Epiphyllum is a native plant from the tropical areas of Mexico, the West Indies, Central, and South America. Depending on the variety grown, the flowers come in a variety of flower shapes such as wheel-shaped, bell-shaped, cup-shaped, funnel-form and irregular. The Epiphyllum phyllanthu has white flowers and it blooms at night. The hybrid Epiphyllums have flowers that come in a variety of colors like pink, red orange, violet, or yellow and they bloom during the day. On most hybrid Epiphyllums, the flowers appear around the end of February and continue through June. The flowers will last approximately 2 days, depending on how hot the weather is in your area. Some other varieties bloom later. The stems, which are also considered the leaf section of the Epiphyllum, are between 1/2 inch and 4 inches wide.
Select the Stem
Examine the Epiphyllum plant to find a healthy stem that is around 5 or 6 inches in length. Cut the stem off the plant with a clean sharp knife. Lay your cutting in a cool, dry location and leave it alone until a scab forms. Depending on the humidity, it can take 1 to 2 weeks for the calouse to form. It can sometimes take longer.
The cut end of the stem has to callous over before you can propagate it. If you omit this crucial step of allowing the end to callous over, then the nutrients of the stem will go down the stem, exit out the cut end, and go into your soil. This leaves the cutting vulnerable to disease and rot.
Preparing the Pot
Find a small 4-inch pot for your Epiphyllum cutting. You can also use one of those small disposable cups. Just remember to poke two holes at the bottom of the cup to allow the water to drain away.
Fill the pot with well-draining potting soil. You can mix your own by combining 1 part compost, 1 part sharp sand, and 3 parts peat moss. If you have African violet soil, that will work also. Leave a 1/4 inch of space between the top of the soil and rim of the pot.
Planting the Cutting
Insert the cutting upside down, so it is 1 to 2 inches deep. The calloused end remains on top and the small growing end of the cactus goes into the soil. The Cactus and Succulent society recommends no more than two of the leaf “serrations” should be below soil level. Any deeper planting then this can encourage rot. With your fingers, firm the soil around the stem to help hold it upright. Some gardeners use rooting hormone, and others do not. If you do use the rooting hormone, dampen the tip of the cutting with water and then dip that end into the rooting hormone. Only dip the tip or 1/4 inch of the stem into the powder hormone and then tap the stem to remove excess. Too much rooting hormone can burn your plant and it will not grow.
To help hold the Epiphyllum cutting upright, insert a small bamboo stick or some other thin stick into the soil beside the stem. Take a piece of soft twine or string and loosely tie the stem to the stick.
Location and Watering
Place the pot in a warm room with bright, shady window. Do not place it in direct sunlight or the cutting won’t root.
Refrain from watering this cutting for 14 days. Instead, mist the plant for several weeks. This helps the cutting to form roots so it can find nourishment to sustain it.
After 14 days, carefully pour a little water into the soil. Do not water them for a week. After that, you can water your plant weekly. The length of time it takes for the roots to form will vary. It can take several weeks to several months. When you see new growth, it means that the cutting has developed roots.
If you notice that the cutting looks as though it is rotting, remove the stem from the soil. Cut away the rotted area with a sharp knife. Allow the end to callous over and replant the stem as directed in the previous steps.
Transplant the Epiphyllum in a bigger pot when it has become root bound.
Cactus & Succulent Society of America: Epiphyllum Cuttings
The Amateur’s Digest: Epiphyllum