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The Night-blooming Cereus

The Night-blooming Cereus is an interesting plant, and excites much admiration when in flower, as it blooms at night-time only, the flowers closing up when exposed to the day-light. They are magnificent flowers when in full blow, but, unhappily, are short-lived, a flower never opening a second time. The plant belongs to the Cactus Family, and requires the same general treatment. There are a number of night-flowering species and varieties, but the one especially known as the Night-blooming Cereus is Cereus grandiflorus, which, when in full bloom, presents a rare sight. Some of the flowers of the night-blooming kinds are exceedingly fragrant, notably Cereus triangularis, a single flower of which, when in fall bloom, will fill the air of a room with its pleasant odor. These plants can be made to bloom freely by keeping the soil quite dry, and allowing them very little pot-room, as they depend more upon the atmosphere than the soil for their growth. We have known large plants of Cereus grandiflorus, to produce as many as twenty-five fine blossoms each in the course of a season. We have found that liquid manure, if applied to these plants about once a month, and when the soil about them is very dry, will work wonders in their growth, and when a rapid growth can be obtained, there will be no trouble in having an abundance of flowers at regular intervals. Care must be taken not to have the liquid too strong. A small quantity of brick dust, mixed with the soil in which they are growing, will be beneficial. These species of Cereus are easily propagated by cuttings, which will root readily in sand of any kind. Being of a slender habit of growth, and rather rampant, they should have some sort of support, and it is advisable to either train them to a trellis, or upon wires, or a string stretched over and along the window sash. We have had a number of flowers of a pure feathery white, C. grandiflorus, that were over fifteen inches in diameter; this is the best of the night-flowering species.

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