Night Blooming Cereus

CityGreenjeans(z7bAL Bham)February 14, 2003

An acquaintance graciously gave me a division of her Night Blooming Cereus last year and it bloomed beautifully.

I am presently overwintering it in the house for next summer.

The only problem is when I went to look it up in my Garden Encyclopedia, there are about a thousand different plants called "Night Blooming Cereus".

Is there any way of figuring out specifically which one it is?


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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

You could check at, under the names Seleniarius or Peniocereus, or just type in the common name, and see what comes up. There's another thread in this forum about night blooming cacti on this topic that you might want to check out, as well as one on the cactus and succulents forum.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2003 at 10:31AM
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angelwings8(z9 FL)

Does anyone know where I can purchase a "Night-Blooming Cereus"? Or does anyone have a cutting they would share? Also I am looking for the Epiphyllum anguliger which is supposed to be night blooming and very fragrant. Are they one in the same? Thanks - I am new to this but trying to create a fragrant, butterfly friendly with night blooming flowers garden. Some task here. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2004 at 3:20PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Great question - a very kind gardener also sent me a cutting I am trying to root in water. Should I just stick the thing in soil like other succulents?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 10:45AM
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I just ordered a "night-blooming cereus" from Logee's Greenhouses. This one is Epiphyllum oxypetalum (orchid cactus family). I really know nothing about the various plants that go under the night-blooming cereus rubric, but this sounds like a good one. According to the catalog description, the flowers are pure white and dinner-plate size, bloom at night (one night only) and in waves throughout the summer, and are heavily fragrant. The plant has a vining habit, to six feet. It is hardy only to Zone 10, and likes partial sun. Don't know if it'll live up to its description but it sounds good.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2004 at 4:38PM
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Desmo888(z9 LA)

Does anyone know the nutritional requirements of night blooming cirrus?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2004 at 7:12PM
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jblum(z6 NY)

I'm pretty sure that the "night blooming cereus" usually refers to the Epiphyllum oxypetalum. I have one, plus a few other types of epiphyllums that are night bloomers. I bought some good cutting three years ago from Bob Smoley's. Now my plants are doing great and hopefully I'll get the first blooms this year.
As for nutrition, I haven't given them much fertilizer but a book on epiphyllums recommends balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) and before blooming season (actually right now), we should give it 0-10-10.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2004 at 9:55PM
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bszarek(z6 CT)

Epiphyllum oxypetalum is a great plant. The flowers are about 8" and very fragrant. You can see photos of mine at the link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Epiphyllum Oxypetalum

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 7:38PM
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jared_sc(z7b SC)

The Logee's night blooming cereus that cranebill mentioned is the heirloom variety that has been grown by American gardeners for generations.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 11:27AM
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To the person that is rooting in water. I am not an expert, but with my experience water rooting really isnt the way to go. Also from all the books I have read on the topic of propogation they all discourage water rooting, but of course if it is working for you do what has worked in the past.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 7:23PM
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My plant was a cutting given to me by a friend. I used a rooting horomone "rootone" is the trade name, I think. It has grown huge, but only bloomed once. The beautiful blooms are worth the trouble as far as I'm concerned.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2004 at 12:37AM
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Becca_B(8b La)

i have a plant just like bszarek's except its about 8ft tall and out of control. i just got it from my grandmother and i need advice on trimming it. granny knows a lot about gardening but not much about these plants that bloom past her bedtime, which is why she gave it to me! it is very healthy, its just a little wild looking and i'd like to control it a little bit. if anyone has any advice for me, i'd appreciate it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 6:29PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

I believe that night blooming jasmine blooms on new growth. So I would wait until it quits blooming in the fall or winter to prune. That way you wont miss any blooms this year and it will bloom next year. It grows fast though so if you have to prune it now, it may still bloom but not as well, probably.
Good luck

