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Queen of the Night Flower

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Queen of the Night Flower

The Queen of the Night flower, also known as Selenicereus grandiflorus, is a botanical miracle. This cactus species fascinates plant enthusiasts and gardeners due to its magnificent beauty and secretive flowering behavior. In this detailed book, we dig into the exciting elements of this night-blooming marvel, offering advanced insights for seasoned horticulturists.

Understanding the Queen of the Night Flower

A botanical overview

The Queen of the Night flower is a member of the Cactaceae family, which is known for its spreading, vine-like growth and gorgeous nocturnal flowers. This cactus is native to the tropical regions of Central and South America and thrives in warm, humid settings. Its scientific name, Selenicereus grandiflorus, refers to its grand floral displays—”Selenicereus’ comes from Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon, and ‘grandiflorus’ means large-flowered.

A unique blooming cycle

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Queen of the Night Flower is her brief blooming cycle. The plant usually blooms only once a year, with petals opening at twilight and fading before daylight. This stunning display often happens in late spring or summer, with each bloom lasting only one night. The blossoms give out a strong, sweet aroma that attracts nocturnal pollinators like moths and bats.

Cultivating the Queen of Night

Optimal growth conditions

Light: The Queen of the Night prefers partial shade or filtered sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can burn the stems and blooms. The ideal lighting conditions match the natural environment, providing solid but indirect sunlight to promote healthy growth and stunning flowers.

Temperature: This cactus enjoys warm temperatures ranging from 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 29°C). You should protect it from cold weather, especially during the winter, as it is not tolerant of frost. Maintaining a steady temperature encourages vigorous growth and flowering.

Humidity: The Queen of the Night thrives in humid environments. Regular misting and keeping the air moist can help it retain its tropical origins. This humidity encourages strong growth while preventing the plant from becoming too dry.

Soil: The Queen of the Night thrives in well-drained cactus soil. An excellent medium is a mixture of ordinary potting soil, sand, and perlite. Good drainage minimizes waterlogging and root rot, keeping the plant healthy.

Watering: Water the Queen of the Night thoroughly and seldom. Allow the soil to dry in between waterings to avoid root rot. Throughout the growing season, increase the frequency of watering, but reduce it during the plant’s dormant winter.

Fertilize using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer designed for cacti and succulents. An NPK ratio of 10-10-10, or comparable, is acceptable. Feed the plant once a month during the spring and summer, reduce the frequency in the fall, and stop feeding altogether during the winter.

Pruning helps plants keep their structure and promote new growth. Remove any dead or damaged stems to improve air circulation. Pruning also helps limit the plant’s size, making it easier to handle and fostering better overall growth.

Support: As a vining cactus, the Queen of the Night may require support structures such as trellises or stakes. These supports keep the plant upright and prevent it from sprawling, ensuring it gets enough light and air circulation.

Pest Control: Avoid common pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Inspect the plant regularly, and treat any pests as soon as possible using insecticidal soap or neem oil. Keeping the plant clean can also help prevent bug infestations.

Proper air circulation is vital for preventing fungal illnesses. Place the plant in a well-ventilated location and avoid overcrowding. Ensuring adequate airflow around the plant promotes its health and reduces the risk of disease.

How to propagate Queen of Night?

Propagating by stem cutting

Stem cuttings are the most popular and straightforward way to propagate Queen of the Night. Here are some step-by-step instructions:

Select a healthy, mature stem from the parent plant. The stem should be firm and free of disease or pest symptoms. A length of approximately 6–8 inches is good for proliferation.

Using a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears, make a clean 45-degree cut. This angled cut provides more surface area for roots.

For a few days, place the cutting in a dry, shaded location to allow the cut end to callus. When you plant the cutting, this callus procedure helps prevent rot.

Fill a pot with a well-drained cactus or succulent soil mixture. Place the callused end of the cutting about 1-2 inches into the soil. Firm the dirt around the base to ensure stability.

Lightly water the soil to allow it to settle around the wound. Keep the soil slightly damp but not saturated. Overwatering can cause decay.

Place the pot somewhere with bright, indirect light. Maintain a warm temperature, ideally between 65°F and 85°F (18°C to 29°C). Avoid direct sunlight, since it can stress the cutting process.

Check the cuttings on a regular basis for evidence of new growth, which suggests good roots. This could take a few weeks. Continue to water sparingly, letting the soil dry in between waterings.

Propagating by seed

Propagating the Queen of the Night from seed is uncommon, but it can be rewarding. This is how you do it:

If your Queen of the Night produces fruit, gather the seeds when they are ripe. Clean the seeds well to remove any pulp residue.

Fill a seed tray or small pot with a well-drained seed starter mixture. Before you plant the seeds, gently moisten the soil.

Spread the seeds evenly across the soil surface. Cover them with a thin layer of seed starter mix or sand. The seeds require sunshine to germinate, so do not bury them deeply.

To create a greenhouse effect, place a clear plastic cover or plastic wrap over the seed tray or pots. This helps to maintain humidity, which is necessary for seed germination.

Place the covered tray in a bright area with indirect lighting. Maintain a warm climate, preferably at 75°F (24°C).

Check the soil regularly to ensure it’s moist but not soggy. Once the seeds have germinated, remove the cover to prevent mold growth.

When the seedlings reach a manageable size, put them into individual pots filled with well-drained cactus soil. Handle the tiny seedlings with care to prevent injury.

