Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)

The EpiForums and Epigallery seem to have vanished from my browsers. Is anyone else having this problem? bob

Picture is Oxypetallum

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Not entirely sure what you mean Bob ?

I do know tery from admen is closing Forums that are not active.
She closed My Outdoor BBQ Thread much to my dissapointment.
So if people don't show a tad more interest here on •The Orchid Cactus forum•
That may be closed as well.

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 10b)

Appearently, epiforums is closed

Isn't it a pity admen don't have the courtesy to consult the regular participants ???

Smacks to me of our Prime Minister Julia Gillart's attitude.
All she says is "it's the right thing to do" ? But to whom and for whom ?

Greensburg, PA

Old forums represent an archive of past knowledge. We are losing out history and the ability to search for past info and threads. This is not a good thing.

You bet Krowten.

I'm not sure how old the rest of Yall are ?
But I remember reading this same thing happening in Europe.
The “Enabling Act” of 1933.
A tad before my time but a history lesson for US all the same.


Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)

What about our EpiGalleries----what happened to them?

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Pawleys Island, SC

I have missed them too. I don't get to check in too often, but I do look around to see what is new or look stuff up at times.

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

Ginger, I looked up the enabling act of 1933. I already knew that Hitler declared himself dictator. When I read this, I thought about American politics recently. Luciee {;^((

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Quote from krowten :
Old forums represent an archive of past knowledge. We are losing out history and the ability to search for past info and threads. This is not a good thing.

I agreed with krowten whole heartedly. I'm not talking about politic, only my concern of gardening forums here at DG. Too many forums are deemed obsolete because there isn't traffic? That's not right, doesn't one rest every so often? Why not allowing a forum getting that same breaks every now and then? That's my two cents!

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

My main concern is gardening, but I just could not let the chance go by without telling Ginger "thank-you" in a round about way. Luciee {;^)

Quote from luciee :
My main concern is gardening, but I just could not let the chance go by without telling Ginger "thank-you" in a round about way. Luciee {;^)

You are more than welcome Luciee. ^_^
As a financial member I feel we should all be able to have a say.
Too many members are afraid to say anything negative for fear of getting booted off DG.
I like your smilie.

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

Thank you, Ginger. I copied it from several places. Luciee {;^)

Pawleys Island, SC

Orchidman, is that an April Shower epi in your picture. If so, I have one and it only blooms in December.

Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)


This is April Showers and mine blooms in late April. Very faithful and prolific bloomer. bob

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Santa Ana, CA(Zone 10b)

I have been curious about this since I joined DG. All of my Epis bloom in spring. I wonder what the difference is. I see others that get blooms and/or second blooms that are in very similar latitudes.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

My two bloom in late June/July. One is a bit sooner--the other a bit later.

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I hope they do not close this thread because I have a few questions regarding my orchid cactus that the men on cactiguide tells me it is a hybrid of Disocactus phyllanthoides x Disocactus speciosus. This plant has been confused as the species Disocactus ackermannii. the original plant was cultivated in the early to mid 1800s, but towards the turn of the 20th century, this hybrid plant was introduced.
They also went on to say that the true species plant of Disocactus ackermanni is difficult to grow. Yet, I see many so called Disocactus ackermannii advertised, I am wondering if they are really what they say they are. It is so confusing for those of us who know nothing about these beauties and we have to rely on what we are told by others who have the broad experience.
I thought that was very interesting, but I wish I knew what to do with it.

Ibartoo, it is good to see you are ok. I have been thinking about you since the storm, wondering how you made out. We took a beating big time. I think over the years you sent me some orchid cactus. They have grown to be beautiful plants but never bloomed. I need to know where to put them in the GH so they bloom. I would guess Spring is the time when that will happen. What about this big Disocactus x hybrid?
Gita you know the one I am talking about, you have one similiar I think. How can I help it along. Does it like more water than the normal weekly watering others get (if they need it ...I use the touch method of checking my CC. If you have time to answer my questions I would appreciate it.
Orchidman, you can probably give me some pointers here. I am really new at the orchid cactus and am doing some research but there are so many and it gets really overwhelming. Do you treat each one individually or can you give them all the same basic treatments?

Thanks in advance for your help. JB

Pawleys Island, SC

Maybe then, mine is not really an april showers. LOL I don't remember whether I bought it or received it in a trade. I have had it for several years. My flowers look just like the ones in your picture Orchidman, but it only blooms in Nov/Dec. Thanks for posting the picture tho. If it isn't April Showers, Any idea what it might be? It looks like an epi, blooms like a Rhipsalidopsis, ( kind of) but never in the spring.

