My plant at about 2 years old
Back in the early 70s, I went to a birthday party for my boyfriend’s grandmother. She had a huge cereus plant with at least a dozen buds on it, within a few hours of her party starting they all opened up. It was the first time her plant bloomed for her, there was a full moon, it was her 75th birthday and she thought it was all very magical. So did I. She happened to have a little cutting of one leaf in a pot of dirt which she gave to me and 30 some odd years later I am once a year in awe of this night blooming wonder. Too bad the boyfriend didn’t last this long!
This year's bloom, August 22
Over the years I have learned there are many night bloomers and many variations of the night blooming cereus.
Barb's Cereus Blooms (with Finca the Cat!)
Barb's flower this year
Richard's Cereus bloomed on Sept 5 this year
I had to do some re-potting this year, my plant has gotten quite large although every time I re-pot I give cuttings away.
Ready for some fresh new soil
Happy in a new pot of fresh soil
Over the years and every late summer I watch closely for bud development – I’ve had parties centered around the annual event of this blooming plant. Many of my friends have been the recipients of cuttings and I love those excited phone calls announcing their plant is about to bloom.
Night blooming cereus are cacti/succulents. They are easy to care for houseplants here in the midwest where we have real live winter seasons! They love to spend their summers out doors under a tree or in the shade somerwhere, direct sun will burn the leaves. Regular potting soil will do, sometimes I add a bit of sand – in the summer when they are growing they require lots of water, but be careful not to overwater during the winter. They benefit from plant food and seem to produce more blooms when fed regularly during growing season. Blooms are usually end of August or early September. The funnel-shaped flowers are mostly white, and extremely fragrant. This scent is one way they attract pollinators, such as bats. The individual blooms can be as large at 10 inches across in the variety I have. The buds are produced along the edge of the leaves. Cuttings easily root – just push them into some soil.
We have a large selection of succulents, many of them bloomers, as well as a huge houseplant selection, at our LaSalle Street (Florists Row) Garden Center. Stop in for a visit!