Tips for Successful Propagation

Use sterile instruments: To prevent disease spread, make cuttings and handle the plant with clean, sterile instruments to prevent disease spread.

Overwatering is terrible for both cuttings and seedlings since it causes them to decay. Ensure sufficient drainage and let the soil dry between waterings.

Provide Support: As the new plants grow, they may require support structures such as small posts or trellises to remain upright.

Be patient. Propagation takes time. Monitor your cuttings and seedlings regularly, but only disturb them a little.

How do you pot or repot the Queen of Night flower?

The first step to effectively potting your Queen of the Night is to choose the right pot.

Choose a pot that is slightly larger than the plant’s root ball. A pot that is too large can trap excess moisture, resulting in root rot.

Terracotta pots are perfect for promoting air circulation and moisture evaporation. You can also use plastic pots, but ensure they have sufficient drainage holes.

To keep water from collecting at the bottom and creating root rot, ensure the pot has drainage holes.

The correct soil mix is critical for your Queen of the Night’s health.

Use a well-drained cactus or succulent mixture. You can make your own by combining ordinary potting soil, sand, and perlite.

Sterilize soil or pots before reusing them to prevent pests or diseases from spreading.

To improve drainage, add a layer of gravel or small stones to the pot’s bottom.

Fill the pot halfway with the prepared soil mixture.

Gently place the cactus in the pot, ensuring the plant’s base is below the rim.

Fill in the remaining soil mixture around the plant, gently pressing it down to remove air pockets.

Lightly water the plant to help the soil settle. Avoid excessive watering; the soil should be wet but not saturated.

Repotting the Queen of the Night

Repotting is usually required every 2–3 years or whenever the plant outgrows its existing pot. When roots grow out of the drainage holes and the plant becomes top-heavy, it’s time to repot.

Choose a pot one size larger than your present one, making sure it has proper drainage.

Make a fresh batch of well-drained cactus mixture.

To make the plant easier to remove, water it the day before repotting.

Turn the pot on its side and gently tap to release the soil. Support the plant’s base, then slide it out.

Examine the roots for signs of decay or illness. Trim any damaged roots with sterilized scissors.

Add a layer of gravel or small stones to the bottom of the new container.

Fill the new container halfway with the soil mixture.

Place the cactus in the new pot, ensuring the base is at the same level as in the old one.

Fill in the remaining soil mixture around the plant, gently pressing it down to eliminate air pockets.

Gently water the newly potted plant. Maintain a slight moisture level in the soil, but avoid overwatering.

Post-repotting care

A successfully repotted Queen of the Night requires proper aftercare.

Place the plant somewhere that receives bright, indirect light. Initially, avoid direct sunlight to decrease transplant shock.

Water gently after repotting. Let the soil dry between waterings.

If the plant is top-heavy, use stakes or a trellis to keep it from tipping over.

Maintenance and pruning

From time to time, pruning your Queen of the Night is necessary.

Pruning involves removing dead or damaged stems to promote new growth and increase air circulation. Pruning can also affect the plant’s size and shape.

Support: As a vining cactus, the Queen of the Night may require support structures like trellises or supports to stay upright and manageable.

Common Pests

Despite its resistance, the Queen of the Night is sensitive to some pests. 

Spider mites: These tiny arachnids can cause stem yellowing and webbing. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat infestations.

Mealybugs: White, cotton-like bunches indicate their presence. Remove manually or with proper insecticides.

Scale insects appear as little brown discs on the stems. Scrape away or apply horticultural oil.

Common Disease

You can prevent diseases with proper care, but be aware of the following:

Root Rot: Overwatering can cause this fungal disease. Ensure adequate drainage, and change your watering practices.

Stem rot: This can happen in humid environments. Improve air circulation and swiftly remove any afflicted stems.

The Mystery of the Bloom of the Queen of Night Flower

The Blooming event

The Queen of the Night’s bloom is a spectacular occasion. The enormous, white flowers, which can grow up to 12 inches in diameter, bloom in the evening and emit a powerful, sweet aroma that may fill a whole garden. This nocturnal display attracts night-flying insects and bats, which help the plant pollinate.

Cultural significance

The Queen of the Night is culturally significant in many countries. In Mexico, people commonly associate it with mystical and spiritual events. In some cultures, the transitory aspect of its bloom represents both the beauty and transience of existence.

Related Posts:


When will the Queen of the Night flower bloom?

The Queen of the Night blooms once a year, generally in late spring or summer. The flowers bloom at night and last till daylight.

Why isn’t my Queen of the Night-blooming?

Insufficient light, incorrect watering, nutrient deficiency, and plant immaturity are all possible causes. Ensure it gets adequate light, water it properly, feed it during the growing season, and give it a dormant winter.

How long does Queen of the Night’s flowers last?

The Queen of the Night’s flowers blooms for one night only, often opening after sunset and fading by daybreak. This brief flowering period heightens their attraction and rarity.

What size does the Queen of the Night plant grow?

The Queen of the Night plant can grow 1–2 feet tall and wide. The flat, segmented stems spread or cascade in a pattern.

Is the Queen of the Night Plant toxic?

The Queen of the Night plant is not harmful to people or pets. It is safe to keep in the house. However, pets and small children should be careful not to eat plant components.


Cultivating the Queen of the Night is a rewarding endeavor for experienced gardeners. Its distinct flowering cycle, gorgeous blossoms, and alluring smell make it an excellent addition to any collection. With the correct care and attention, this nocturnal beauty will grow and add a touch of magic to your garden.

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