllum (ep-ih-FYE-lum) (Info)
Species: hookeri (HOOK-er-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Epiphyllum phyllanthus var. hookerii
Synonym:Epiphyllum latifrons
Synonym:Epiphyllum stenopetalum
Synonym:Cereus hookeri
Synonym:Epiphyllum ruestii

» View all varieties of Orchid Cactus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

33 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From leaf cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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10 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive XcntrK On Sep 1, 2010, XcntrK from Corpus Christi, TX wrote:

After 5 years and 10 months my plant finally bloomed YEAH! I received two cuttings in a small pot from a friend and have replanted it in larger pots twice since then. My friend said it would be slow to bloom so I have not been expecting any flowers. I also do little to nothing for the plant other than I occasionally give it a drink. While looking up information on it I found that there are other types of it and with differnt colored flowers so now I want to get more varieties, I just hope they do not take so long to bloom LOL

Positive Shadow69 On Apr 2, 2010, Shadow69 from Hurst, TX wrote:

This night blooming cactus grows naturally in the crotch of trees. Put the plant in a basket, hanging high in a tree and it will do wonderfully as the branches will hang down. It responds to a mild fertilizer by forming blooms, but they only last until the sun shines on them. They root easily from broken stems.

Positive Brekkie On Jan 13, 2010, Brekkie from Darwin
Australia wrote:

I first came in contact with this plant 9 years ago in a hanging pot in my new garden. I noticed how well it responded to water and I was soon giving cuttings to friends and family, saying it was one of the easiest plants to grow. I had no idea about its beautiful blooms until a friend noticed flowers on her plant in late December of 2008(cutting taken originally from mine.)
I observed mine in vain for a year, without any buds appearing, then decided to change its position to a sunnier location.
I was rewarded a week ago with one flower coming out at 10.30pm. Since then the plant has formed 5 buds and 3 have blossomed so far. Tonight I think we are in for a double bloom!
I live in the tropical north of Australia and so far this 'Wet Season', (which commenced in October) we have received 950.2mm which is approximately 37.5 inches!

Positive Combatdoc On Sep 5, 2007, Combatdoc from Pensacola, FL wrote:

An ex-girlfriend left this plant at my house, I left it outside for two years and basically forgot about it in it's pot, it dried out, froze, roasted by the sun, etc. and now blooms every 15 days or so, of course now I water it once a week, but the blooms are definitely worth any effort put into growing this plant. When it blooms, my plant gives off a very sweet fragrance.

One thing I've noticed about my plant, the blooms always face south... Anyone else notice this?

I really like this plant, and I'm giving cuttings to friends. I've found it to be easy to grow, even for us guys who aren't really into it. :)

Positive lvyao On Aug 23, 2006, lvyao from Katy, TX wrote:

I got this plant as a gift in late May, it have buds on it, I place it on my patio which only receive morning sun. since then, it bloom four times, each time with 4-20 flowers. Very easy to propagate from leaf cuttings. I even place several leaves in my vase and they still look happy now.

Neutral Xenomorf On May 1, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

More synonyms of this plant are Cereus latifrons & Phyllocactus hookeri.

Positive Stuber On Sep 14, 2005, Stuber from Fernandina Beach, FL wrote:

I now know what I thought was. E. oxypetalum in my orchid cactus garden is really E. hookeri. Bloom petals are much narrower than E. oxypetalum and there is no odor to the blooms, which start in early afternoon and finish by late morning the follwoing day. A tough plant that stays outdoors for me even when nights drop into the high 30's here in N. Florida. the foliage alone is impressive with some leaves on this specimen approaching 4 ft. in lenght and a relatively "neat" appearing plant for an epiphyllum.

Positive Tammlyn On Aug 3, 2005, Tammlyn from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

I've had this plant for years, one of my favorites! Very easy to grow, likes partial sun or shade. Does not bloom in deep shade, but the plant itself thrives. Will turn reddish if too much sun. When it does bloom, it's a showstopper!

Positive pstewart On Apr 6, 2004, pstewart from Lake Charles, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've grown this plant for 3 yrs. from a plant my mother has had for 25-30 yrs. The large white blooms normally last from 3 a.m. until 9 a.m. and usually occur (2-3 at a time) in June and again in July/August. I plant cut or broken pieces immediately. It has thrived in both sun and shade, has been both very dry and very wet and survived a fall due to a broken hanging basket. Its now near my front door and as healthy and happy as ever. One of my favorite plants.

Positive cathmary On Oct 2, 2003, cathmary from Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I received a cutting of this plant from my dad in 1988. For 10 years, I kept it in a small container indoors (not much sun), where it languished. Finally I repotted it and set it under my peach tree on the south side of the yard, so it receives dappled sunshine throughout the summer. It has grown like a weed since!!! That first year it bloomed in two sessions, late August and again in mid-October The average number of blooms per session varies from 5 - 40, with as many as 11 blooms opening in one night.

Since 1998 it has bloomed at least 3 times each summer season. The flowers have NO SCENT. I bring my Epiphyllum indoors once the nighttime temps get below about 45-50 F.

Positive GRANMOUSE On Sep 30, 2002, GRANMOUSE from San Angelo, TX wrote:

I have had this plant for several years. A slow bloomer and blooms at night with flowers dying when the sun hits it. Have not had much luck with it blooming every year; about every 3 years. To reproduce, just lay on top of damp soil or plant cut or broken pieces in a pot. In very cold climates must go into a warm area in the wintertime. I live in a mild winter area, so therefore plant stays on patio all year long. Plant has only produced white flowers.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fontana, California
San Diego, California
Woodcrest, California
Beverly Hills, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Dunnellon, Florida
Englewood, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Fountain, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Naples, Florida (2 reports)
Orlando, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Pensacola, Florida (2 reports)
Sebring, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Davenport, Iowa
Benton, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana (2 reports)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Slidell, Louisiana
Long Beach, Mississippi
Clayton, North Carolina
Dundee, Ohio
Zanesville, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Beaumont, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas (5 reports)
Hurst, Texas
Katy, Texas
La Porte, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Paige, Texas
Plano, Texas (2 reports)
San Angelo, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas

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