Growing Queen of The Night

By Renee Gerber , last updated August 3, 2011

The queen of the night cactus, or night blooming cereus, is a wonderful plant that is native to the Caribbean. It boasts the most beautiful, uniquely shaped white flowers that give the plant its appeal when in bloom. As a tropical plant, and just like any other plant, the queen of the night requires very specific care, and you should take the time to learn about it prior to buying one to grow.

You can purchase a queen of the night plant at your local nursery, or, more likely, you can score one from someone you know who happens to have one of their own. They can often be quite rare, unless you reside in an area that is close in climate to the Caribbean. In general, they are usually grown from cuttings, and you can grow them as a houseplant to start them off, although you will find that you should eventually place it outdoors, in your garden. Queen of the night cactii enjoy a great amount of sunlight during the hot summer months. When the plant grows large enough, you may also want to completely dig it up and replant it in your garden, although this is really only wise if you reside in a desert-like area like Nevada or Arizona. Your queen of the night will thrive with the ideal conditions. Otherwise, you will want to keep it in its own container and bring your plant into your house during the cooler months of the year.

One of the best things about this great plant is that it is extremely hardy and requires very little care. While you must ensure that it is planted in soil that is considerably well draining and contains a mixture of sand, you really only need to give it some mulch or compost materials. In addition, the queen of the night will also occasionally require fertilizer during the spring and summer months, and you should make sure that this substance is water soluble. However, you will be delighted to note that the plant is generally very self sufficient and low maintenance.

You can expect your queen of the night cactus to bloom during the months of July through September if you reside in a region that is mostly warm throughout the year. Make sure you are around to witness the blooming of your queen of the night, as its flowering will last only a single night. This is certainly quite the sight to behold, as the flowers are truly exquisite. You can encourage your cactus to bloom again in future growing seasons by ensuring that it continues to grow well throughout the fall and winter. During the colder months, avoid giving the plant fertilizer and reduce the amount of water you give it. Keep it in a location where it will get access to sunlight but not a direct amount of it.

It is also a good idea to bring your queen of the night cactus indoors overnight if you live in an area that sees nights that reach temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You will find that your plant will fare far better in the long run.

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