Night Blooming Cereus

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Casey Berg

Night Blooming Cereus
Night Blooming Cereus

I love all the flowers and plants on my porch but one of the most fascinating and beautiful blooms I have ever seen comes at night on a Night Blooming Cereus. I try my best to share with friends this phenomenon but they usually think I am crazy when I call at midnight and ask them to come over! (Jon Damron, a Master Gardener friend was this year’s winner! AND he actually came!) Cheryl Griffin, a master gardener who joined our group after moving from Florida, gave this plant to me. She passed away from cancer since and every time I see and smell those wonderful flowers….I think of her.

“Night Blooming Cereus is a cactus that is native to Arizona and the Sonora Desert. Admirers grow this cactus variety as a houseplant in all but the hottest regions of the United States. The Cereus cactus is a tall climbing cactus that may approach 10 feet tall. The cactus is three ribbed and has spines along green to yellow stems. The plant is a rather untidy jumble of limbs and requires manicuring to keep it in habit. The plants can actually
be trained to a trellis in Arizona and other suitable climates. ” *

“It will not begin to flower until it is four or five years old and will begin with just a couple of flowers. The incidence of blooms will increase as the plant grows older. The flower is breathtaking at almost 7 inches across and produces a heavenly scent.” *

“The bloom will only open at night and a moth is its pollinator. The Cereus flower is a large white flower born off the tops of the stems. It will close and wither in the morning but if it was pollinated the plant produces large juicy red fruit. The flowers usually begin to bloom at 9 or 10 p.m. and are fully open by midnight. The first rays of the sun will see the petals droop and die.” *

Night Blooming Cereus Care

“Grow a night blooming Cereus in bright sunshine where temperatures are toasty. The plant has extreme heat tolerance and can handle temperatures over 100 F. (38 C.) with light shade. Grow potted plants in a cactus mix or gritty soil with excellent drainage. Fertilize the plant in spring with a diluted houseplant food. The limbs can get unruly, but you can trim them without hurting the cactus. Save the cut ends and plant them to create more of the Cereus night blooming cactus. Bring your cactus outdoors in summer but do not forget to bring it in when temperatures begin to drop.”*

Reference: * https://www.gardeningknowhow.com

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