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Re: Night-blooming cereus

  • Subject: Re: [SG] Night-blooming cereus
  • From: "J.E. Shields" <jshields104@INSIGHTBB.COM>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 11:40:10 -0500

Yes, Marge, I think that is the proper name for the flat-leafed, spineless
"Night Blooming Cereus."

To prune, watch for the new basal growth that comes out quickly as round
(not flat) shoots.  If you pinch out the very tip of that shoot when it
reaches what you consider sufficient length (12 to 24 inches maybe), it
will cease elongation (it does apical elongation, not basal as in many
bulbs) and throw some lateral shoots.  These laterals will be flat leaves
and will bear the flower buds later.

Or you can just hack it down to stubs about 4 or 5 inches long, and let if
sit there and sulk for a couple of years.  After sulking, it will
eventually start to grow again.

Lots of fun!

Jim Shields
in central Indiana

At 02:25 AM 7/8/02 -0400, you wrote:
Well, sounds like yours is similar to mine, which I think is
Epiphyllum oxypetalum - the most commonly found one of these.
Totally ungainly plant and there's not much you can do about it,
either.  You can prune, but you risk cutting off what will flower for
you.  I generally get two or three blooms, but the buds form at about
the same time and they often open the same night.  I have never
gotten any fruit from them.  But, the blooms are worth putting up
with an ugly duckling.  If I miss the night they open, I kick myself
for weeks.

I have had mine for eons.  Winters in our bedroom which is cool, near
an east facing window but not in a lot of light.  Summers outside.
Have previously had it under the wisteria vine over our back deck,
but this year it's in more sun on another deck on account of
construction activity when it had to come outside.  It also had to
winter in a warmer space, so I don't know if it will bloom for me,
since cool winter temps and long nights are needed for bud set.  Been
in the same pot for years, too...Lord only knows how I'd ever repot
it without breaking half its "arms"...it's huge.

Here's a good site on Epiphyllum that you might find of
interest....has growing inst. etc.


Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> From: Bobbi Diehl <diehlr@INDIANA.EDU>
> Hi,
> This is not a shadegardening question as such, but I thought some
of you
> might know the answer. Our night-blooming cereus produced a
beautiful big
> flower the other night, and if that flower was pollinated by one of
> night-flying insects that are plentiful in our yard, then I guess a
> is the next step. I have heard that these fruits are edible and
> tasty. Has anyone ever eaten them? Thanks. (I have eaten prickly
pear and
> it is delicious.)
> Bobbi Diehl
> Bloomington, IN
> zone 5/6
Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA                   Tel. +1-317-896-3925

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