I have had a night-blooming Cereus for several years and it has yet to bloom. A friend has one and it blooms no problem. This plant is indoors and keeps growing, but no blooms.

What can I do to make it bloom?

  • 1
    can you post a picture so we can identify it? – kevinsky Aug 20 '13 at 21:37
  • 1
    And describe the conditions that it's kept in, water and feeding schedule, etc. – Niall C. Sep 3 '13 at 15:27
  • Are you sure you didn't just miss the bloom? Wikipedia mentions it as a "once a night" bloomer. – ashes999 Sep 4 '13 at 2:51

I used to have one of these, and they sometimes are tricky to coax into bloom. My plant I got at about three feet tall, and it took off from there, blooming at 5 1/2 feet and on to eight feet tall. I didn't have space, eventually, and gave it away.

I found that they tend to bloom most in July. Here's what I did, for conditions:

  • Light. In the summer, they stayed out-of-doors. I had it in mostly shade, with some dappled sun in the mornings. In the winter, it got 14 hours of fluorescent grow lights per day.

  • Water. In summer, I would water every other day during dry periods, and skip rainy periods. In winter, I watered lightly, once a week (I didn't want much growth at that time, as it wasn't as good as summer growth).

  • Temperature. It took the variable outside temperatures quite well, and I brought it inside when the temps started dropping below fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Inside, I kept it an even sixty degrees. That was to give it a break from heavy growth.

  • Soil. I actually didn't use soil, but a mix of mostly coir, with some perlite. They require good drainage, but also enjoy water retention. Make sure the pH of the mix is around neutral (7.0) before planting.

  • Pot. This changed a lot (with the growth of the plant). They don't need a huge pot, even when quite large. I used plastic pots inside more attractive square wooden (to attatch support) decorative planter. I had a small reservoir inside the planter, and 6 locking castors underneath, to roll with.

  • Support. The plant will sprawl over everything if care isn't taken in providing a strong support. I used a four-legged tiered steel piping structure (painted to look like bamboo), which I built to fit onto my wooden planter. Each tier was removable, and reasonably attractive. The tiers themselves were crafted from bamboo.

  • Humidity. Outside, placement is necesary for humidity. On my property, this isn't a problem, but if you live in a dry area, you'll have to spray the plants with mist daily. Indoors, my old plant room stayed about 55% rh on it's own which was suitable.

  • Fertilizer. I was kind of cheap here - I used a basic 10-10-10 soluble fertilizer as a root drench once every two weeks while the plant was outside. Now and then I gave a micro-nutrient infusion, or sometimes tea from my vermicomposter, to keep things balanced.

As a side note, the plant died in less than a year after it left my hands. I'm not sure whether it was just spoiled, or the new owners just didn't have a green thumb...

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