Photo by Melody
Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.

Beginner Gardening Questions: How do you make a Night Blooming Cereus bloom?

Communities > Forums > Beginner Gardening Questions
bookmark
Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 90, Views: 548
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

January 11, 2008
5:02 PM

Post #4387566

I have a night blooming cereus in both FL and AR. The one in AR winters in our sunroom and the one in FL winters in our home. Both are taken outside in the summer and are watered via automatic sprinklers. I know this plant blooms, as this is my grandmother's plant and I saw it bloom years ago. Also, I found photos that my brother had taken after he brought the plant to Florida. Unfortunately, I am the last of the family and don't have anyone to ask what they did to it.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 11, 2008
5:07 PM

Post #4387596

Hi JeanK, I'm new to NBC, being a lucky recipient of such lovely cuttings last year. So technically I'm a newbie myself. Here is the forum that you would more likely find more help with seasoned growers of NBC and their related species. Good lucks.
Kim
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/episetc/all/




WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

January 12, 2008
2:05 AM

Post #4389726

Hi jeank, to y knowledge, these plants very rarely flower in pots, your right that when they do flower, it is at night as the moths, bats and other night feeding insects pollinate them and feed off the pollen, they flower in June/July when really large, but that is normally too big for a pot plant or indoor plant. wish I could help you more. but who knows, this I am told are difficult to grow seem to do great, but easy to grow, well that's another story eh. Good luck. WeeNel.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 18, 2008
3:09 AM

Post #4418231

I have kept these for years and never saw a bloom. They would grow large and unmanageable and I would tire of them. Last summer I left them sitting outside, in bright light, receiving an occasional shower but neglecting watering them. To my surprise I found quite a few buds, then blooms in late Sept.

One Epi grower suggested stirring cut up banana peels into the top soil. They are a high potassium fertilizer which should help with blooms. I am trying that for next year... but maybe I just got lucky...

You will have to pay attention as they only bloom one night and only at night. Well were worth the wait. Yes, mine are in pots.

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

January 19, 2008
10:37 PM

Post #4426168

Podster, you might be right! I call this "Benign Neglect," and I think I will try it. My husband and I were talking about this plant the other day and we figured that it is probably between 75 and 100 years old! When we found it at my brother's, it had been sitting behind the house, perhaps for a couple of years as he had been ill for sometime and obviously had not tended to it. In fact, my husband was about to throw "that scrawny ugly thing away" when I realized what it was. I took a cutting to AR and it stays outside during the summer, and has become just as "scrawny and ugly" as it's mother plant! I also found photos that my brother had taken about 15 years ago when it bloomed and two of his friends told me that they had been invited over for the evening to watch it bloom. As long as I can remember it has also been in a pot, as it would freeze in AR. This plant has also traveled around. Came from NC to VA to FL to AR! Maybe it's just tired from all that traveling!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 20, 2008
2:46 AM

Post #4427264

I do think that might be the answer. Worth a try. I really don't overfertilize but will report on the banana peels if successful. Good luck.

AROD13
Santa Rosa Beach, FL

January 22, 2008
5:51 PM

Post #4438759

i live in the fla panhandle. someone gave me cuttings 6 years ago. all i did was pot them in cactus soil and water them when i think of it or rain takes care of it. for 5 years now i have 10 to 50 blooms from june thru nov. the one that blooms the most has been in the same pot for 4 years and this is the one i cut from to share with friends!
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

January 28, 2008
6:42 PM

Post #4465475

Thanks for all the good advice. I will try the banana peels. I also think when I take my Florida plant out next spring, I will try to find a sunnier spot for it. Where I have been keeping it is pretty shady. The one in AR is an offspring of my "old lady" in FL and it is in a sunnier spot. In fact, I was even wondering if it was too sunny. Seems to like where it is and looks healthy enough, with lots of growth. I read somewhere that if you want to keep the plant compact, just snip off those long shoots that keep coming up at the spot where you want them to stop growing, and they will begin to spread out. I tend to let well enough alone, as I have been referred to by my husband as a Plant Murderer! Don't want to get that reputation around all of you successful gardeners.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 29, 2008
1:09 AM

Post #4466855

I hated these gangly plants till I read in a Cacti and Succulents by Terry Hewitt book to prune them. It will make them bushier and more compact. They recommend using some of the prunings to make new plants. They say the parent plant will become woody and recommend replacing it with a new plant from the cuttings. By the way the recommendation is to prune after blooming. I believe these only bloom on new growth. When you prune, you will see the leaf veins. Make an angled cut just above and parallel to the vein that feeds the new shoot.

