Fat plants


Question: is my epiphyllum sick?

Hi, I have an epiphyllum for several years now it is about 1 meter high and 70 beautiful but, for some time some leaves are stained with yellow and gradually the affected part is dry. Can you give me advice on what to do? could it be lack of some substance? thanks!! Donatella

Epiphyllum: Answer: epiphyllum

Dear Donatella,
to the genus epiphyllum belong many cacti of southern American origin; they are characterized by flattened stems, subdivided into articles, which can develop falling or erect; the dimensions are various, and depend on the species. The most widespread epiphyllum are hybrids of various species, even hybridized with other cacti, of small size, with very abundant flowering. Since your plant is very large, I believe that you have been cultivating it for years correctly, and that therefore the cultivation conditions are the best, otherwise I believe that it would not be pruning to develop so well that it reaches considerable dimensions. These plants in nature are epiphytes, that is they grow in the undergrowth or between the branches of tall trees, where instead of the ground they have only a little decomposing material, such as leaves or small pieces of material fallen from the trees. Generally they do not develop a very large root system, and therefore it often happens that they are left in the same container for years; yellow spots could be a sign of some deficiency, and perhaps repotting could be useful, especially if you haven't done it in the useful two or three years. Probably it will not be necessary to replace the pot, but only the soil, which after a few years, in addition to exhausting the mineral salts it contains, also tends to lose body. Get a good soil for orchids and a good universal soil, and mix them in equal parts, obtaining an excellent substrate for your epiphyllum. After one month of repotting, you can also begin to fertilize, approximately every two weeks, using a specific fertilizer for succulent plants, poor in nitrogen, but rich in potassium and phosphorus. Sometimes plants, when they have particular nutritional deficiencies, do not show symptoms directly related to these deficiencies, but rather become more easily attacked by parasites; for this reason, it could be that your epiphyllum was attacked by the cochineal, or by a fungus; therefore the leaves that turn yellow and dry could be a symptom of a wider problem. In the case of cochineal, you should see it, which lurks above all at the base of the leaves; instead, a fungus could be due to excessive soil moisture, in this case remove all the diseased leaves and provide the plant with a systemic fungicide, as well as always waiting for the soil to dry perfectly between two waterings.