Queen of the Night Cactus (Epiphyllum Oxypetalum): Plant Care and Growing Guide

One night a year, the Queen of the Night blooms cactus creates spectacular showy white flowers that may reach 20 feet (6 meters) in length. Queen of the Night Cactus, on the other hand, blooms infrequently. The orchid cactus blooms only at night, and before daybreak, they wither. This plant is popular for tropical gardens or as a houseplant because of its night-blooming characteristic and gorgeous flowers.

It may be challenging to cultivate and bloom the queen of the night-blooming cactus. This article will help you to take care of this lovely orchid cactus so that it may bloom once a year.

How to Plant Queen of the Night Cactus

In well-drained soil that is mildly acidic and retains moisture, plant a night cactus queen. Grow the orchid cactus in bright, indirect light and ensure that the temperature is at least 64°F (18°C) to increase the chances of blooming. For eight weeks during the winter, reduce the temperature to 60°F (16°C). Plant a night cactus queen in the ground with dappled sunlight outdoors. USDA zones 10 to 12 are ideal for orchid cactus. During dry summer days with little rain, keep the ground moist.

About the Queen of the Night Plant (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) – Night Blooming Cereus

The queen of the night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) is a climbing perennial orchid cactus that grows in tropical climates throughout the globe. In Southern Mexico, South America, and various regions of Asia, the queen of the night can be found outdoors. It’s common to keep the gorgeous cactus as a houseplant.

The queen of the night is an epiphytic plant, according to its botanical name. As a result, the thick succulent leaves receive nourishment and moisture from the air and their surrounding environment. An orchid cactus, the queen of the night is a species.

Like all cacti species, the plant retains moisture in its flattened, meaty, succulent leaves. Because the flower has all of the beauty of orchid blossoms, it is called the orchid cactus. Princess of the Night, Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus, Night-Blooming Cereus, and Lady of the Night are some other popular names for the queen of the night plant.

What is Cereus?

Many cactus species belong to the Cereus genus, which includes several that bloom at night. The night plant, despite not being a Cereus because it blooms at night, is referred to as a night-blooming cereus because of its blooming cactus. Being an epiphytic cactus, Epiphyllum oxypetalum has similar growth characteristics to those of cereus cacti species.

Queen of the Night Cactus Flower (Cereus Flower)

The gorgeous white flower is 12″ (30 cm) long and 8″ (20 cm) broad, and it has close-up photos. The 20 to 30 ovate, snowy-white petals of the cup-shaped nocturnal bloom make up a star-shaped saucer, with a ray of white petals. When the queen of the night cactus blooms one night a year, it releases a strong fragrant aroma that is both sweet and floral.

The fragrance can fill a whole room due to its intensity. Queen of the night plant blooms reportedly have a fragrance that can be smelled a quarter of a mile away (400 meters).

How to make Queen of the Night bloom

The night queen of the cactus blossoms requires precise conditions. The nocturnal cactus orchid thrives in indirect light, so it needs to be housed indoors. Partial shade is required when growing outdoors. To bloom in winter, the flowering cactus requires bright indirect light and temperatures between 40°F and 60°F (4.5°C and 15.5°C). Additionally, the bloom may be aided by low-nitrogen cactus fertilizer in the summer.

Keeping the queen of the night orchid in a small pot is another way to encourage it to bloom. If the orchid cactus is somewhat rootbound, blooming is preferable. Queen of the Night cactus blooms opens fully two to three hours after they begin blooming at around 8 and 10 p.m. The stunning white blossom, on the other hand, will close by daybreak and wilt thereafter. June and July are typically when blooming occurs.

Queen of the Night Cactus Fruit

The night cactus’ pollinated queen produces 2″ (5 cm) long purple-red oblong edible fruits. A white fleshy center with black seeds is surrounded by red or pink skin. Cactus fruit has been compared to dragon fruit or pitaya by some individuals.

