© RHS / Tim Sandall



Common name: orchid cactus

These unusual succulent houseplants are grown for their spectacular flowers and long trailing stems. The flowers can reach up to 30cm (1ft) across and are often richly fragrant.


In spring or summer, these succulent plants produce large, exotic, multi-petalled flowers in a choice of colours, including red, white, pink and yellow. The flat, leaf-like stems cascade over the sides of their container.


These tropical plants like warm, humid conditions and regular watering from spring to autumn, with a cooler, drier spell in winter. They are tender, so must be kept above 10°C (50°F), and prefer bright, filtered light.


Despite being cacti, these tropical forest-dwellers dislike extremely dry conditions and strong summer sunshine. Equally, they can't cope with waterlogging or cold temperatures. 

Did you know?

A quick and easy way to grow new plants is to take stem cuttings. These root readily, as long as the cut end is left to dry out for a few days first. The resulting plants can reach flowering size in only a year.

Growing guide

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Houseplants for different locations

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