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 12:37PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I have night blooming cereus cactus, and it roots VERY VERY easily in water in a week or two. In fact, easier than in soil. I have two cuttings of it in the windowsill right now and they are loaded with roots. They are very easy to grow, like to be overwatered, and I really like them. Mine looks just like bszarek's plant. Another thing, they are really good in a hanging basket, I don't know if anyone mentioned that. I had it growing on the shelf in the greenhouse, it got longer and longer, drooping over the edge of the shelf and then one morning it was lying on the ground, shattered into a million pieces. I think every one of those pieces rooted. I just feed mine with miracle gro when I think of it, probably every couple of months.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 7:58AM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Becca, Some of the newer hybrid epies do better in a hanging basket, but for this one I use a small trellis that fits into the pot for mine and just gently tie up the long pieces. You can trim it up and root the cuttings after letting them dry (scab over) for abt a week before planting abt 2 inches deep. Then just mist for a couple weeks. After that you can keep it barely moist but not soggy til you see new growth. Sometimes I just let the cuttings dry and then stick them back in with the mother plant, if I want to make it fuller. Epiphyllum blooms on old growth so be careful about too much pruning. About March you can feed it a 0-10-10, to set the stage for blooming next spring. They like to be kept rootbound to bloom. After bloom you want to feed it a good balanced fertilizer, but stop feeding in the fall. This is a good time of year to root them. In the winter it takes forever. has a section on caring for these. Have fun!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 3:51PM
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marlene_ny(z5 NY)

Would anyone have an extra piece or cutting of the night blooming cereus that they would like to share? It seems to be a really interesting and beautiful looking plant. I'd love to try to grow one. Thank you.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 12:04AM
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Nite blooming jasmine does bloom on new growth, but new growth always extends from old stems. I just cut back as much as i want and always have new growth and new plants everywhere that are a pain to keep up with.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 1:38PM
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Offering an update on my Epiphyllum oxypetalum I bought from Logee's that I wrote about here previously. Last summer it was three years old, and bloomed magnificently. I'm a fairly jaded veteran gardener, but these blooms blew me away. Dramatic unfolding, enormous, and pristine white. They had only the faintest fragrance, however, puzzling because if I'm not mistaken the flowers are pollinated by moths.

As regards cuttings, just try and stop them from rooting! I have a horde of lousy squirrels who knocked down the hanging pot in which the plant summers outdoors three times, breaking off foot-long stems. I just stuck them back in the pot, not bothering to baby them, and they all rooted to make a really dense planting in same pot. Have also had fragments just lying around on countertops that have sprouted roots without any moisture at all. Love this plant!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 10:51AM
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I've been growing Night Blooming Cereus since the early 70's when I got a start from my aunts' plant. I've never babied them or their cuttings. I stick broken pieces in potting soil and water like a regular plant. I've found they do better in moderately dry soil since they get a lot of their moisture from the air. They're native to Central America and, in that region, attach themselves to trees by arial roots with the long shoots draping over limbs for support. They normally start to open out around 10-11 p.m. and their fragrance is intense. Unless the evening turns cool. I've found that a cool night diminished their fragrance greatly. If you want to save a bloom put it in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator. It will keep 3-4 days with minimal opening of the bag. My first one got so big I had hooks in the ceiling to support the long shoots that curved back down from there 3'-4'. I've had as many as 7 blooms open at one time with as many as 15 buds in various stages at the same time and the fragrance is almost overpowering in a house. They're well worth the 4-5 yr wait from a young plant to blooming size.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 9:45PM
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i just received a cutting....i plan to just stick it in the soil next to a queen palm and let it grow up the palm....will that work just fine? i have automatic sprinkler system, but i don't think it really hits that area much....
can i overwater or underwater it??

