Chiapasia nelsonii


One of my favourite orchid cactus is this early shimmering pink bloomer with confusing names. Even the name tag has two different names. At the front it is written Chiapsis nelsonii, but the other side says Chiapasia nelsonii.
Plant Name TagWhen I checked online, there are quite a few names: Disocactus nelsonii, Epiphyllum nelsonii, Chiapasia nelsonii, Phyllocactus nelsonii, Phyllocactus chiapensis. Frankly, I don’t even know which names are correct, as I am not an expert.

About the plant:

This orchid cactus from Chiapas area in Mexico produces incredible numbers of bright pink 8 cm blooms for a few weeks in Spring. Each stem will produce a flower at almost every areole creating a spectacular sight.

This Chiapas beauty is well suited to outdoor growing in almost all parts of Australia although areas that do not experience cold in winter may not be able to flower the plants.  This plant prefers shade levels of about 50%, less than 30%  will cause leaves  to be sun bleached and more than 70% may retard flowering. It prefers open composted soils or in pots any good quality potting mix. In extremely cold and wet climate, keep plant dry in winter or provide a very well drained potting media.

Fertilise when new growth appears in spring (after flowering), and keep plant well watered  all through growing season. Reduce watering in winter to encourage flower initiation for spring. Stems may need support for best result. Prune back plant every 2 to 3 years to encourage new vigorous growths.

(Source: Paradisia Nursery)

These are the photos of our blooming C. nelsonii right now:

Disocactus nelsonii – Chiapasia nelsonii – Epiphyllum nelsonii

Disocactus nelsonii – Chiapasia nelsonii jpg

Disocactus nelsonii

Disocactus nelsonii - Early Bloomer


Orchid Cactus 2010

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Our orchid cactus/Jungle cactus with very large red flowers is blooming. At first I was not so sure what kind of epiphyllum it was, but now I have a strong feeling it is actually Epiphyllum/Disocactus ackermannii. Such beautiful flowers but they don’t last very long. They start to wilt on the third day after the flowers open.

Epiphyllum/Disocactus ackermannii – Flower buds

Very large bloom: Epiphyllum/Disocactus ackermannii

Red Epiphyllum/Disocactus ‘Ackermannii’

It is a very different story with Nopalxochia phyllanthoides aka Epiphyllum ‘Deutsche Kaiserin’, this species has long lasting flowers. The candy pink and white small flowers open slowly and will continue to grow bigger until they are fully open. A prolific bloomer which is perfect for a hanging basket. This year they are doing very well, many more flowers compared with last year.

Nopalxochia phyllanthoides / Epiphyllum ‘Deutsche Kaiserin’

Nopalxochia phyllanthoides aka Epiphyllum Deutsche Kaiserin

The other epiphyllums that have finished flowering:

Chiapasia nelsonii / Epiphyllum nelsonii / Disocactus nelsonii

Yellow Epiphyllum (Fruhlingsgold???)

Sadly, our “Sunrise cacti /Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri”  are not doing very well. (Note: Sunrise Cactus is not really an orchid cactus, but it is also a jungle catus). The stems are droopy and only have few flowers. Today is raining and dark, so the flowers don’t open fully. Just like Mesembryanthemums, the flowers only open when the sun light is bright. I read that Sunrise cacti are the hardest to grow compared with the other jungle cacti. I am not going to post the picture of the Sunrise cactus now. Hopefully tomorrow will be sunny and the flowers will open properly . Then I will take some photos.


The next day….. it is overcast but bright enough to make the sunrise cactus flower open.

Pink Sunrise Cactus

Sad looking Sunrise cactus

Links to other blogs on Orchid Cacti/ Jungle Cacti: