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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