The Queen of the Night cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) is a species of cactus that is native to Central and South America, but is also widely cultivated around the world for its showy, fragrant flowers. It is commonly known as “queen of the night” or “night-blooming cereus” because its large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers open at night and wilt by morning.
The flowers of the Queen of the Night cactus are typically 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) in diameter, and emit a sweet, intense fragrance that can fill a room. They are pollinated by nocturnal animals such as moths and bats, which are attracted to the scent and white color of the flowers. The plant blooms from late spring to early summer, and requires a period of cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours to initiate flowering.
How to grow and take care of Queen of the Night Cactus?
The Queen of the Night Cactus, also known as the Epiphyllum oxypetalum, is a stunning and exotic plant that is prized for its fragrant, showy blooms that open only at night. Here are some tips for growing and caring for this beautiful plant:
- Light: The Queen of the Night Cactus prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch its leaves, so it’s best to place it in a spot that receives bright, indirect light for most of the day.
- Water: Water your Queen of the Night Cactus deeply, but infrequently. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out completely before watering, and then water deeply until the excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot. During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, reduce the amount of water you give it.
- Soil: The Queen of the Night Cactus likes a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. A mix of cactus soil and perlite is a good option.
- Fertilizer: Feed your Queen of the Night Cactus with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer).
- Temperature: The Queen of the Night Cactus prefers warm temperatures between 65°F and 80°F (18°C and 27°C). It can tolerate cooler temperatures, but it’s best to keep it away from cold drafts.
- Humidity: The Queen of the Night Cactus prefers a humid environment, so you may need to mist it occasionally or place a humidifier nearby.
- Repotting: Repot your Queen of the Night Cactus every two to three years, or when it outgrows its current pot. Use a pot that is one size larger than the current pot, and be sure to use a well-draining soil mix.
- Pruning: The Queen of the Night Cactus doesn’t require much pruning, but you can remove any dead or yellowing leaves to keep the plant looking its best.
- Blooming: The Queen of the Night Cactus blooms in late spring or early summer, producing large, fragrant flowers that open at night and close in the morning. To encourage blooming, give the plant bright, indirect light and cooler temperatures (around 60°F to 65°F) for a few weeks in the fall.
With proper care, your Queen of the Night Cactus can grow and thrive for many years, producing beautiful, fragrant blooms that will fill your home with their sweet scent.
What is the lifespan of Queen of the Night Cactus?
With proper care, the Queen of the Night Cactus can live for 20 to 30 years or more. Some specimens have been reported to live for up to 50 years. So if you provide your Queen of the Night Cactus with the right growing conditions, it can be a long-lasting and rewarding addition to your plant collection.
The lifespan of a Queen of the Night Cactus, also known as Epiphyllum oxypetalum, can vary depending on various factors such as the quality of care it receives and the growing conditions. However, with proper care, a Queen of the Night Cactus can live for several decades.
This cactus is known for being slow-growing and reaching maturity after about 5 to 7 years. Once it reaches maturity, it can produce blooms for many years. The blooms of the Queen of the Night Cactus only last for one night, but the plant can produce several blooms over a period of a few weeks.
How to water it?
Watering the Queen of the Night Cactus requires a delicate balance, as overwatering can lead to root rot and underwatering can cause the plant to wilt and suffer. Here are some tips for watering your Queen of the Night Cactus:
- Check the soil: Before watering, check the top inch of soil to see if it is dry. Stick your finger into the soil, and if it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it still feels moist, wait a few more days before checking again.
- Water deeply: When it’s time to water, water the plant deeply, but infrequently. Water until the excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot, and then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. This will help prevent overwatering and promote healthy root growth.
- Use room temperature water: Use room temperature water when watering your Queen of the Night Cactus. Cold water can shock the plant and cause damage to the roots.
- Water less in the winter: During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, reduce the amount of water you give it. The plant’s water requirements will be lower during this time, so be sure to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
- Avoid getting water on the leaves: Watering the leaves of the Queen of the Night Cactus can lead to rot and fungal growth. When watering, be sure to aim for the soil and avoid getting water on the leaves as much as possible.
By following these watering tips, you can help ensure that your Queen of the Night Cactus stays healthy and thrives.
How to prune it?
The Queen of the Night Cactus doesn’t require much pruning, but occasional pruning can help keep it looking neat and promote healthy growth. Here are some tips for pruning your Queen of the Night Cactus:
- Remove dead or yellowing leaves: As the Queen of the Night Cactus grows, it may produce leaves that turn yellow or brown and die off. These leaves should be removed with a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears. Removing dead or yellowing leaves will help keep the plant looking tidy and promote healthy growth.
