The Q&A Archives: Night Blooming Cereus Has Not Blossomed

Question: I rescued a Night Blooming Cereus from the trash when a neighbor moved at least 20 years ago. I have done everything the local garden centers advise and anyone else suggest to get this plant to bloom. I finally began giving cuttings to friends. No luck on theirs either. Now my daughter has the original plant. I would just like to see the plant bloom just once.

Answer: I know it's hard to be patient, but hang in there! The Night Blooming Cereus (Hylocereus undatus) has some special requirements to make it grow and bloom. Like most members of the cactus family, the plants need to be 3-4 years old before they're mature enough to bloom. Flowering is also stimulated when the plant is slightly pot-bound. And, they bloom on new growth. I'm sorry to say that by giving cuttings away (I presume these were new growth), you've given away the parts of your plant that were most likely to bloom. The cuttings will need to mature before they'll bloom, so the recipients will have to exercise some patience. General care for your plant include: average warmth from spring to fall, but keep cool in winter (50F to 55F degrees). Bright light to direct sunshine, especially in the winter. Water in the spring and summer by thoroughly wetting the soil and then letting it dry out before watering again. Use tepid water. Slow the frequency of watering in late summer, until by fall the soil will be kept mostly dry. Water only to keep the plant from shriveling. Keep the plant slightly potbound. In the spring begin watering more frequently, and new growth (and blooms) should follow. I hope this helps!

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