JB, it is good to be back. It has been a rough time for the past while. I may have to catch up with you in an email. The orchid cacti cuttings I sent to you will not bloom until they are root bound. We just had some rain with the storm. Not a lot. I kept all my friends covered in prayers during that time though. I know it got really bad where you are. In the greenhouse JB, I treat my orchid cacti like my Christmas cacti. I let them go dormant around October and then begin bringing them out of dormancy around late January.

We haven't had a killing frost yet though, so who knows when my last frost will be. Our weather is so weird sometimes. LOL

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

You also sent me a Sunrise and a Starfish Cactus and they are looking really good also, Linda.

Did I show you that orchid cactus I spoke about above? Here that is. I hope I am on the right thread with this thing. The flowers on this seem to all come out at the ends of the stems. ?? Is this one I can get some guidance on here or should I move on to another thread?

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Pawleys Island, SC

That is definitely 1 of them JB, but I have no clue which one. This is the right place. Maybe Orchidman can help us.

Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)

J{ This may help you:
Disocactus x hybridus 'Ackermannii'
1. Flowers red
2. Stems 2-3 angled, flowers campanulate, stigma lobes white - D. x hybridus 'Ackermannii'
Disocactus Ackermanni
1. Flowers Red
2. Stems never 3-angled, flowers not campanulate(Shaped like a bell, as certain flowers are.) , stigma lobes purplish red - species - D. ackermanii

The second description is the stock Ackermannj and hard to find. 'the purple stigma lobes are the sure identifier, along with the flower shape.. Most collectors call both Ackermanni without note of the difference. The first is a hybrid, of course. The older plant is not hard to grow-just hard to find. I've purchased several species plants but have yet to bloom a true species Ackermanni. When I find it, I'll make sure you get sev. stems bob

This message was edited Jan 26, 2013 9:52 PM

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Pawleys Island, SC

Thanks Bob, I knew you were probably the right one to help.

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Thank you Bob, I am sorry I did not mean to imply I did not know what that cactus was I should have ask, how oo I keep it happy and healthy?

It was identified as a hybrid of Disocactus phyllanthoides x Disocactus speciosus. It has long been confused with the Disocactus Ackermanni. Which I wish I had one of those too.
I have a friend in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and he is helping to look for one also. I will share with you if and when I get any....do not hold your breath. LOL

I am concerned how to take care of this old girl and when I got on this thread I saw all these beautiful flowers that look similar I thought I would ask how do you care for them and how do you propagate them. Which parts do you twist off for cuttings? Can you guide me to a place to get those answers. At the present time I am treating it like I treat my Schlumbergeras and it seems happy, but the plant is so big and ugly and has nasty needles that I was not sure I was doing the right things. The cuttings are not growing as fast as I thought they should. I need help in my propagation for sure.

I apologize for not telling you what it was, I must have been having one of my senior moments. I am 84 and holding. I knew you would be able to help me if anyone could.

Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)

When I propagate, I like to use more mature growth. I use a sterilized pair of scissors to cut off a long segment which I usually cut in half to make several cuttings as long as I have at least six inches of growth per start I allow the segments to scale over for about a week before planting. Just set them aside and keep them dry during this period. I the place the segments into a four to six inch container in which they will stay for the next 2 years. I use my regular epie mix in the pot to root them. My mix consist of hard wood nuggets, ground oak leaves, perlite, 10X10X10 fertilizer(handful to a 40 gallon trash can full of mix), and sterilized garden soil/sand mix.
I usually do not water when I plant my starts but let the misters provide moisture daily.
Starts do best in the warmer months but I have good success year round. I like 3-4 cuts in each pot. After two years I move them into 10" hanging baskets or gallon pots. I've always read that they should be kept in small pots to crowd roots but I really don't see any difference in growth or bloom time.
When I find small pieces of my epies on the floor that have been broken off; I pot them no matter their size. I will mark them with the names of the plants in the immediate area where they're found in order to have some clue as to the identity of the plants when and if it ever blooms. These "noids" I usually put in 2-4 inch pots and will give them away to friends, especially kids, who see my collection and want a plant or, once identified, I will put back into the mother plants pot.
I like to have two pots of all my epies that I really like. You never know when disaster may strike a much loved plant. I have lost plants due to freezes that only effected small areas of my greenhouse, to chemical misuse (be careful with sprays since epies react badly to many chemicals, and sunburn.
I feed all my epies with 10x10x10 once a month from March to October. No fertilizer Nov-February. The March feeding will usually be with a Bloombuster Blend of plant food. I mist my plants daily during hot months, 1 x weekly early spring and late fall, and every other week during the Nov.-Feb. period. During the cold period you want a lot less moisture due to greater possibility of root rot and other problems. You may have to water more frequently once in awhile.
Epies are amazingly resilient to disease and insect pest. My biggest problem is with scale and snails which usually only disfigure plants and will not kill them. I use oil spray for the scale and snail bait on my shelving and floor of my greenhouse. I have not found any effective treatment for snails as of yet.

I hope this is the information you want. I have found Epies to be very forgiving and easy to grow There are some hybrids on the market that grow extremely slow or have unusual patterns of growth. I guess that they might require different conditions for growth than I am providing. When I check with others, I find that they have similar problems with certain plants
If I have left out any information you need just let me know. Your pictures are beautiful so you must be doing a lot of things right. bob

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Pawleys Island, SC

Bob, That is a wonderful explanation. I want to copy it and keep it handy. I only had 2 epi's bloom this year. 1 strictum and the confused or mid-identified april showers. I tried to get pics of the april showers, but it is outside and we were all sick during the time it was blooming but I would try to make a daily run to see it and all of my Christmas cacti in bloom. This year the Schlumbergera and Zygocacti outdid themselves! it was a spectacular show.

Do you keep your epis in a greenhouse year round?

Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)

Ibartoo: No, I place my largest hybrids and all my Oxy's in the trees or the grapevines for the summer and Fall. However, I have around 600 plants now, epies and orchids, and don't begin to move them all. The result was that I missed many blooms this year since they were not in one place and life doesn't allow me to have yard time everyday and work my day job!
My schlums were beautiful this year also. I let several get some freeze damage while displaying them on my screened porch. I think I lost my Rio Samba to frost which did upset me. I also think I lost a beautiful Christmas Fantasy that was outdoing itself. Here are some pictures. bob

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Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Your plants are gorgeous and the flowers are super gorgeous. You are so lucky to live in NC year round. I lived there many many years ago and I loved it. I lived on Wrightsville Beach when my hubby was in the Marines. I loved the island and I am crazy about the outer banks and always will be. Best years of my life. ]

Back to real life. The information is super. I have printed it and will give it a try. I do have another question. When you take your 6 in. cuttings, you let them dry and when you plant them do you plant the cut end up and the growing end in the soil? I read some instructions on eHow "How to propagate an orchid cactus" and if I read it correctly, they say you plant the growing end in the soil. I have never done that and wondered if anyone I know does?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I am so appreciative. Since I am so old I am going to send you a big hug. So there, you young girls.....there are some benefits to being 84. Darn few but there are some. JB

Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)

Either end will grow when placed in the potting mix. However, The CUT END should go in the potting mix; this will grow much faster than if planted upside down. Also, you might want to root them by placing them in water and letting them root. To do this, put them in a jar with about 1 inch of water and let them root after you have let your end callous over for about a week. Our friend "down under" Ginger did his this way. I have done this but like the potting mix way better. bob

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I have done the water rooting but I do not remember letting them callous over first. What is the reason for the callousing? I never callous my CC either when I cut them. Most of the time I root them in water also. I always put the cut end in the ground. Thanks for reinforcing that for me. JB

Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)

Callousing allows the stem to heal a vulnerable break in it's outer armour...just like a scab. It helps prevent plant rot. I ,too, have skipped this step since it will callous by itself in the pourous plant potting mix. This, however, is not as safe as the tried and true method of allowing the stems to callous before preceding. bob

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Thanks Bob, I never have a problem with rotting, but I guess I will try doing things the right way now, just for the heck of it. You have been so helpful. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. JB

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Can you correctly ID this Epi? I have had it since 2005 when i got it as a cutting from CA.
It first bloomed in 2008 (pic. 1 and 2). Then--not again until 20010.
Last year it went bonkers. last 3 pictures.

I have been told by some folks here that it is an "Ackermanii". Could you either confirm or
correct this?

JB--This is whatever it is--but you are welcome to some cuttings. Even rooted ones.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I also have another Epi. Got it the same year. (2005).

