Index > Garden Blog

Date: 24 Jun 2018, Entry id: 1529835167


Mysterious Night Blooming Cactus - Epiphyllum. How to grow it?

Q: My friend has a huge Queen of the Night Cactus, and the blooms are so gorgeeous! She gave me a cutting but I am not sure how do I plant it? How long will it take till it starts blooming? Is it true that it has only one flower once a year and only at night?

A: Queen of the Night is a very popular and yet mysterious plant. The flowers open once a year after sunset for one night. However the flowering period can last a month or two during the warm season. So each flower lasts only one night, but there will be more flowers to come! In the Nature, Epiphyllum oxypetalum - Queen of the Night - grows on trees in the jungles of Central and South America. It is actually very easy to grow as an indoor plant in colder climates. Here is South Florida we grow them outside in hanging baskets. This is how to start Queen of the Night from a cutting:
1) Put the cutting in a dim, dry place for three days, with no soil and its base exposed to the air, so it will form a callus.
2) Fill a 4-6-inch pot with slightly damp potting soil or succulent mix. Insert the cutting 1 or 2 inches into the soil and tamp the soil around its base.
3) Place the pot where the cutting will get bright light, but no direct sun. Spritz it occasionally with a spray bottle of water to keep the soil only slightly moist. It should root in couple weeks.
4) Keep the plant on an east- or west-facing windowsill where it will receive direct sunlight only in early morning or late afternoon. Water the cactus until water runs out of the pot's drainage holes. Dump the excess out of the pot's saucer immediately, and wait until the surface of the soil is dry to the touch before watering your cactus again.
5) Fertilize once a month from March through October with a balanced plant food, and apply micro-elements once a month for a healthy vigorous growth. Refrain from feeding the plant in December and January.
6) Position the cactus in partial shade under a porch roof or tree, if you decide to move it outdoors during the summer. This plant likes summer humidity!
7) Repot the cactus only once every two years or so, to keep it slightly root bound. Wait until after it flowers in summer, and repot it after it blooms. Prune off any damaged growth at that time as well.
8) Move the plant to a cooler room over the winter months, one that remains dark during the evening hours with temperatures above 45 degrees. Reduce the frequency of watering, waiting until its soil is dry. Resume regular watering in March.

If grown from cutting, it may take 2-3 years until the plant starts blooming, so if you don't want to wait that long - just get a blooming size plant from our store!

We only have a few plants... if sold out, add to wish list and we will have more soon!