Fat plants

Mother-in-law language - Lepismium

Mother-in-law language - Lepismium

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this genus has about ten species of epiphytic cacti, originating in the rainforests of South America. They consist of dense tufts of arched, flattened stems, up to two meters long in nature, more contained in specimens grown in container; they are bright green, sometimes reddish, especially if the plant is grown in excessively sunny areas; they have wavy edges, with numerous woolly areoles, which carry 4-8 short dark spines; the stems tend to branch towards the apex; some species have stems with an almost triangular section. In spring they produce numerous bright red, orange or yellow flowers. These plants are very suitable to be grown in hanging baskets, leaving the stems falling. The flowers are generally followed by the fruits: small rounded capsules, slightly fleshy, which contain numerous seeds.


in nature the lepismium develop in the shelter of tall trees, they must therefore be placed in shady places or in partial shade, avoiding to leave them exposed to direct sunlight for too many hours a day. Generally they can withstand temperatures close to 0 ° C, but it is advisable to keep them at a minimum winter temperature close to 10 ° C, at home or in a temperate greenhouse.


from March to October water regularly, keeping the soil slightly damp, but avoiding water stagnation. In the remaining months of the year water sporadically, leaving the soil to dry well between one watering and another. During the vegetative period, provide specific fertilizer for succulent plants every 15-20 days, mixed with the water used for watering.


these cacti prefer loose, light and very well drained soils; prepare an ideal substrate by mixing balanced soil with sand and perlite.


it happens by seed, in spring; generally the lepismium tend to propagate by cuttings, as portions of stem root with great ease.

Mother-in-law language - Lepismium: Pests and diseases

cochineal mites can ruin the tips of the stems.