I am among a few gardeners who love the challenge of growing sensitive and tricky houseplants. The queen of the night cactus is a strange and exotic houseplant that definitely fits the ticket.
This astonishing flowering houseplant can be tricky to grow and bloom. The plant requires ultimate care to produce fragrant white flowers that open at night and stay healthy throughout the year.
The queen of the night cactus care involves the provision of bright indirect sunlight, well-draining soil, moderate soil moisture, optimal temperature, and average humidity. We also recommend feeding the plant once during the spring.
This article provides detailed insights on how to take care of the queen of the night cactus from scratch. Take the time to read through and learn how often does queen of the night bloom.
What Does a Queen of the Night Cactus Look Like?
The queen of the night is a climbing perennial orchid cactus that hails from tropical regions. This night-blooming cactus is often grown as an indoor plant in the United States, Europe, and Australia.
The queen of the night has thick succulent leaves that obtain nutrients and moisture from the air. The fleshy leaves also help store moisture to enable the plant to thrive during drought seasons.
The beautiful white flowers produce a fragrance that eliminates toxins from the air in your indoor space. Besides that, the beauty of orchid flowers can mark a bold statement in the house.
The queen of the night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) is also known as the princess of the night, night-blooming cereus, Dutchman’s pipe cactus, and lady of the night. This tropical flowering houseplant is native to Mexico, South America, and Part of Asia.
Queen of the Night Cactus Care Overview
|Scientific Name||Epiphyllum oxypetalum|
|Common Names||Princess of the night, lady of the night, night-blooming cereus, and Dutchman’s pipe cactus.|
|Native||Mexico, South America, and Part of Asia|
|Maximum Growth (Approx.)||6ft tall for indoor species|
|Hardiness Zone||10 and 11|
|Sun Exposure||Bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight exposure will scorch the leaves.|
|Soil Type||Well-draining soil that stays moderately moist.|
|Temperature Requirement||50-90oF (10-32oC)|
|Humidity Level||Average humidity (40-50%)|
|Fertilizer Application||Use balanced and diluted fertilizer once every spring into the fall.|
|Watering Frequency||Water the plant every week in summer and reduce the frequency in the winter.|
|Pruning||Remove dead stems. Require minimal pruning routine.|
|Re-Pot||Do not require a transplant|
|Flowers||White, pink, purple, and red|
|Pests and Diseases||Spider mites, mealybugs, scales, and whiteflies are the common pests. Root rot and powdery mildew diseases can attack the plant.|
|Toxicity||Consumption of large quantities can be toxic to pets and toddlers. But the houseplant is non-toxic.|
How to Care for Queen of the Night Cactus
Growing and caring for the queen of the night cactus is a no-brainer task. (Source: North Carolina State University). Here are quick tips for growing a queen of the night cactus in your house:
The beautiful queen of the night cactus thrives in tropical regions. The plant requires bright indirect sunlight to enhance blooming once a year. Lack of sunlight could mean the plant will never bloom.
We recommend placing the houseplant near the south-facing windowsill to benefit from the early morning sunlight. Ensure the window has a curtain to protect the houseplant from scorching due to direct sunlight.
The beautiful queen of the night is a succulent plant that derives nutrients and moisture from the air or surrounding environment. We recommend watering the plant every week in summer to keep the soil moist.
Be sure to reduce the watering frequency in winter since this houseplant experiences dormancy. Inspect the soil moisture by poking the potting mix with your index finger to test the moisture level.
Too much soil moisture can cause root rot and yellow leaves. So, we recommend not keeping your queen of the night in a soggy environment. Besides that, dry soil conditions will inhibit blooming among the lady of the night cactus.
Potting Soil Requirements
The queen of the night cactus thrives in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic and can hold some moisture. We recommend mixing equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark to create the best potting soil.
Commercial cactus mix combined with perlite can also be an alternative for urban dwellers. The aim is to ensure the soil drains freely and can hold some moisture to keep the plant hydrated.
Peat moss helps hold moisture while the perlite and orchid bark improves drainage and facilitates root aeration. Be sure to provide extra watering during dry summer to encourage nighttime blooming.
Queen of the Night Temperature
The queen of the night is a tropical plant that flourishes in a temperature range of 50-90oF (10-32oC). The houseplant can also tolerate an indoor temperature of 40oF (5oC) during the winter.
Indoor temperatures below 35oF (3oC) will hinder the cactus growth. The best temperature range for growing indoor queen of the night is 65-75oF (18-24oC). Be sure to protect your orchid cacti from intense sun during the summer months.
Queen of the Night Humidity Requirements
Queen of the night cactus can flourish under average indoor humidity. We recommend keeping the indoor humidity level between 40% and 50%.
You can install an electric humidifier to help increase indoor humidity for the cactus species to thrive. But if the plant is grown underground, no need to increase humidity.
Fertilizer Application to the Queen of the Night Cactus
The queen of the night cactus is not a heavy feeder like other tropical plants. But the houseplant requires regular fertilization throughout the year to stay healthy and encourage flowering.
Use a balanced and diluted fertilizer to feed your lady of the night during the spring into the fall. The houseplant needs low-nitrogen fertilizer in February to encourage blooming.
Water the plant to encourage nutrient absorption and keep the soil moist but not too soggy. Do not apply fertilizer to the lady of the night during the winter due to the impact of dormancy.
How to Prune the Queen of the Night Cactus
The queen of the night cactus does not need pruning of the succulent leaves. We recommend pruning the fleshy leaves to manage the size or remove the yellow and dying stems. Use a sharp and sterilized pruner to cut the unwanted stems.
Queen of the Night Cactus Propagation
A leaf cutting is the best queen of the night cactus propagation method. We recommend cutting the stems with hair-like roots along the margin.
The stems without these roots will grow though it will take longer to propagate. Here are quick steps to propagate the queen of the night:
- Cut a healthy leaf from the plant
- Cut the leaf into 6-inch sections and V-shape at the bottom.
- Place the cuttings on the moist soil and keep in a dark place.
- Light mist the stems while callus is forming every other day.
- Place the cuttings in the soil and place in a bright spot.
- Propagate the stems to separate pots after roots have developed.
How to Re-pot the Queen of the Night Cactus
The beautiful queen of the night blooms better when it’s rootbound. We do not recommend re-potting a flowering queen of the night cactus.
Re-pot your houseplant if there is a sign of poor drainage though the process will stress the plant. It will also inhibit your orchid cactus from blooming during the summer.
Queen of the Night Cactus Problems and Solutions
The queen of the night cactus is vulnerable to spider mites, mealybugs, scales, and whiteflies. These creatures drain nutrients from the fleshy stems and the venom deteriorates the plant’s health.
We recommend isolating your plant from other houseplants to combat pest spread. Be used to apply neem oil solution every to eliminate the bugs. Repeat the process if you notice any signs of pests again.
Queen of the Night Plant Diseases
Root rot is the primary disease that can attack the queen of the night cactus. The problem is prevalent when overwatering your houseplant grown in a poorly drained potting soil mix.
Test the potting soil moisture before watering your plant to avoid root rot. Besides that, too-dry soil conditions will attract spider mites that damage the queen of the night cactus.
High humidity in a poorly ventilated room will encourage powdery mildew to grow on your queen-of-the-night cactus. Use a fungicide to treat this harmless condition on your houseplant and provide better ventilation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Does Queen of the Night Bloom?
The queen of the night blooms once a year at night only. The large fragrant flowers are shining white like a full moon. But the plant may also produce pink, red, and purple flowers depending on the species.
Queen of the Night Leaves Turning Yellow
Lack of sunlight, overwatering, and pest infestations are the possible causes of the queen of the night leaves turning yellow. We recommend investigating your houseplant to identify the exact cause of yellow leaves.
Queen of the Night Flower Spiritual Meaning
The queen of the night plant is also called Iruludavare in Kannada which means the night lotus. It is believed that the wishes of people, who pray to God while the Queen of the Night flower is blooming, will be fulfilled.
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