The fern leaf cactus, otherwise known as a fern leaf orchid cactus or a Selenicereus chrysocardium, is an epiphytic jungle cactus from Mexico. The “leaves” (which are really stems) grow up and out, draping down over the side of a pot and creating a stunning visual.
It thrives best in bright indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight. Exposure to afternoon sun can burn the leaves, turn them yellow, or lead to spotting.
It grows well in a slightly acidic, well-drained, mix of two parts peat moss and one part sand with one part fine-grade fir bark.
Water is crucial to your success with epiphytes. Unlike desert cacti, epiphytic cacti should be kept damp, but not soaking wet. Allowing them to dry slightly between waterings is also acceptable. Watering deeply once a week is often all it takes to maintain these conditions, though in hot, dry weather you may need to water more often. If the top 1.2 cm of soil is dry, it’s time to water regardless. During their dormant period, water epiphytic cacti just enough to keep them from drying out completely.
Fertilize once a month with a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer during the growing season. Do not fertilize the plant during winter.
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