Night Blooming Cereus, Orchid Cactus, Queen of the Night
Night Blooming Cereus
What is this? It grew from just a leaf.
A friend of mine gave me a leaf in a pot saying that the flower is interesting if i could grow it. I have it in my sunroom and it has grown huge. This photo shows 4 flowers but unfortunately I could not catch them open. They seem to open at night and then close and die the next morning. I have had a flower open before and it is white and pale pink inside with a very deep cup shape and a very fine stamen.
Based on the picture and description you have provided, this plant appears to be what is commonly known as the Night-Blooming Cereus, Orchid Cactus and Queen of the Night.
There are two plants referred to by these names, belonging to the Selenicereus and the Hylocereus genus. The flowers and growth habits of these plants are similar. They are vine-like plants and are members of the cactus family.
Hylocereus undatus is one of the most common plants, and is believed to originate in the tropics. It has slim, ribbed, light green to yellow green stems that either climb or hang. Their spines are short. The flowers open up at night to form funnel shaped blooms all along the stems.
The Selenicereus genus is native to the Caribbean Islands. The slender stems are cylindrical in shape. The stems are green during early growth, turning slightly purple as they mature. Similar to the Hylocereus genus, the spectacular flowers of these plants bloom at night.
The Night Blooming Cereus is an ideal potted plant to display (as you have) in a sunroom, or on a patio, deck or porch. These plants thrive in bright, sunny locations and can withstand temperature exceeding 100 degrees. If you display this plant outdoors, be sure to bring indoors before the first frost - this may not apply if you live in a warmer climate.
These plants are easy to propagate by cuttings, and a popular plant to share with family and friends. They prefer a well-drained soil, ideally a half-and-half mixture of sand and commercial potting soil. A sandy potting mix is best. Feed it once a month during spring and summer with a water soluble fertilizer. Allow soil to dry between watering.
Recommended Temperature Zones: