Thanks to its beautiful appearance and unique features, night blooming cereus is a favorite object of many plant lovers.
In addition to buying ready-made, the need to breed them yourself to save costs is also increasing.
How to propagate night blooming cereus properly? Let’s find out together.
Characteristics Of Night Blooming Cereus
Night blooming cactus (or Moon cactus, Night cactus) is a species of flower in the cactus family native to South America. It is nicknamed the “Queen of the Night” because it only flowers at night.
This type of cactus attracts people of its special blooming time, has splendid beauty, and shines at night. It is a dusty body, a wide and flat cylinder, 2-3m high.
The succulent body is 3-5 mm thick, 1-5 cm wide. It has almost no leaves but only white flowers. The stem consists of nodes, almost like large green leaves, slightly purplish at the edges.
The distorted margin has some spines interspersed with fine, small white hairs. Cereus flowers vary in size depending on the species, with an average flower diameter of about 8-16 cm.
Colors are also quite diverse, from red, white, purple, yellow, etc.
The petals are thin, intertwined, and folded together, hugging the stamens to form a bell shape. Over time, the petals will open until they reach their maximum size.
The stamens and stamens are yellow, and the stalk is long. It has a characteristic mild, pure fragrance.
How To Propagate Night Blooming Cereus?
Branching from stem segments of the mature plant is the most common method of obtaining night blooming cereus offspring.
It is easy to make and very effective, so professional growers often use this way to create varieties of cactus mix and protect rare varieties.
To be able to do it yourself at home, follow the instructions below:
Clean Your Tools
Before propagating night blooming cereus, you must first disinfect your pruning tools to ensure the cuts won’t damage the stem.
In addition to providing clean, crisp cuts, this also helps prevent bacteria from growing and spreading between plants.
The University of Florida studies show that pine oil, chlorine bleach, household disinfectant, or isopropyl alcohol will help you significantly with this.
Determining The Best Time To Propagate
Gardeners propagate the queen of the night in spring to late summer. This is the time when plants are healthy and fastest growing.
Please don’t cut it in the winter because cold temperatures and high humidity can cause rot.
Select The Stem To Cut
Determining the right stem to cut helps increase seedling survival. You should choose a plump, fleshy, intact body without strange signs such as insect bites, holes, black spots, or mushy flesh.
Please don’t choose tree branches with flower buds because it will give energy to the flower instead of creating roots.
Use The Knife To Cut The Selected Body
Use a clean knife to cut straight through the trunk. The cut should be about 2-4 inches from the top of the stem and, if possible, should be cut at the junction between the two nodes.
Keep The Cut Dry
Don’t pot the cactus clippings immediately, but place them in a cool, dry place for about two weeks to allow the wound to dry. Avoid exposing them to direct bright light.
Use A Root Container
Next, prepare a root container and pour a mixture of vermiculite, perlite, or coarse sand. Add a little water to moisten the mix.
Looking For A Callous
After two weeks, check to see if the cut is dry. Make sure it is callused, hard, and off-white. Do not plant if the stakes are still fresh, as they are prone to rot.
Using Rooting Stimulating Hormone
Apply a rooting stimulant hormone to the tip of the dry cut to promote rooting. Use sterile tools such as a clean paintbrush or cotton balls.
Transfer The Body Part To The Pot
Transfer the cactus clippings to the potting soil so that 1/3 of their length is below the ground. Gently press the mixture around the body to fix it.
Provide Lots Of Suns
Place the potted plant in a bright, warm place, away from strong sunlight. Cover it with a clear plastic bag to keep it moist, and make a small slit to let excess moisture escape.
Observe Signs Of Rotting
Check every few days for signs of rotting, such as black spots, tender flesh, etc. If so, it should be removed immediately.
Watch Cereus Cactus Roots Grow
After two weeks, check the roots’ grip by tugging at the base. Take out the plastic bag. Water to a depth of 1/2 inch every day after root cactus cutting.
Cactus Transplant For The Last Time
Three weeks after rooting, transplant the new plant into a pot containing the prepared mixture above. Please place it in an open, well-lit place.
Factors Affecting The Development Of Night Blooming Cereus
Because this plant belongs to the cactus family, they have strong roots, good drought tolerance, and are easy to grow. It can grow and thrive without care, with few pests and diseases.
But if you want to have a healthy plant with lots of fragrant flowers for a long time, keep a few factors in mind:
Temperature And Humidity
Like other houseplants, cereus cactus can only thrive in the right environment.
Blooming night cereus can succeed at a humidity level of only about 50%, so this will be an ideal plant for those who do not have the habit of turning on a humidifier in the house.
The ideal temperature is between 50oF – 90oF. Do not place them near drafts or extremely low temperatures, such as vents.
Of course, they can withstand low temperatures, but 40oF is the minimum level they can tolerate.
Although this plant has good drought tolerance, it still requires special watering regulations to prevent diseases like root rot and fungal leaf spot.
Its water requirements depend on factors such as a wide variety of characteristics, growth stage, rainfall in the region, evapotranspiration, soil characteristics, and weather.
Thus, cereus plants watering between seasons will be different.
On hot summer days, you should water your plants about once a week and reduce them to every two weeks in the fall and spring.
In winter, due to cold temperatures, water evaporates slowly, so you only need to water once every three weeks.
This plant likes a lot of shade, so it should be avoided to expose it to direct bright locations, especially during the sweltering afternoon hours.
That also does not mean you can forget to provide light for them. Staying in the dark for too long will reduce flowering.
Do not leave cereus night-blooming cacti in strong sunlight for more than two hours daily, as they will get sunburnt. Mild, indirect sunlight is usually best.
The ideal soil types are loamy, aerated, well-draining soil, and rich in organic matter, avoiding using dry soil or other types of moist soil. The kind you choose should have a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5.
Perennial florists often add a little perlite and orchid bark to it. You can also mix in pine bark, sandy soil, or peat moss to increase the gaps and help with better drainage.
Do not over-fertilize, especially avoid fertilizers with high nitrogen content, which can negatively affect flowering. Special cactus fertilizer would be a good choice.
While the plant is flowering, fertilize about every three weeks. Do not fertilize in winter as they do not need it then.
Note When Caring Night Blooming Cereus
During the rainy season, leaving the plant outside will easily become waterlogged and die. Bring them in or cover them up.
Choose the right pot size and the pot with drainage holes in the bottom for drainage.
Don’t forget to change the soil once a year and the pot when the plant is 1-2 years old. When growing in a small area, the tree will not grow well and may cause deformation.
To prevent pathogens from entering, it is necessary to thoroughly disinfect tools when performing night blooming cereus propagation and sterilize the soil. Please be careful with common diseases.
The method of cereus cuttings that we have just introduced above is the most popular technique to propagate night blooming cereus.
To help plants take root and grow well, besides following the right way, you must provide all the essential elements for them.