Rooting your cuttings

Before rooting epiphyllum cuttings they should be allowed to cure for ten days to two weeks after cutting. Store the cuttings in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. This allows the cut ends of the cutting to heal over, forming a callous that helps prevent rot. If in doubt about when the cutting was made, wait a week or so before planting. The succulent nature of the epi stems will keep the cutting viable for a month or more.

If you plant your cuttings in a 4” plastic pot. In a year or two, the plants may be moved to a 7-8” pot. It will take another year or two to bloom. Epis usually don’t bloom until their roots are “potbound.” They will grow to the size of their pot.

A favorite method used by a number of SDES members is to plant at least 3 cuttings in a 7-8” pot. This produces a blooming plant quicker, usually in two to three years. These cuttings MUST be of the same variety. If you plant more than one variety of cutting in the same pot, the one that is the best “grower” will become dominant and crowd out the lesser growers.

The potting mix for rooting cuttings should be barely damp – NOT WET. Potting soil that is damp from the bag or “bag moist,” is fine.

***DO NOT WATER OR ALLOW YOUR CUTTINGS TO GET WET UNTIL THEY ARE WELL ROOTED***.

If the cuttings are watered before they have developed roots, they tend to rot. If you do see some rot at or near the soil line, un-pot, re-cut, allow the cut surface to callous over and start the process again. You can test to see if your cutting has rooted by gently tugging on the cutting. If you feel some resistance, the cutting has started to root. Once this has happened, water as normal. Another indication that a cutting has developed roots happens when a cutting that has begun to dry out or shrivel suddenly “plumps up,” having started to absorb moisture from the potting medium through its brand new root system. Cuttings can be rooted in either a potting mix for epis (see below) or in pure perlite only. SDES members have had success with both methods. Rooting in pure perlite seems to reduce the number of cuttings lost to rot. If you use the pure perlite method, once the cuttings are well rooted, they will need to be transplanted to regular epi potting soil. If you live in a hot and dry climate the cuttings rooting in pure perlite will need to be misted more often to keep them from drying out.

More information on rooting in potting mix.

More information on rooting in perlite.

More information on using rooting harmone.