epiphyllum oxypetalum

Queen of the Night Flower (Epiphyllum oxypetalum): How To Grow and Care

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Queen of the night is scientifically known as Epiphyllum oxypetalum. Colloquially, it is also referred to as the Dutchman’s pipe cactus. 

This plant is so easy to grow that it is the most cultivated species within its genus family of cacti.

As its name suggests, this cactus only blooms during the night, if it decides to bloom at all. In fact, it is perfectly common for it to wilt before the sunrise! 

Continue reading if you would like to learn more about the Queen of the Night cactus!

Basic Facts about Queen of The Night Plant

  • It’s hardy in zones 10 to 11, according to the USDA. 
  • This plant can grow up to 10 feet tall, however, she is an epiphytes plant, which means that she needs to be close to other plants, as she needs all the support she can get. In other words, she grows on other flowers or plants. 
  • The Epiphyllum oxypetalum is known for its sweet yet strong fragrance. 
  • This tropical cactus is native to Mexico and the southern states of North America, although it can also be found in some areas in Central or South America. 
  • Its large white flowers can grow up to 7 inches in diameter, and they will only bloom throughout the summer.
  • Even though it belongs to the Cactaceae family of plants, the queen of the night’s growing requirements is more in tune with those of a tropical plant. 
  • Its petals can be white, yellow, pink, and cream.

How To Grow Queen of The Night Flower

white queen of the night flower

The queen of the night can be grown indoors or outdoors. Here is what must be done to have a healthy plant:

Choosing the Correct Site

If grown indoors, make sure the plant is in a bright area. However, keep it away from direct sunlight, otherwise, the plant may suffer.

On the other hand, if you are growing it outdoors, it would be best if you place them in a container. This way, you will have more freedom to move it around if necessary.

Make sure they are underneath a partial shade, as they cannot receive direct sun rays. If you have a tree or a canopy, then this is the ideal place for the epiphyllum oxypetalum to grow. 

Frost Tolerance

queen of the night

As a cactus family member, this flower won’t tolerate freezing temperatures. So, if you live in a cold gardening zone, bring the plants inside during winter, but make sure they are far away from any windows or doors.

On the contrary, if they are grown outdoors, then you can build a simple structure and place some fabric on top of it. This way, your plant will survive in winter.

Soil Requirements

The Epiphyllum Oxypetalum is such a unique cactus that it even needs to have moist soil. Most of them are grown in humid climates, so the soil cannot be completely dried, otherwise, the plant will die. This plant prefers slightly acidic soil.

Watering Needs

This plant needs water to survive! Do not allow the soil to become entirely dried, otherwise, the plant’s roots won’t develop. Also, the flower must have well-drained soil. This way, the roots won’t rot either. 

Depending on the location, you should water this plant every week during summer, especially if the weather is dry and hot.

It would be best if watering occurs every 2 to 3 weeks during winter, but again, it will depend on your location.

Another thing to be aware of is that if the plants are young, then they will need more water. On the contrary, if the plants are mature, they won’t need as much water. 

Blooms

queen of the night with natural light

Most people who own a queen of the night plant have only seen the plant bloom once. Some individuals are not lucky and have not seen it at all! This flower releases a sweet scent that catches everyone’s attention, as it smells nice. 

This white flower resembles a spider. It is very delicate looking, and this makes it even more interesting, considering it’s a cactus. Blooming tends to occur during the summer rains, as this plant needs the ideal climate conditions to show itself fully to the outer world. 

Pests

This flower tends to have fungal leaf spots. This tends to happen during spring when the weather is still chilly, and rains are often just around the corner. If only a few spots are found, then try cutting that affected area.


FAQs

These are some common questions about the Epiphyllum plant.

When will the queen of the night flower bloom?

This plant tends to bloom during the night, starting at 8 PM, and it will continue to do so until 10 AM. However, the flower will only bloom throughout those hours and then it will die. This is the only flower that will bloom as it is the only flower the cactus has!

Can you plant the queen of the nights in containers?

Yes, you can. They look great when found in containers or hanging baskets. Moreover, you can even make them form a trellis around a specific area.

How do you propagate the queen of the night flower?

The easiest way to achieve this is by leaf cutting. Just cut a few mature leaves—the ones that seem the oldest—and place them in a cool but dry space. Allow them to dry for a couple of days until you see they have formed calluses.

These calluses are a good sign, as they will protect the plant from rotting. Get the soil and place it inside a container. Make sure there are drain holes, otherwise, all of the water will stagnate inside.

Put the cuttings—with the side you cut—in the soil. Place it in a bright area but avoid direct sunlight.

Water every week, and do not let the soil dry. Eventually, these cuttings will start forming new roots, which will, in turn, become new plants. As soon as you see a small change in the plant, you should place it in a brighter area, so it can receive more indirect sunlight.

Is the queen of the night an indoor or an outdoor plant?

It can be both! It depends on the available space, on the cultivar’s commitment to the plant, and on the climate. If you provide the right growing conditions, then the plant will answer back by blooming, and this could happen outdoors or indoors.

Is queen of the night a toxic plant?

No, it isn’t. In fact, this flower has been used as part of rituals by numerous tribes around the world.

Conclusion

Although to some gardeners queen of the night flower may seem like a difficult plant, the reality is that, if you want to be one of the few lucky individuals to see the flower, then you need to put in the effort and take care of it.

But it will be worth it! The beautiful Epiphyllum oxypetalum plant is known for giving amazing shows to those who wait for her to appear!

See more: Night Blooming Flowers List

*image by depositphotos.com/Wirestock

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