The Q&A Archives: Night Blooming Cereus

Question: I have a night blooming Cereus that seems very pot bound. The clay pot is even rotting away where the plant has been touching it. I'm afraid to interrupt it's growth because it bloomed twice last year. Please tell me more about the care of this plant. It's cuttings have been in our family for over 50 years.

Answer: The Night Blooming Cereus (Cephalocereus Pervuianus) is a cactus that can reach 30-50 feet when grown outdoors. The flowers are white, 6-7 inches long and 5 inches across, and they open at night, beginning in June. You can, and should, repot your cactus as soon as practical. Choose a similar container, one size larger than its present pot. If your plant is very large, lay it on its side to remove the old pot, and then stand it up in its new pot, planting it so it's the same depth as it was before. Water well to remove any air pockets and give the plant the same exposure to light as it had before it was repotted. Be sure to wear leather gloves so the spines don't poke you when you handle the plant.

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