It never bloomed until 2010. Only had 3 blooms that year--but, like my other one--
it blew me away this past year.

This one may be a bit harder to ID. Seems there are many that look alike.
I simply call them Epi #1 (bloomed first)---and Epi #2 (bloomed later).

In picture #4---What causes this scabbing over look?
The frond undersides are smooth green and healthy looking.
This did not, in any way, affect the plant blooming. It just looked so dry and cracked.

Over the winter--my Epis, along with all my other plants, find their little nook in my house.
This Epi is so tilted in the pot that it is impossible to water it.(in the house). It is very heavy--and trying to
hold it horizontal to water it does not work. The top of the soil is hard as rock with all the Epi stems.
I repotted it in 2010 and it really took off. Not sure I will ever be able to do it again.

Also--which fronds would be safe to cut off to root? I do not know which of them are likely to bloom,
so I don't want to be cutting off one that will bloom. How can you tell? I am assuming it is the older, long ones
that will bloom. At least that is where the blooms were last year.

Picture #5 shows the whole, lopsided plant. 2012.

Thanks for your help! Gita

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have another Orchid cactus called a "Ric Rac" catus.
Not sure when I got it and from whom. It is humongous!!!!

Already gave the first "humongous" one away to an Arboretum. Now this one is approaching
5' in diameter, laid flat and must weigh close to 40lbs.

It has only bloomed once--and only with 2 flowers. That was back in 2006. Pic. 1&2.
Why won't it bloom again?

The picture of it in the house is from 2010. it is bigger now.

Question---What causes the Ric Rac (and Epis as well) to grow these ugly,
dry air roots when inside? Pic. #4 (this is from 2004 0r 2005).

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Deep Run, NC(Zone 7b)

Your Ric Rac is beautiful.
they are valued for their stem shape and ragged appearance. Their bloom is unusual and they do not bloom often.
The stringy roots are adventurous roots and should be left alone. They are natural to many hybrid epies. If found in great numbers they could indicate a moisture problem. Usually, however, they are a good thing.
The brown covering is most likely scale colonies. Insecticidal soap or alcohol/water sprayed on them and scrape with your fingernAIL to remove.
The address below will answer most of youe questions about these plants. keep it on your computer for future need, It is excellent.


I went out to my greenhouse tonight and found my April Showers full of buds. This is very early. I would bet there are 75 buds on the plant. I took the pictures below.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Bob--Thanks for the link. I will bookmark it.

Here is the Ric Rac on my picnic table that is 5' in diameter. This was taken Oct. 2010.

I wish I could find the pic. I took late last year of it. You would get to see how big it has gotten.
I hang it outside on the E. side of my patio roof. It does not get much sun. Just some AM sun
as it passes over. It is also partially under my patio roof.
I hose it when I am watering my garden-but not much water stays in the pot.
It is solid with all the stems and frond bass.

On the scale---I do not have scale on my plants--with the exception of a Shifflera Amate that I bought at HD.
I think the scale on it came from the growers.
The yukky Epi fronds just looked gray and calloused and dry--and if I bent the frond, it looked like
it would crack.
I did not pay much attention to it this past summer--as it bloomed so nicely. It also hangs high up
from my patio roof--so I may not have noticed it. Both of the Epis are now in my LR by the bay window.

When I put it outside in beg. of May--I will look and scrub it clean if i have to and
give it a good spraying.


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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Here is a closer look at one of the icky fronds...

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

And--a closer one again. it is pitted and gray/yellow.....

Would scale do all this? Or--is it just getting old?

Can something this big and old be rejuvenated in any way? Cutting it back?
Starting a whole new plant from cuttings?

How do you keep yours from tipping over on those shelves in your Greenhouse?
Pretty soon--I will have to do something. It is so lopsided and heavy and long.

Would be nice if I could just leave it outside all year--but we actually have a winter here....
Right now--it has been in the high 20's and teens at night. It won't last--they are calling for 60*
on Wednesday. We are all used to this up and down---up and down--here in Maryland.

OK! I'll leave you alone for a while....looking forward to some more answers.

Thanks again---Gita

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Pawleys Island, SC

All of those are gorgeous. I have had a ric rac cactus for a long time and mine has never bloomed. I know I share cuttings with some people last year or year before because it took up too much space in the greenhouse. It was huge. I am really looking forward to the blooms this year. I am hoping I get more buds.

What do you all use to label them? I keep having trouble reading the older labels even when it is written in pencil. Any ideas?

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