Epi Care by Month


Now is the time to buy plants that will be blooming in May … just in time for Mother's Day. CIf you have questions please do not hesitate to call our Nursery at 619.987-6251 or ask about availability or email us.
Spring months are an optimal time for planting Epis Your Epi needs partial shade inland but full sun along the coast. Therefore, purchased plants prefer East-Facing Partial Sade. This occurs on an east-facing porch, under an east-facing overhang, or to the east of a house, wall, or tree. Cool morning sun shines into these areas, but they are protected from the burning hot sun of midday and afternoon hours. Plant your bare-rooted Epi in a coarse mix and pot that well drain fast. Wait two weeks to water. Epis particularly like hanging baskets. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to give our Nursery a call at 619.987.6251 or email us.
Continue to fertilize your mature Epis every two weeks with half strength 0-10-10 or 2-10-10 liquid fertilizer so they will produce flowers! If you are propagating only for growth (these might be your young plants or ones that you want to just see growth) a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 is what I would use. Call Garden Jewels Nursery at 619-987-6251 if you have any questions. You can email us.
Epis use little water. Place a small flat rock on your mix and check it weekly. Turn it over and see if it is moist or not. If it is wet do not water. If it is not wet continue to test for watering by sticking a finger an inch or two into the mix. If it feels damp don't water. If it feels dry water until you see it drain out the bottom of the container. Mist between waterings when the weather is hot and dry. Call Garden Jewels Nursery at 619-987-6251 if you have any questions or you can email us.
You need to continue to remove all dead and withering plant material by either breaking off branches or using sterilized shears. You need to stay ahead of the weeds that naturally come in the Spring. You might want to invest in latex gloves to protect your hands from most of the epi spines as you remove weeds. Call Garden Jewels Nursery at 619-987-6251 if you have any questions or you can email us.
Frost damage is still an issue in some parts of San Diego. Remember, Epis prefer temperatures between 50 degrees and 80 degrees. Yes, they can survive for a brief period if the temperature goes as low as 30 or as high as 100, but remember – most of the plants you have in your garden originated in Central and South America where they inhabited the cloud forests. Call Garden Jewels Nursery at 619-987-6251 if you have any questions or you can email us.


As the weather warms you need to inspect your plants for insect pests. Aphids are attracted to newly forming buds and ants are looking for honeydew. Malathion or insecticidal soaps usually are a catchall for most six-legged epi pests. Don’t forget to put out snail and slug bait. I recommend using meal vs pellets. Also, slightly misting the plants before you broadcast the snail and slug meal will enable it to temporarily adhere to areas most susceptible (eg new growth and buds). Call Garden Jewels Nursery at 619-987-6251 if you have any questions or you can email us.
This is not the time to repot Spring blooming varieties. If you must re-pot, you will forfeit blooms this season. Remember, epies bloom best with crowded roots. If a plant is top heavy but does not have crowded roots, place the smaller pot inside a larger one and pack the space between with pea gravel to hold it upright. Springtime, however, is optimal for rooting cuttings and "potting-up". You should pot “raw” cuttings with the areoles or notches facing upward in a dry to barely moist perlite no deeper than 1 ½ inches to 2 inches. Mist the cuttings for several weeks – do not saturate the perlite. Mist the cuttings twice weekly without getting the perlite wet. As your cuttings take root they will often produce roots from the areoles above the soil level and at the terminal end – this is a sure sign that your cutting is rooting beneath the perlite. Once your cuttings have taken hold (a slight tug that has resistance) they will begin to re-hydrate and are ready to be moved into regular soil-mix. After re-potting do not water for a week then water Lightly till new growth appears. "Potting-Up" an Epi is necessary when the plant has outgrown its pot and you want it to grow larger. This is a good time to "pot-up" your non-blooming Epis. The new pot should be just slightly larger than the old pot. Transplant the Epi into new mix tapping the mix gently to remove the air pockets. After "potting-Up" do not water for one to two weeks depending on the size of the plant. (smaller=shorter…larger=longer). Re-potting If your plant shows stress it’s likely due to the loss of moisture and nutrition. This less than desirable appearance will ordinarily improve as the plant regains itself. If you feel that your plant is suffering from a waterlogged root system, this could be caused by poor pot drainage or excessive rainfall, remove your plant from its pot and inspect your roots. When a root mass has completely rotted, the best solution is to remove the roots completely. You will need to allow your plant to callous, then re-pot your plant in a new mixture. Plant your epi deeper than a plant with an intact root system. This will allow adventitious roots to form above the original intersection between once existent roots and growth. Call Garden Jewels Nursery at 619-987-6251 if you have any questions or you can email us.
Epies need as much light as possible during the spring months. However, epies do not want direct sunlight. Flowers Your plants will begin to produce buds. Don’t be alarmed when the plant drops some of its buds. Your Epi can only sustain so many flowers. Most plants that have been well cared for will produce a sufficient number of flowers to bring a smile to your face. If a plant has not bloomed in several seasons it may not be exposed to enough hours or amounts of light. Call Garden Jewels Nursery at 619-987-6251 if you have any questions or you can email us.






Garden Jewels Nursery is San Diego's primary resource for Epiphyllums, or Epi- Hybrids & Species,
Oxypetalum, Orchid Cactus, Jungle Cactus, Hookeri, E. Crenatum and Semi Shade Plants.