How to Grow and Care for Queen Of The Night Flower

The Queen of the Night flower originates from Mexico and South America and is a jungle cactus. 

This night-blooming orchid is known for its sweet fragrance and lily-white flowers. 

Read on to learn how to take care of the queen of the night cactus flower, propagate the plant, and exciting facts about the cactus. 

Queen Of The Night Flower
Common Names Queen of the Night, Night Queen, Night Blooming Cereus
ScientificName Epiphyllum oxypetalum
Family Cactaceae
Plant Type Succulent, jungle cactus
Mature Size 10 feet tall outdoors; 6 ft. tall indoors in containers 
Sun Exposure Bright indirect light
Soil Type Aerated soil that drains well
Soil pH 5.5 to 6.5 (slightly acidic)
Bloom Time Late Spring into Summer, Night Blooming
Flower Color White, Red, Pink, Purple
Hardiness Zones 10 and 11
Native Area Mexico and South America
Toxicity Non-toxic except in large quantities

Queen of the Night Flower Care

This type of succulent plant requires special care. Even though it is a cactus, it grows in the tropical forests on the treetops. This makes it an epiphyte.

Light Requirements

Most cacti require full sun, but the Queen of the Night prefers bright indirect lights its natural habitat blocks the sunlight from lush trees. 

Indirect sunlight is the best type of light for your queen of the night cactus flower to bloom. Indirect light occurs when an object diffuses sunlight. Diffuse sunlight through tree leaves or a sheer shade over a window. 

Place your plant three feet away from a window with direct sunlight or diffuse the light. 

Light Requirements
Smart Garden Guide

Soil Type

Since the Queen of the Night flower grows in the jungle treetops, the plant needs light, airy soil that drains well. 

Amend potting soil with Perlite, sand, peat moss, or bark to add fluff and air. The pot does not have to be big, as the Queen of the Night grows well when its roots are bound. 

The cactus sends off long aerial roots in an attempt to climb up trees. You can help support the plant’s climbing nature with trellis, chicken wire, or ropes. 

Soil Type

Water Schedule

Since it is a cactus, the Queen of the Night does not require a lot of water. It has the capability of storing water in its juicy stems, soit should not be overwatered, as this can promote root rot. 

Do not water the plant until it has become dry. You can water your Queen of the Night once every two weeks from the Spring through the Fall. 

Water your cactusonce every four to six weeks during the winter. 

Optimal Temperature 

Recreating jungle temperatures and humidity will help your Queen of the Night stay healthy. 

Keep temperatures between 50 °F to 90 °F, and never expose the plant to freezing temperatures. 

If the plant drops under freezing temps, it will get destroyed fast. Cut all deadened foliage back to live stems if your Night Queen gets frost damage. 

Humidity Levels

Keep your humidity levels above 50% by misting the plant or purchasing a humidifier. 

If you live in an arid climate, mist the plant once a week in addition to biweekly waterings. 

Fertilizer 

Use a succulent plant food and feed your Queen of the Night once a month from the Spring into the Fall. 

Choose a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen. If your fertilizer has too much nitrogen, the cactus will grow too large and will not produce many blooms.

You can also feed your Queen of the Night organic compost. The cactus lives off dead leaves, insects, and bird droppings in the trees, so it is excellent at digesting organic matter. 

Potting and Repotting

Use a well-draining pot so your cactus does not get waterlogged. A clay pot is preferable as it can breathe and allow moisture to escape, unlike a plastic pot. 

The pot does not have to be big since the Queen of the Night is an epiphyte. A six-inch pot should be big enough. 

Repotting should be avoided during the blooming period . If you have to re-pot your Queen of the Night, do so during the Spring when the plant experiences rapid growth. 

Types of Queen of the Night Flower

The Queen of the Night flower belongs to the night-blooming Cereus family of cactus.  

Several kinds of Cereus require the same style of care:

  • Red Orchid Cactus – cactus with deep red blooms grown in a hanging basket
  • Vanilla Cactus – a potted cactus with lily pink flowers that bloom at night
  • Peruvian Apple Cactus – a tall cactus that has pinkish-red blooms that develop into an edible fruit
  • Hooker’s Orchid – a spindling cactus with flowers that have razor-thin petals
Types of Queen of the Night Flower
World of Succulents
  • Dragon Fruit Cactus – this cactus has large white blooms with a yellow center and grows neon pink edible fruits

Most of the flowers from the Cereus family are fragrant and bloom at night. 

Queen of the Night Flower Propagation

The propagation of this succulent is easy. You can start a new plant by taking a leaf cutting. 

Here are some basic for propagating the Queen of the Night flower:

  • Cut a healthy four to six-inch portion of the plant.
  • Dip the cutting in a rooting hormone
  • Let the cutting sit in a cool dark place for two daysallowing it to callus
  • Plant the cutting in an aerated soil
  • Water the cutting ten to twelve days after potting

The cutting will have spindling roots springing from it which means its time to put it in the pot. 

Queen of the Night Flower Propagation

Grow Queen of the Night Flower From Seed

It is much easier to grow a Queen of the Night plant from a cutting. However, you can grow the plant from seed if you have the patience. 

First, nick or scarify the seeds, making a small opening so the seedling can sprout. Then soak your seeds in lukewarm water for a few days. 

Place the seeds in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks. This step is called stratification. 

Press your seeds into a small pot or starting container full of well-draining, loamy soil. Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight. 

It will take several weeks to a few months for the baby cactus to emerge from the seed. Keep the temperature between 70 to 80 degrees. You can accomplish this using a seedling heat mat. Cactus seeds also needs humidity and even moisture. 

Queen of the night flower

How to Get Queen of the Night Flower to Bloom

The key to getting your Queen of the Night to bloom is proper lighting. Achieving the perfect amount of indirect sunlight for your plant will stimulate blooming.

A little bit of direct morning light can help encourage blooming, but don’t overdo it. Too much direct light can damage the plant and burn the leaves. 

The plant blooms from Spring until Fall, so begin feeding your Queen of the Night in January. Feed the plant every month through October. 

How to Get Queen of the Night Flower to Bloom

Queen of the Night Flower Common Issues

Watch out for these problems as leaving them unchecked can kill your plant. 

Fungus

The most common issue for the Queen of the Night flower is fungus. The succulent is susceptible to fungal leaf spots in the Spring. 

The leaves develop fuzzy mold-like spots. It is difficult to treat but you can remedy it with an antifungal spray. You can try Neem oil which is a natural antifungal oil that won’t harm the plant. 

If the fungus overtakes your Queen of the Night, cut a portion of the cactus off that is unafflicted and start a cutting. 

Queen of the Night Flower Common Issues
Succulent Plants

Pests

The cactus can host pests like mealybugs, mites, aphids, and even slugs. You can blast the pests off with a stream of water, just make sure to cover the soil so you don’t waterlog the plant. 

Spray smaller bugs like mites and aphids with a natural insecticide. Neem oil also kills pesky bugs without harming the plant. 

Sticky traps can be used to catch fruit flies that may find your Queen of the Night a nice home. 

No Blooms

If you are having trouble getting your Queen of the Night to bloom, check the nitrogen level in the soil. Too much nitrogen will cause the plant to produce fewer blooms. 

Too much sun can scorch your Queen of the Night flower buds. Allow just a bit of direct sunlight to hit the plant in the morning, or opt for no direct light at all. 

Your plant may need more fertilizer. Fertilize the cactus in the Spring and Fall. 

Queen Of The Night Flower Facts

As with any Cereus flower, Queen of the Night flowers bloom once a year and then die. The flowers open at night, filling your home with an incredible fragrance. 

The Queen of the Night flowers starts to open after 8 pm. They will stay open until around 10 am the next day. 

Since the plant grows in treetops, you can grow them in hanging baskets. 

Queen Of The Night Flower Facts
UK House Plants

The Queen of the Night flower symbolism is derived from its short flowering time. The flower’s meaning is to enjoy the small moments because they do not last. A person that views an open flower will have good luck. 

Queen of the Night flower medicine is used for topical treatment on rashes. It has been historically used by Native Americans to treat fevers and edema. 

Queen of the Night Flower Colors

The most common color you see the Queen of the Night flower is white. There are some striking color variations:

Pink Queen Of The Night Flower

Pink Queen Of The Night Flower
Wikipedia

This rare color type can range from soft pink tips to neon-bright pink blooms. 

Red Queen Of The Night Flower

Red Queen Of The Night Flower
World of Succulents

Some Night Queen flowers have a deep blood red color. 

Purple Queen Of The Night Flower

Purple Queen Of The Night Flower
Atmos

Although purple is not a normal color for the Night Queen, the white petals can have purple tipped hues. 

Do note that yellowing flowers are not a good sign for Queen of the Night plants. This means that your cactus is getting too much sun or has too much nitrogen in the soil. 

Queen of the Night Flower Conclusion

Although this succulent is rather delicate and requires specific care, you can enjoy the beautiful blooms year after year as the plant can live for 30 years. 

Give your Night Queen plant enough space to grow. The plant can grow to ten feet but can get as big as twenty feet outdoors. 

Once you get the hang of taking care of your Night Queen, enjoy propagating the plant and give as special gifts to friends and family. 

Queen of the Night Flower FAQ

Is the Queen of the Night plant rare?

The plant is not endangered or threatened and is not rare. Cuttings can be propagated from the plant and can be shared or sold. 

How much does Queen of the Night flower cost?

You can purchase a Queen of the Night plant from $20 to $36 online. 

How can you preserve Queen of the Night flower?

You can place a cut flower stem in a vase with preserving crystals in the water. Then place the vase in the refrigerator. The flower will remain open until the next day. 

What does the Queen of the Night flower smell like?

The perfume of the Night Queen smells strong and sweet, similar to the scent of a Jasmine flower. 

Does Queen of the Night produce fruit?

Once the blooms die, if they were pollinated, the cactus may produce fruit. The four-inch fruits are juicy, red, and sweet. They are edible and delicious. 

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