Brush up your Knowledge on Night Blooming Cereus- Care Guide
The Night Blooming Cereus is a rather popular kind of the Cactus plant. This Night Blooming Cactus is termed so as the flowers bloom during the dusk and wilt away before the rising of the sun.
Night Blooming Cereus Plant /Night Blooming Cereus Cactus
A variety of Cactus
Popularly known as the Queen of the Night and even as the Princess of the Night, the Night Blooming Cereus plant blooms for a very minimal time during the year. Yet, these blooms are what make the plant very popular.
The Night Blooming Plant is also known as the Night Blooming Cactus as it is a variety of the Cactus plant. It belongs to the subfamily of Cactoideae and produces white flowers that bloom during the dark. With the flowers, the plant sports a greyish stem that seems to be very weak in structure, as it seems to be barely hanging onto the soil.
The Night Blooming Cereus is a popular houseplant, especially in the United States. It can easily grow up to 10 feet, or 3 inches, tall. It has green-yellow stems, with black spines running through and has several buds attached to them during the growing season.
Night-Blooming Cereus Symbolism
The Night Blooming Cereus is an extraordinary flower. It is priceless, more so because it can’t be bought. This plant flowers just at night, that too once a year. Even then, the plant is very popular for the beauty of its flowers, even though it flowers only once in 365 days. The plant is said to symbolize beauty, purity and is often considered to be a divine gift that shines during the darkness.
Night Blooming Cereus Flower
Bloom in the dark
The Night Blooming Cereus flowers are named so because of their ability to bloom right between the sun sets and rises the next day. The Night Blooming Cereus plant usually blooms during June, July, August, September, October, that is, during summer nights.
The flowers bloom just once, blooming at dusk and wilting away before the sunrise. Also, it is almost impossible to determine whether the plant is going to bloom that particular day or not. It is only after lunchtime that most plant parents can determine if it is the day of the plant blooming.
As the plant blooms, it is a beautiful sight to behold, specifically if a lot of the flowers in the plant bloom together. The plant, however, can produce blooms only after it has grown 4 to 5 years in age.
Night Blooming Cereus Types
The Night Blooming Cereus does not just refer to one single plant. It is an umbrella term that denotes more than 7 different kinds of Cacti that flower during nightfall. Here are some of the more popular types of the Night Blooming Cactus that are included in the term Night Blooming Cereus.
Epiphyllum ‘Fifty Grand’
Known as Red Orchid Cactus
The Epiphyllum ‘Fifty Grand’ looks best when placed in hanging baskets, and is better known as the Red Orchid Cactus. It is found in most indoor settings, both offices, households and even as decoration in other indoor events. The plant can grow around 1 or 2 feet tall and produces beautiful rosy pink flowers.
Grows in well-draining soil
The Epiphyllum Hookeri is also known as the Hooker’s Orchid Cactus. It is different from other Night Blooming Cereus plants as the petals of the flowers of this plant are quite narrow, unlike the other broad-petaled ones. The plant prefers some well-draining soil to grow in and can easily grow up to 3 feet tall.
The Night of the Queen
The Epiphyllum Oxypetalum is none other than the very popular Night of the Queen Flower, and is also known as the Dutchman’s Type and is thus confused with the vine Aristolochia Macrophylla that has the same name. Native to rainforests, the Queen of the Night plant needs a lot of watering, more than regular Cacti demands.
Epiphyllum ‘Thousand Pinks’
Produces edible fruits
Popularly known as the Pink Orchid Cactus, the Epiphyllum ‘Thousand Pinks’ produces beautiful pink flowers. The Pink Orchid Cactus is an epiphyte and prefers to grow off trees and roots rather than being planted in potting soil. The plant can easily grow up to 3 feet tall and produces edible fruits when pollinated.
Night-Blooming Cereus Dragon Fruit/ Night Blooming Cereus vs. Dragon Fruit
A rather popular fruit
Also known as the Dragon Fruit Cactus, the Hylocereus Undatus is mostly known for the neon pink edible fruits that it produces. Being a Cactus, the Dragon Fruit plant requires much more water than other Cacti during the summers, just like the Epiphyllum oxypetalum. It can grow as long as around 5 to 10 feet.
So yes, the Dragon Fruit is a part of the Night Blooming Cereus plant family.
Night Blooming Cereus Care/How to Take Care of Night Blooming Cereus
Blooms only after it matures
Native to Arizona and the Sonoran Desert, the Night Blooming Cereus, or the Night Blooming Cactus thrives best in conditions that match its natural habitat. While speaking of a Night Blooming plant, there are several species that a person might be referring to. So, when you bring one home, ensure that you know everything about the kind of plant that you are bringing in. Each of these species has different requirements, so make sure that you know enough to adapt to those care needs of the plant.
When the plant first starts growing, it must be exposed to bright sunlight and toasty temperatures. Remember, the plant needs to grow for around 4 to 5 years before it starts blooming. During this period, you must place the plant in bright sunlight throughout most of the day. Refrain from exposing the plant to direct sunlight as it can burn away the leaves of the plant, and it is best to filter the sunlight using a curtain or something similar.
