Watch My Food Grow ~ A South Florida Raised Vegetable Garden

Florida Backyard Raised Vegetable Garden

Night Blooming Cereus Update

May 13th, 2013 by Lila Steinhoff

Short-lived Flowers

It’s been four days since the first blooms opened on the night blooming cereus in my yard.

blooms on night blooming cereusFlowers on Night Blooming Cereus

Dying Flowers

When doing the previous post on the night blooming cereus, I pointed out that, contrary to many sources, the flowers on my cactus did not die after opening.  Instead, they closed and opened again the next night, along with newly opened buds.

However, today is the fourth day since the flowers first opened, and I noticed that the flower pods are wilting, turning black and dropping off.

black flower podsFallen Flower Pods

Even the flower pods that have not fallen, are turning black on the cactus.

green fruit budsBlack Flower Pods on Night Blooming Cereus

There are a few flower pods that will continue to open, because not all opened on the first night. I’m guessing that all the flower pods will be gone soon, and the branches will be covered with green fruit buds.

IMG_0863Green Fruit Buds

I am not sure how long it will be before the fruit mature, turn bright red and are ready to eat. It’s something to look forward to.





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  • I will be going over to a friends house to get a cutting from a Night Blooming Cereus. Hers are so beautiful. Can you give me advice on planting and caring for the plant and where best location. Thank you

    • Rick,

      You would be surprised at how little thought or care was given to either of the Cereus cacti in my yard. The person who gave us the first piece said to let the cut end dry out and just stick it in the ground. The cactus would do the rest. Since we had no other information, and hers was ancient and huge, we took her advice. We found that it worked beautifully.

      The first cactus grew from a 15-inch tall, 6-inch in diameter piece cut from one that was being pruned. All we did was dig a hole about 8″ deep in the sand (South Florida 1/2 a mile from the ocean is mostly sand.) on the south side of the yard and dropped the cut end into the ground. The second plant, pictured in this post, was a piece blown off the original cactus during a storm. This piece was planted on north side of the yard. Both receive quite a bit of sun.

      We did not fertilize nor water either cutting. We have a sprinkler system which runs twice a week, but that was all the care either received. One is now about 35 years old and 25 feet tall. The other is probably 20 years old and 8 feet tall. Since I know nothing else about growing these, I can only offer my experience with the two I have. Good luck with your cutting.

  • i have a lot of big buds flowering and on this second day all of the smaller buds turned black, I see you had the same issue. What was the cause?? thanks