Queen of the Night Cactus Plant Care

The best way to ensure your queen of the night plant thrives and blooms regularly is to provide regular care throughout the year. Adequate sunlight, moist well-drained soil, and frequent fertilization are the three crucial components for successful orchid cactus growth. Let’s examine how to maintain a queen of the night orchid in greater depth.

Queen of the Night Cactus Light Requirements

The night queen cactus requires roughly six hours of bright light every day, and thrives in indirect sunlight. An orchid cactus should be grown on a south-facing windowsill with sun protection if it is being cultivated indoors. The queen of the night plant should be in dappled shade when planted in the ground.

For a queen of the night plant to bloom, bright light is required. The queen of the night cactus orchid requires a lot of light throughout the year, especially during the winter. The morning sun is the brightest light. The plant will seldom, if ever, bloom if there is insufficient sunlight.

How to Water Queen of the Night Cactus Plants 

To keep the soil moist, water the night cactus queen regularly. It is possible that every week in the summer, the soil will need watering. You may water it less in the winter. check that the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil is dry before watering The orchid cactus, unlike desert plants, is not drought tolerant and performs poorly if the soil is allowed to dry out. One reason this nocturnal bloomer never produces any flowers is due to dry soil conditions that may impact blooming.

Stopping the night cactus queen from sitting in wet, squishy soil is also critical. The flat, succulent leaves may turn yellow if there is too much moisture in the potting soil. The queen of the night may also die as a result of waterlogged soil. If you’re growing queen of the night in a pot indoors or out, here are some handy care tips:

  • To avoid the root area from drying out, always water the potting soil when it is dry at the top 1″ (2.5 cm).
  • Fill the pot’s drainage holes with water until it runs out.
  • To water the cactus, use filtered tap water or set ajar out overnight. This helps to avoid soil-chemical buildup.

The Best Soil for Growing Queen of the Night Cactus

Well-drained soil that is somewhat acidic and retains some moisture is ideal for the queen of the night cactus. An equal combination of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark is the finest potting soil for growing a cactus orchid indoors. You may alternatively, use perlite-enriched commercial cactus mix.

The purpose of having a soil that holds some moisture yet drains readily is to produce a suitable growing medium for a queen of the night cactus. For keeping moisture in, peat moss is a good choice. Orchid bark and perlite are added to improve drainage and allow the roots to develop.

In an outdoor rock garden, night-blooming orchid cacti thrive on sandy soil and are popular. On hot, dry summer days, always make sure the earth is moist, and on dark, nighttime blooming days provide additional watering.

Temperature for Queen of the Night Cactus

Temperatures ranging from 50°F to 90°F (10°C to 32°C) are ideal for tropical plants like the queen of the night plants. Cactus orchids require a minimum temperature of 40°F (4.5°C). A queen of the night must be exposed to colder temperatures throughout the winter.

The cactus’ development, on the other hand, will be harmed if the temperature is below 35°F (1.7°C). Cactus orchid thrives best in room temperatures of 65°F to 75°F (18°C – 24°F) as an indoor plant. For eight weeks in the winter, move the cactus plant to a colder location, where it should be 60°F to 65°F (16°C – 18°C) during the day and 45°F to 55°F (7°C – 13°C) at night.

The queen of the night cactus thrives in USDA zones 10 through 12 when it is growing on the ground. During the summer months, it is crucial to safeguard your magnificent cactus from the harsh afternoon sunlight. You may cultivate a queen of the night cactus in pots in temperate zones throughout the summer.

In hanging baskets on a patio, deck, or balcony, the trailing succulent stems and nocturnal flowers are appealing. When the temperature drops below 60°F (16°C), Orchid cacti are not cold-hardy, so bring the plant indoors.

Humidity Requirements for Queen of the Night Cactus

In typical household humidity, the queen of the night cactus performs well. Cactus should survive in the presence of an indoor relative humidity of 40 to 50%. If the air is particularly dry, place the cactus orchid on a pebble and water tray to increase humidity. When growing a queen of the night cactus in the ground, there are seldom any issues with humidity.