The Night Blooming Cereus Cactus requires some good quality potting soil to grow efficiently. Make sure that the soil is well-draining so that the water doesn’t get trapped and harm the roots of the plant. While planting it in a container or planter, make sure that it has enough draining holes to flush out the excess water.
The water requirements of the Night Blooming Cereus differ from plant to plant. Most of them can do with pretty irregular watering, a very normal demand of any Cactus plant. However, some varieties like the Night of the Queen cactus and the Dragon Fruit Cactus require much regular watering. The water requirements also depend on the temperature that the plant is exposed to, the kind of potting soil used, the texture of the planter, and other such factors.
Being a kind of Cacti, the plant can tolerate extreme heat and can easily thrive in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant can sustain very well in normal room temperatures and can undergo quite chilly temperatures as well, though it is best kept away from frosts.
Given its name and features, it is completely normal that the plant blooms when placed in an utterly dark room. So, once the plant turns mature enough to bloom, place it in a dark room so that you can see it flower before the night descends.
Night Blooming Cereus Fertilizer
Fertilize only in the growing season
When you are growing the Night Blooming Cereus plant at home, or someplace else other than its natural habitat, the plant will require some fertilizing to meet its essential nutrient requirements.
Use a 10-10-10 formulation of water-soluble fertilizer on the plant, preferably once every 15 to 20 days or so. Avoid fertilization during the winters as it is meant for the growing season only.
Night Blooming Cereus Smell
Gives off a sweet smell
The Night Blooming Cereus plant has a very strong yet pleasant smell. Studies prove that the sweet fragrance of the Night Blooming Cereus flowers can be smelt from almost 30 feet away.
The scent is stronger when several flowers bloom together. This fragrance is referred to as ‘heavenly’ by many admirers of the plant.
How to Propagate Night Blooming Cereus?
Easy to propagate
Though the Night Blooming Cereus grows to a very manageable size, the plant might sometimes turn a little unruly. At times like this propagation comes in handy as it helps to keep the plant in control while also efficiently having another plant to care for.
The Night Blooming Cereus is one of the very few Cactus varieties that can be propagated with the use of cuttings. The plant is fairly easy to propagate through cuttings. Propagation can also be done through seeds, but it requires much more time and patience. But through cuttings, you can easily have another Night Blooming Cactus in almost no time.
The best time to propagate the plant using cuttings has to be the spring and summer seasons. The spring and summer season is the growing season and thus allows the mother plant to heal from the cut wounds in little time. While for the cuttings, they can establish roots in less than a month when propagated in the growing season.
Here we have answered some FAQS to help you learn more.
How do you care for night-blooming cereus?
To care for a night-blooming cereus, make sure that you place the plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight, and a normal temperature. Do adequate research on the kind of night-blooming cereus that you have at home, and follow those instructions.
How much sun does a night-blooming cereus need?
The night-blooming cereus sure blooms during the dark, but the plant surely requires a lot of bright sunlight to thrive. While at home, the plant is best placed at a southeast-facing window, with a curtain to filter the sunlight.
How often does night-blooming cactus bloom?
The night-blooming cactus just blooms once a year, that too during the dark. Also, it is almost impossible to figure out the day that the plant is going to bloom.
How do I know when my night-blooming cereus will bloom?
As mentioned above, it is almost impossible to tell if the plant is going to bloom on a particular day or not. However, after lunch, one can sometimes see that the buds are a little open, hinting that they might bloom that night.
Should I repot my night-blooming cereus?
You can fairly repot the night-blooming cereus if the plant becomes too big for the planter, or even if you want to relocate it for other reasons. However, be careful during the process to avoid harming the plant.
How much does a night-blooming cereus cost?
The prices of night-blooming cereus differ from variety to variety. Some varieties are very common and can be bought for around 10 dollars. However, certain varieties require hundreds of dollars to buy.
How to get my night-blooming Cereus to bloom?
The one trick to getting a night-blooming cereus to bloom is to take proper care of the plant. Also, wait for the plant to turn at least 4 to 5 years old before expecting it to bloom. If that doesn’t work you can use growth-promoting hormones on the plant.
What does the night-blooming cereus symbolize?
The night-blooming cereus symbolizes beauty, purity and divine energy.
Are there flowers that are 'nocturnal'/night-blooming?
Yes, several flowers are nocturnal or night-blooming. Popular examples are the Night Blooming Jasmine, Queen of the Night Cactus, Pink Orchid Cactus, etc.
What type of pollination is on night-blooming flowers?
Night-blooming plants mostly depend on moths for pollination. The pollinated flowers produce bright red fruits measuring a few inches long.
How to take care of a Cereus cactus?
Taking care of a Cereus involves placing it in a room with bright yet indirect sunlight. Save the plant from extreme frosts and plant some good quality well-draining soil. Water the plant as and when required, and avoid over-watering or under-watering.