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How much and how to water the epiphyllum
Epiphyllum is in all respects part of the same family as the prickly pear. But contrary to what happens to others belonging to the same group, epiphyllum absolutely needs an excellent humidity. In fact, the perfect substrate must never be dry. This peculiarity can only belong to 1/3 of this substrate. The rest must necessarily be very wet. To check the humidity levels it is possible to do the so-called "finger test", inserting a finger into the ground and checking to where the soil is dry. This especially in the spring and summer seasons. In autumn and winter it is mandatory to reduce the water supply. The soil, however, must always be moist but absolutely never soaked.
The cultivation of the epiphyllum in pots is not completely complicated. It is necessary to have a particularly loose soil, very rich in organic substances and coarse materials in order to be draining and to avoid the dreaded water stagnation. Every 2.3 years it is necessary to repot the epiphyllum, possibly at the end of flowering, or around April-July. This plant does not need pruning. It is enough simply to think about the periodic elimination of the dry or damaged parts in order to avoid that they carry diseases. The multiplication of epiphyllum occurs mainly by cuttings, to be taken in full summer and to be placed in a sheltered place for 10 days. Then proceed to planting underground 1/3 of the cutting in a pot, in a shady place keeping the soil moist.
The importance of man-made fertilization
Epiphyllum is absolutely not a plant that needs special fertilizations to grow at its best and in good health. Simply in spring and autumn (therefore twice in a year) it is sufficient to use a fertilizer to be diluted with the water used during irrigation operations. Compared to the doses indicated on the packages it is important to greatly reduce the percentages, reducing them to about 1/3. In the winter seasons it is absolutely forbidden to fertilize the epiphyllum. There are elements that must not be missing in the ideal fertilizer. These are, in particular, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in formulations 6: 6: 6, 8: 8: 8, or 10:10:10. Fertilization, following these percentages scrupulously, should be done on average once a month, avoiding the coldest moments of the year or those in which frosts occur.
Epiphyllum: The ideal exposure and possible diseases of the epiphyllum
In the cultivation of epiphyllum it is essential to respect the correct exposure. The plant grows and develops well between 7 and 21 ° C. Temperatures can also be higher as long as humidity levels exceed 80%. The ideal exposure is strictly in the shade. The sun's rays must necessarily be well filtered as they can irreparably damage the plant. The epiphyllum they are lovers of the air. It is therefore essential to place them in well-ventilated but absolutely wind-protected areas. In too cold periods it is advisable to enter the vase inside the house. Epiphyllum are excellently resistant to disease. The "farinosa cocciniglia" is one of the main enemies, to be defeated with specific pesticides. Burns indicate that the plant is too exposed.