Golden Heart Epiphyllum

Golden Heart Epiphyllum


Selenicereus chrysocardium (Fernleaf Cactus)

Selenicereus chrysocardium (Fernleaf Cactus), formerly know as Epiphyllum chrysocardium, is an epiphytic, spineless cactus, up to 6 feet…

Selenicereus Species, Fernleaf Cactus, Golden Heart Epiphyllum

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Selenicereus (sel-ee-nih-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: chrysocardium
Synonym:Epiphyllum chrysocardium
Synonym:Marniera chrysocardium
» View all varieties of Orchid Cactus


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Rowland Heights, California

Panama City Beach, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jun 17, 2014, JeffSers from Lakeside, CA wrote:

I found this plant at an Armstrong Garden Center of all places. I had been looking for it for a while with no luck and I find it in a store! They had two left and they looked like they had been left in the sun for too long. I asked if they were getting anymore and the associate did not know. She let me pick the better looking plant and gave me a 50% discount on it.

I took it home and cut off all the bad pieces. I decided to try to root those to see if they would grow. I hung the remaining plant in my oak tree and let it recover.

Two weeks later, the plant was already throwing new growth to replace the parts I removed! The cuttings also had already rooted, don't know if they will grow but at least I know they root quickly!

Because of the heavy . read more soil they planted the original plant in, I let the soil dry out before watering and it keeps on growing.

On Apr 28, 2009, lazepherine from Seattle, WA wrote:

This plant has done wonderfully in an east/south corner window with sheer curtains filtering the light (see photo). Foliage is a lovely, bright, almost apple green. My plant has fairly firm leaves, so its zig-zag shape is well defined. It hasn't bloomed yet, but the flowers are supposed to be white with gold filaments - called "Golden Heart" in Mexico. Pretty forgiving if you forget to water: mine's gone a couple, maybe three weeks in the winter with no water, just occasional misting, and it did just fine. A fantastic foliage plant - one of my favorites.

Fernleaf Cactus (Selenicereus chrysocardium) – Cactus Plants

Fernleaf Cactus (Selenicereus chrysocardium) is a broad, epiphytic, spineless cactus up to 1.8 m wide, with branching stems holding long, arching, flattened, leaf-like, pale green leaves. They are technically called cladodes, that have rounded lobes in a zig-zag pattern. It can produce huge, white flowers with long, golden stamen filaments but it is pretty shy blooming so don’t expect to see these often (or at all).

Scientific Classification:

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Hylocereeae
Genus: Selenicereus

Scientific Name: Selenicereus chrysocardium (Alexander) Kimnach
Synonyms: Epiphyllum chrysocardium (basionym), Chiapasophyllum chrysocardium, Marniera chrysocardium
Common Names: Fernleaf Cactus, Fern Leaf Orchid Cactus, Golden Heart Epiphyllum

How to grow and maintain Fernleaf Cactus (Selenicereus chrysocardium):

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.

It prefers ideal temperatures between 70 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 21 – 24 degrees Celsius at daytime and 60 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit / 16 – 21 degrees Celsius during night time.

Fertilize once a month with a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer during the growing season. Do not fertilize the plant during winter.

It can be easily propagated by seed or stem cuttings. Use a sharp knife to take stem cuttings. A milky, white sap may ooze from the cuttings, so allow the cut ends to dry for one day. Then insert the cut end into a sterile potting medium. Keep the medium barely moist until the plants germinate.

Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for scale insects and mealybugs.