Queen of the Night will make a great addition to your house or garden. It is a cactus, and it produces flowers – but there is a lot more you should know about this mysterious plant.
So, what do you need to know about Queen of the Night? Queen of the Night is a perennial succulent native to South America. It is epiphytic, climbing up other plants as it grows. At night, it produces stunning white flowers with a strong, sweet fragrance. Bats, moths, & other nocturnal creatures pollinate the flowers to produce edible fruit.
Of course, Queen of the Night does not produce flowers often, but when it does, it can produce dozens in a single year.
In this article, we’ll talk about Queen of the Night, answering common questions about its name and where it grows. We’ll also talk about the flowers and fruit, and what to expect from them.
Let’s get started.
What Is Queen Of The Night?
Queen of the Night refers to a group of plants that produce flowers at night. One of the best-known species in this group is Epiphyllum oxypetalum.
This plant is a perennial succulent. It is also epiphytic (meaning that it climbs up other plants (such as trees) as it grows).
In nature, Queen of the Night can grow to a height of 12 to 20 feet or taller. It is evergreen and leafless, and it tolerates humidity.
Queen of the Night also produces magnificent, large, showy, fragrant, white flowers in late spring or summer. These flowers are unique in that they bloom only at night.
Selenicereus grandifloras is another species that goes by the name “Queen of the Night”. It has this name for the same reason: it produces beautiful white flowers only at night.
Is Queen Of The Night The Same As Night Blooming Cereus?
Queen of the Night is the same as Night Blooming Cereus. Both names refer to the same group of plants that bloom (flower) at night.
Some of the plants in this group include:
- Echinopsis pachanoi
- Epiphyllum oxypetalum
Where Does Queen Of The Night Grow?
Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum variety) is native to Southern Mexico, Guatemala, and other parts of South America. However, it is now grown all over the world (for instance, in China and other parts of Asia).
However, Queen of the Night cannot tolerate extreme cold. Its minimum cold hardiness is Zone 10b (35 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius).
As such, you will need to grow it as an indoor plant if you get frost in your climate. However, at the other end of the temperature scale, Queen of the Night thrives: it can tolerate up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) – a temperature that would leave most other plants wilted or damaged.
Queen of the Night grows in areas with partial shade (2 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day). It prefers soil that is moist (but with good drainage) at a pH of 5.1 to 6.5 (somewhat acidic).
How Often Does Queen Of The Night Bloom?
Queen of the Night blooms rarely, and there is no guarantee that it will flower every year. When it does bloom, its flowers appear only at night, and in a brief time window.
It is possible that you could get no flowers in a given year, or potentially dozens! This makes Queen of the Night all the more mysterious and unpredictable.
How Do You Know When Queen Of The Night Will Bloom?
Before a flower appears, a bud must form. According to The Houseplant Guru, the bud will curl upwards as the flower prepares to form.
When it is curled up enough, it will bloom. You might need to prepare to stay up late for a few nights in a row so you don’t miss flower show!
Why Does Queen Of The Night Bloom At Night?
Queen of the Night only blooms at night because it is a winning strategy (adaptation) for this species. By blooming at night, this plant attracts pollinators that are active at night, such as bats and moths.
As a result, Queen of the Night does not need to compete for pollinators with other plants that bloom during the day.
This adaptation is similar to how some plants thrive in acidic soil that others cannot tolerate (for example, azaleas, blueberries, and some other plants prefer a soil pH of around 5.0, whereas most plants prefer a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.)
What Pollinates Queen Of The Night Flowers?
What Does Queen Of The Night Flower Smell Like?
Queen of the Night flowers have a warm, sweet smell that is strong enough to attract pollinators at night. According to Harvest Public Media, the scent can be powerful (enough to fill an area indoors, or to send its scent 1000 feet from the plant).
Does Queen Of The Night Produce Fruit?
Queen of the Night does produce fruit. The edible fruit of Epiphyllum oxypetalum is 1 to 3 inches long, 1 to 3 inches wide, and similar to dragonfruit.
The skin is pink or reddish purple, and the flesh inside is white with small black seeds. Some say it is like a kiwi fruit.
Some of the other species with the name “Queen of the Night” also produce fruit, some of which have spines on the exterior.
Is Queen Of The Night Flower Rare?
Queen of the Night plants are not rare, since the species is not endangered or threatened. You can propagate the plant from stem cuttings, and many plant enthusiasts do so to share or sell the plants when they become more established.
However, the flower on a Queen of the Night plant is rare. This is because the plant flowers only at night, and its flowering is unpredictable.
Should You Prune Queen Of The Night?
You should prune your Queen of the Night plant, whether it is kept as an indoor or outdoor plant. Remember that it is a natural climber (an epiphyte, which grows on other plants).
Queen of the Night can grow up to 20 feet tall, so it will get out of hand without regular pruning.
How Do You Prune Queen Of The Night?
To prune Queen of the Night in a container, focus on pruning the top part of the plant to reduce its size and weight. Otherwise, the plant will become top-heavy, and you risk it falling over.
You can also put the plant in a hanging basket and let it hang down instead of climbing. Then, you can just trim the end of the plant when it starts to touch the floor.
Either way, you might be able to use the cuttings to propagate more Queen of the Night plants.
Is Queen Of The Night Flower Expensive?
Queen of the Night flowers are not too expensive, since they are easy to propagate by stem cuttings. Often, you can find a cutting for under $10.
Keep in mind that more established plants will be more expensive (up to $40), since they take longer to grow and cost more to ship.
Where To Buy Queen Of The Night Flower
You can buy Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) at the following online stores:
Now you know a little more about Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) and some of the other species that go by the same name. You also know where to look if you want to find one to buy as an indoor houseplant (or as an outdoor landscaping feature for warmer climates).
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