lepismium monacanthum

lepismium monacanthum (syn. rhipsalis monacantha) is native to bolivia and argentina where it grows mostly epiphytic (sitting on trees). its stems are flat or three-angled and can get more than 40 cm/15 inches long. there are two subspecies (ssp. monacanthum and ssp. espinosa), both flowering in orange. young plants are growing erect, older ones hanging.

care

lepismium monacanthum does best on a sunny to bright location. during summer it can be placed outside, but make sure that rainwater can easily flow out of the pot. to avoid burned leaves it should slowly be adapted to the direct sun.

it needs a well drained soil, there are special mixes for epiphytic cacti available. if you want to mix your own, you can use humus, orchid bark and grit (2:1:1).

keep it moist but not wet, water running out of the pot should be removed after a few minutes. before watering next allow to dry. sitting in water can cause rotten roots.

a half strength cactus fertilizer can be given monthly in spring and summer and every six to eight weeks in fall and winter (if placed at room temperature).

lepismium monacanthum needs a winter minum of 15 °c/59 °f. if placed at this temperature give less water and don’t feed.

for flowering a night time heating reduction in spring can be positive.

propagation

lepismium monacanthum can be propagated with seeds or cuttings.

easter cactus (hatiora) leaf cuttings

the members of the genus hatiora can be propagated with leaf cuttings or seeds.

cut off one or two parts of the sprout with a sharp and clean knife. the cuttings can be planted with or without drying before. if you let them dry, put them on a light shaded place for a week or so.

the cuttings can be planted in a regular cactus mix or a mixture of soil and sand (50:50). keep it moist but not wet and allow to dry between the waterings. put the young easter cacti on a bright but not sunny place at a temperature > 20 °c (68 °c). to increase humidity you can put a freezing bag over the pot. it has to be aired daily.

there is no need to fertilize for the first three months.

after two to four weeks the easter cactus will show new sprouts. now the freezing bag can be removed.