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 7:14PM
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haloka(9 Florida)

We have a massive vine (snake-like variety) of night-blooming cereus on a palm tree in our front yard. I love it when it blooms because the tree is COVERED in beautiful flowers. It bloomed last month, and for the first time that I can remember (and I've had them for 40+ years!), there are two deep purple fruits that have appeared. I was wondering, are these fruits edible?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 12:42PM
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whats the difference or is there a difference between the cerius, hookeri, oxipethium, and strictum, i have been sent all of the above yet they all look simular and i think there all night bloomers

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Hello everyone!! Hope someone can help me here. My Night Blooming Cereus is in bloom for the fourth time this summer! Does anyone know why? Not that I am complaining, they are beautiful flowers and smell great but aren't they only supposed to bloom only once per year?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 3:09PM
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I've Epiphyllum oxypetalum for 15 years now...... And yes, they can bloom multiple times in a year! Mine now have about a dozen of buds now and ready to bloom in about a week..... :)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 2:36PM
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I was babysitting a night-blooming cereus. In fact, tomorrow I was planning on bringing it back to the owner. It was doing beautifully, putting out lots of leaves, even a flower bud. Sometime between yesterday and today, a fiendish squirrel chewed completely through the stem at the base of the plant.

So my question is, who has a good recipe for squirrel stew?

No, I mean, do you think the plant will regenerate from the roots?

I also mean to try and root the long stem. Or are cuttings taken from the leaves?


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 7:47PM
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Cranebill, You must stick the thing in soil or else it will rot. And also some advise to future gardeners, dont stick things in water unless their aquatic. I always find that you get a better root system in the ground because thats what plants are used to.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 11:22PM
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OMG...I am so excited. Started my "Queen of the NIght" 3 years ago from a friend's plant, rooted in water, and planted in pot. When I transplanted it last year (10 times the size!!), I added sand to the Miracle Grow soil. As of today, I have 3 buds after missing a 4th bloom while I was out of town. I would say within a week, they should all bloom. Am planning a celebration evening of viewing the most beautiful and fragrant flowers! I'm thinking the addition of sand helped as I do not fertilize at all.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 10:35AM
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I have been growing a cereus for 5 years from a clipping. The woman who gave it to me from her HUGE plant said it seems to thrive on negligence. I like to think I have a green thumb, but adopted her method with this plant. I water it very seldom, I have fertilized using osmocote but that is about it. My plant has grown significantly in 5 years, but I have yet to see a bloom. Are there any suggestions?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:10AM
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I got my night blooming cereus cuttings a couple months ago from a nice member here on GW and they are doing great! I'm getting new growth right now and I may see a small flower bud! (I'm not sure since it's so small.) Being in zone 6, this is, of course, a houseplant.

Anyway, I had it setting on a stand outside in bright shade. Then yesterday, I put a plastic hanger on it and hung it in a tree branch. I water only when it starts to dry (not very often since it's in a plastic pot) and I used my own soil mix (orchid bark and MG cacti/succulent soil). I'm giving it tomato fertilizer and I mist it when I remember to. I cannot wait for the flowers!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 10:00AM
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Hi, I have a big Epiphyllum oxypetalum in a hanging basket in my New York City apartment. It is doing great and blooms most years (it has one big bud now). In the last couple of years, in addition to its regular leaf-like branches, it has sent out a lot of very long, thin stringy branches fringed with a lot of air roots. They are really long and tangled and occasionally poke me in the eye.

Two questions:

I'm wondering if it's ok to cut off some of these to get the plant a little under control.

I am putting the pot into a bigger basket and I've discovered that one bit of root has grown through and into the old basket, so I may have to cut it to make the transfer. Is that OK? I know orchids don't mind having some roots trimmed back, but I don't know about cereus.

I love this plant - it couldn't be easier to take care of.

Incidentally, I have a ton of cuttings--bits that broke off and are rooted in water and ready for potting. I also have a couple of little ones in pots. I'd be happy to give some of these to anyone in the NYC area who wants them.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 5:20PM
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um....can someone identify this flower bud if it is epiphyllum oxypetalum or not?

cuz i posted on fb and someone told me the leaf doesn't look like it, but when i first got it, the person told me it was epiphyllum oxypetalum or queen of the night...

the link is below

Here is a link that might be useful: Flower Bud

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 4:49PM
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I have experienced all the joys and disappointments of all the postings, including trying to predict the evening of the "event" for dinner parties!

I have heard that vinegared water encourages blooms but I can't remember the proportion. Seem to recall 1 tsp to 1 quart of water. Can anyone confirm proportion or success in using it?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 3:09PM
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