How to Fertilize Queen of the Night Cactus to Encourage Blooming

Regular fertilization throughout the year improves the queens of the night cactus flowers. Fertilize in the spring and fall with a 10-10-10 NPK ratio. To encourage blooming in February, apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer with a 2-10-10 NPK ratio. Do not apply fertilizer until the cactus is blooming and keep the potting soil moist but not soggy during that time of year.

Pruning Queen of the Night Cactus

The succulent leaves of a queen of the night cactus seldom need to be trimmed. Managing an orchid cactus’s size or removing yellowing or dead branches are two reasons to trim its fleshy branches. Cut back the night cactus stems to the desired size using sharp, clean knives to trim a queen of the night.

Propagating Queen of the Night Cactus Houseplants

Propagating a queen of the night cactus with leaf cuttings is the best option. Cuttings with tiny hair-like roots on the stem margins are the best for orchid cactus propagation. Stems with no roots, on the other hand, will develop but may take longer to reproduce.

Cut a completely healthy leaf from the plant to propagate a queen of the night cactus. Then use a ‘V’-shape to cut the bottom section of each leaf into 6″ (15 cm) pieces. For a week, place the cactus cutting flat on moist soil in a dark, cold environment. This permits the cut ends to callus.

Every other day, spray the stems lightly while the callus is forming to keep them moist. Put the cuttings right into the earth as soon as possible after the callus has formed. Make sure the ‘V’ end is 2″ (5 cm) deep in the ground. Next, keep the leaves in a location with a minimum of 64°F (18°C) to ensure they stay properly. You may transfer each propagated stem to a separate pot once roots have formed on your cuttings.

How to Repot Queen of the Night Cactus

When the rootbound queen of the night cactus blooms, it blossoms better. As a result, the flowering cactus will not need to be repotted often. Repot the cactus orchid only if there are noticeable signs of drainage problems. Repotting too often during the summer may cause roots to be stressed and produce poor blooms.

Water the queen of the night cactus 24 hours before repotting her to make sure she’ll survive. This aids in the roots’ shock reduction. Choose a pot that’s one or two sizes bigger than what you have now. Always make a good potting medium by using a new potting soil that contains perlite and orchid bark.

Pests Affecting Queen of the Night Cactus Growth

Spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and whitefly are the most common pests to look for on a queen of the night cactus. Use a DIY neem oil solution to eliminate bugs from your orchid cactus. To avoid infecting other plants, you should also isolate the trailing cactus plant from other houseplants.

Mix 2 tsp. of rubbing alcohol with a quart of water and spray around the house. Add 1 tsp. of neem oil to the water. In a spray bottle, mix together liquid Castile soap and water. To get rid of the insects on the night queen’s stems, apply neem oil solution. For the best results, spray the pest spray once a week until all pests have been eliminated.

Disease Affecting Queen of the Night Cactus Growth

Root rot is the most common ailment affecting the night cactus queen. If the succulent is in wet ground or soil for too long, its roots begin to rot. watering the orchid cactus only when the earth is roughly dry is the finest technique to avoid rotting roots.

Spider mites can be attracted if the soil is allowed to dry out between watering. On the queen of the night cactus stems, powdery mildew appears to be a white powdery substance. Overly humid conditions are frequently the cause of this innocuous condition. To learn how to treat powdery mildew, please read this article.

Queen of the Night Cactus Care — FAQs

Is Queen of the Night poisonous?

The night queen is not considered a poisonous plant. As a result, cats, dogs, and other animals won’t be in danger if they are grown as an indoor houseplant or in your garden.

Why does Queen of the Night only bloom at night?

Night-blooming cereus is thought to only bloom at night to limit pollinator competition. The nocturnal orchid cactus’s lovely fragrance and brilliant white blooms attract moths, allowing it to produce more fruit in this manner.

How do you know when Queen of the Night will bloom?

It’s difficult to predict when a queen of the night will create its magnificent big white fragrant blooms, which last one night. Cactus orchids, on the other hand, bloom only at night in the summer. Typically, blooming will begin around 8 p.m. and finish by 6 a.m., on the one night when flowers bloom.

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