This section is from the book "The Florists' Manual", by William Scott. Also available from Amazon: The Florist's Manual.
There are several species of this South American cactus, but the above is much the most useful and attractive and wherever good pot plants are grown it should be in the collection. It grows as clusters on trees, as do orchids, but can be grown in a pot in ordinary soil. Its leaflike branches propagate freely in sand, but if grown on its own roots the branches hang so close to the flower-pot and its growth is so pendent that it does not give the plant a chance to exhibit its beauty, and they are mostly grafted on stocks of pereskia with stems six to twelve inches long, which elevates them from the pot.
If grown on their own roots the compost best suited for them is two-thirds fibrous loam, one-third leaf-mold, with some broken-up brick rubble and charcoal added to keep the soil open and porous. They should never be over-watered and in the fall and early winter need only sufficient to keep the leaves from shrivelling.
From January on through the spring and summer months they need much more water. Few people but what have seen the epiphyllum in flower, but not all have seen a plant well grown. For the private conservatory there are few plants more brilliant, covered as they are in midwinter with such a profusion of brilliant scarlet flowers. A temperature of 50 degrees will do very well in winter. Keep them under glass the entire year, with lots of ventilation in the summer months.