The queen of the night, also known as epiphyllum oxypetalum, is an awesome, unique plant that blooms at night and has a sweet lasting fragrance. This plant is native to Central America and South America and develops well in hardiness zones 10 and 11. This plant is relatively easy to grow; however, having an idea of its care guide is crucial to the plant’s survival.
The queen of the night flower is a white scented plant with circular-shaped flowers adorned with narrow petals. This plant is mostly planted indoors but can also be grown outdoors. Nevertheless, you must provide the proper environment for the queen of the night flower to thrive well.
The queen of the night flower is also known as the Night blooming cereus, Dutchman’s pipe cactus, and orchid cactus. It is no wonder that people stay up at night to catch the opening of the flowers of the queen of the night.
Queen Of The Night Flower Cactus
This flowering plant is different from other cactus species because it has a sweet smell. Queen of the night flower cactus are epiphytes and are best grown in nature, where they can grow onto other plants. This plant could be maintained indoors and outdoors.
The queen of the night flower cactus is a plant that grows in the shady parts of the jungle, so they are away from direct sunlight. The best spots for planting are under partial shade or areas where they could get bright indirect sunlight. It would be best if you also avoided places with low temperatures, as well as sites with vents where drafts are.
Since the queen of the night flower does not have leaves, ensure they are not exposed to direct sunlight; otherwise, its foliage could be destroyed. The best suited indoor temperature for the survival of this plant is between 50 to 900 Fahrenheit. If planted outdoors, ensure the temperature around does not reach 1000 Fahrenheit.
Avoid any temperature above or below this range as extreme weather conditions could destroy the plant. The best place to plant this cactus outdoors is under a shaded area or tree canopies in your garden. If you reside in an area with hot summers, you must protect the cactus from the afternoon sun to prevent sun damage.
Queen of the night flower blooms well in a well-drained, aerated, and slightly acidic soil having a pH of about 5.5 to 6.5. although the queen of the night flower cactus will also do well in sandy soil containing pine bark and peat moss – these are excellent at draining excess water away from the roots.
You can equally prepare a soil mix for your plant by combining orchid bark, perlite, and peat moss. For fertilizers, you can easily use dried banana peels in addition to any other fertilizer, as they have proven to be effective in making the plant nourish and develop quickly.
Dried banana peels are excellent fertilizers, and they work well when used with other fertilizers. The banana peels contain zero nitrogen which is why they are effective. To prepare the dried banana peels, you can either bake the peels in an oven at a low temperature or use a dehydrator.
For watering needs, this plant does not need much water; overwatering it could make it suffer from root rot. You are meant to only water your plant whenever you notice its soil is almost totally dried up. So, it is best to always check how moist the soil is before watering it. It would help if you also allowed the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering.
During winter, watering should be done once every 4 to 6 weeks, while you can reduce the watering rate to once every 2 weeks during spring. It would help if you never allowed the plant to sit in standing water; it will not thrive as it is supposed to because it is a succulent plant with little watering needs.
As the plant develops, you will notice many long shoots growing from the plant; you should not cut them off. The long shoots grab onto nearby trees and grow with them, which is a survival mechanism in the wild. The stems also have root-like structures that give the plant a good grip on other plants.
Another thing you should know about the queen of the night flower cactus is that it is susceptible to fungal leaf spots, especially during the spring. If you notice fuzzy, mold-like patches on the leaves of a queen of the night, that is the symptom of fungal leaf spots. Moreover, this is not easy to treat.
If the spots are few, you can deal with them using an effective fungicide spray on the plant. However, if the entire queen of the night flower cactus, you would have no choice but to cut off a healthy portion and start a new plant from the clipping. You should ensure you keep a considerable distance from the original plant.
There have been ongoing discussions on the toxicity of the queen of the night flower cactus. Nevertheless, there has been no proof that it is a poisonous plant, and some tribes in rainforest regions have been seen using the queen of the night flower cactus as a part of their healing rituals.
How To Propagate Queen Of The Night Flower
The propagation of the queen of the night flower is a very easy task and could be done using the leaf-cutting method. If you want to propagate and root the queen of the night flower cactus, follow these steps:
First, cut some mature leaves from the plant and store them in a cool, dry place; the cuttings should be a minimum of 10 to 15 centimeters long (about 4 to 6 inches). Leave the cuttings for a few days so they can be dry until they form calluses, protecting them from rotting when planted.
Next, place the cuttings in rooting hormone, this is not compulsory, but it aids the propagation process. You need to prepare well-draining soil if you want to pot it; you can purchase a good potting soil mix from a gardening store, or you can make yours by combining equal parts of ground fir bark and peat moss to create a base mixture.
You will need to mix two parts of the base mixture with one part of the coarse builder’s sand (2:1). Mix them until you get a perfectly combined mixture; you should avoid using fine sand; it can muddy up the soil mix and compact it, allowing water drainage to be difficult.
Place the potting soil in a container with drain holes; the pot should not be too big for the cuttings. Gently place the cuttings in the soil, the cut end goes into the soil, and you should keep it away from direct sunlight. Water once a week. Let the cuttings form roots; you can check by giving the cuttings a slight tug; if there are roots, you will feel some resistance.
When Does The Queen Of The Night Flower Bloom?
The queen of the night flower cactus blooms only at night; the plant will be open for an evening, beginning at around 8 pm, and remains open till about 6 am. The queen of the night flower cactus blooms in the spring and summer of the year.
Before you plant a new flower, it is best to learn everything possible about the flower; this knowledge will guide you, and you will avoid costly mistakes. The queen of the night flower is one of the most desirable indoor plants you can have, but many people have been unable to grow them due to a lack of adequate knowledge.
Victoria is the owner and main author of hobby plants. She loves spending her free time in her garden planting and taking care of her plants. Victoria hopes you enjoy the content here!