- Prune back leggy growth: If the Queen of the Night Cactus becomes leggy or starts to look unruly, you can prune it back to encourage more compact growth. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make a clean cut just above a leaf node. This will encourage the plant to produce new growth and fill in the empty spaces.
- Prune after blooming: If your Queen of the Night Cactus has finished blooming for the season, you can prune it back to remove any spent blooms or dead growth. This will help the plant conserve energy and promote healthy growth for the next blooming season.
- Shape the plant: If you want to shape your Queen of the Night Cactus, you can prune it back to create a more compact, bushy plant. Make clean cuts just above leaf nodes, and be sure to step back and check the plant’s overall shape as you work.
By following these pruning tips, you can help keep your Queen of the Night Cactus looking its best and promote healthy growth for years to come.
How big does the Queen of the Night Cactus grow?
The Queen of the Night Cactus, also known as Epiphyllum oxypetalum, can grow to be quite large, depending on the growing conditions and how well it’s cared for. In general, this cactus is known for being a slow grower, but it can reach impressive sizes over time.
The Queen of the Night Cactus typically grows as an epiphyte, which means it grows on other plants or on other surfaces, and not in the ground. When grown in a pot, it can reach a height of around 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) and a width of up to 6 feet (180 cm). However, in ideal growing conditions, such as in a tropical climate, it can grow much larger and spread out over a wider area.
The Queen of the Night Cactus is known for producing long, flat, segmented stems that can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) in length. These stems can branch out and form a dense, bushy plant with a wide spread. The plant can become quite heavy with age, so it’s important to provide a sturdy support system, especially if you’re growing it in a pot.
With proper care, the Queen of the Night Cactus can grow to be an impressive and beautiful addition to any collection of plants.
Which soil is the best for growing it?
The Queen of the Night Cactus prefers a well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Here are some tips for choosing the best soil for your Queen of the Night Cactus:
- Use a potting mix: The Queen of the Night Cactus should be grown in a well-draining potting mix that is specifically formulated for cacti and succulents. These mixes usually contain materials like perlite, coarse sand, or gravel that help improve drainage and prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged.
- Add organic matter: To provide your Queen of the Night Cactus with the nutrients it needs to thrive, add some organic matter to the soil mix. You can use materials like coconut coir, peat moss, or compost to help improve the soil’s texture and fertility.
- Avoid heavy soils: Heavy soils that retain water can lead to root rot and other issues for the Queen of the Night Cactus. Be sure to choose a soil mix that is light and porous, with good drainage.
- Check the pH: The Queen of the Night Cactus prefers a slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH of around 6.0 to 7.0. You can use a pH testing kit to check the pH of your soil mix and adjust it if necessary.
- Repot as needed: As the Queen of the Night Cactus grows, it may need to be repotted into a larger container with fresh soil. Be sure to choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one, and use fresh potting mix to provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to grow.
By following these soil tips, you can help provide your Queen of the Night Cactus with the ideal growing conditions and promote healthy growth.
Where can I buy it?
You can buy Queen of the Night Cactus from various places, depending on where you live. Here are some options:
- Online plant retailers: There are many online plant retailers that sell Queen of the Night Cactus, and they will often ship plants directly to your home. Some popular online plant retailers include Etsy, Amazon, and Plantz.com.
- Local nurseries and garden centers: Local nurseries and garden centers may carry Queen of the Night Cactus, especially if you live in a tropical or subtropical climate. Check with your local plant nursery or garden center to see if they carry this plant.
- Plant shows and markets: Plant shows and markets are great places to find a wide variety of plants, including the Queen of the Night Cactus. Check your local event listings to see if there are any upcoming plant shows or markets in your area.
- Plant enthusiasts: You may also be able to find Queen of the Night Cactus by connecting with other plant enthusiasts in your area. Try reaching out to local plant groups or forums to see if anyone is selling or trading this plant.
No matter where you choose to buy your Queen of the Night Cactus, be sure to choose a healthy plant that is free of pests and diseases. With proper care, your Queen of the Night Cactus can thrive and bloom for many years to come.
In this post, we discussed the Queen of the Night Cactus and how to grow and care for it. We covered topics such as the ideal growing conditions for this plant, including the best soil, lighting, and watering practices. We also discussed how to propagate, prune, and fertilize the Queen of the Night Cactus, as well as its size and lifespan. Finally, we explored where to buy Queen of the Night Cactus, including online plant retailers, local nurseries and garden centers, plant shows and markets, and connecting with other plant enthusiasts. Overall, with proper care and attention, the Queen of the Night Cactus can be a beautiful and impressive addition to any plant collection.
Have a nice day!