Good luck, hope to see you post your blooms later this summer! pod
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

July 7, 2008
2:40 PM

Post #5217331

The first thing I do when we return from a trip is to go out in the yard and see how my plants are doing. The thing I DIDN'T EXPECT was to see the spent bloom on my night blooming cereus. I had missed it by only one or two days. The bud I had last year (which fell off) had appeared in the late fall. The next time we leave home, I will be sure to give it a good talking to and tell it to please wait to bloom until we return!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 7, 2008
2:42 PM

Post #5217348

JeanK, lol. Hope you'll catch the next bloom, and post picture to share.
Kim
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

July 8, 2008
4:46 PM

Post #5224101

Hi Kim, Fortunately, I don't think we will have long to wait for another bloom. Yesterday afternoon on my afternoon walk-through, I decided to take a real close look at my Queen of the Night plants (I have two of them), and what should I find hiding under one of the leaves of my other plant was a huge bud! Believe me, I will be on watch every night until I see it bloom, even though it means walking outside among the chiggers!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2008
4:59 PM

Post #5224173

I've a few young ones, thus for now I'm camping out to share your joy. Please do share when you see them. Thank you.
Kim
pastime
Waterman, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 8, 2008
6:14 PM

Post #5224697

I had a night blooming cactus for many years. It was a house plant and an ugly thing most of the year. When I knew it was going to bloom, I'd have a dinner party so we could watch and smell the beautiful flowers open. One thing I remember about this plant, is that it needs several hours of darkness, like a poinsettia, before it will set flowers. I kept it on our screened-in front porch in the summer and didn't turn the light on in the evening. By August it would bloom only a couple flowers, but worth the wait.
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

July 8, 2008
8:08 PM

Post #5225302

Hi Pastime -- Spent 35 years in Illinois, the first four of our marriage in Cortland while my husband attended NIU -- thought this southern gal would freeze to death there! Then moved to Wheaton for the remaining 31 years. Wish this plant could spend the summers in our sunroom, however, due to traveling, have to take it outdoors so it can be watered and cared for by Mother Nature. The dinner party is a great idea, however, since this is my first time with a bloom and only one, I would probably get the timing wrong! The last time I saw one of these bloom was when I was about 7 years old and actually, this plant is a descendant of one that has been passed down through the family since my grandmother's time. We figure that was about 100 years ago!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 8, 2008
11:56 PM

Post #5226378

Pastime, JeanK made me wonder... how do you time the dinner party just right??!? With my luck ~ well you know! LOL
pastime
Waterman, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 9, 2008
1:41 PM

Post #5228823

We invited friends over who didn't mind last minute invitations (like the day of). The bud was so big I knew it was going to open that night. There were two other buds on the plant, so my chances were good. We ate on the front porch in candelight. There was just the four of us. The fragrance was unbelievable! I had that plant for 25 years. When we moved I didn't have the nice screened-in porch anymore to keep it in the dark. I had to put it outside in the summer. Since we no longer had the porch to sit on at night to watch the event, I always missed her flowering. I'd find a spent flower in the morning. Darn! I left her outside too long last fall and she died. Other than the beautiful flower, it really was an ugly plant. I feel bad, after keeping it alive all these years, I let her die.
I don't know if this is important or not, but I hardly ever watered it during the winter. That may have something to do with it setting buds in the summer besides keeping it away from indoor lighting. Just a guess.
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

July 9, 2008
2:43 PM

Post #5229110

Pastime: Since I have the "mother" plant in FL, and had broken off a piece, I rooted it and brought it back to AR. Then year before last, while bringing the ungainly thing in, another piece got broken off and I rooted that, along with two more pieces, thus increasing my chances of SOMETHING blooming. This thing takes off and makes huge shoots and is a real pain to bring inside as they flop all over and are likely to break off, however, the good part is that they root easily. We bring our tender plants into the sunroom in AR during the winter and turn the heat down to about 55. My good friend and neighbor watches over everything during the time we are away, and she waters sparingly and everything does well. The Christmas cactus I had in Illinois always had set buds outside before I brought them in for the winter and they usually bloomed right on time. They now reside in the sunroom and bloom earlier (like the end of October or early November) and by Christmas they are gone, but have another flush around the first of the year. I think they are confused but I enjoy them whenever they bloom.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 10, 2008
2:52 AM

Post #5233221

I love the way the question is phrased- how do you MAKE this plant bloom. It reminds me of the term "forcing" bulbs out-of-season. We can't MAKE plants do anything! We can provide conditions under which they do well, but whether they perform to our expectations or not is up to them!
pastime
Waterman, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 10, 2008
12:20 PM

Post #5234368

I know what you mean about the long shoots and the flopping over.

Always had luck with Christmas cactus blooming. But like you said, if it was outside for the summer it would set buds and bloom before Thanksgiving. I don't think I ever had one that bloomed at Christmas. There's something about those types of plants that if they're kept out of incandescent lighting (outside) for a time they set buds.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 10, 2008
12:30 PM

Post #5234404

The long gangly plant is what I hated. It would become unmanageable. I finally learned to whack it back to keep it under control. I didn't realize this was light sensitive to bloom tho...

DP72 ~ I have been known to "make" plants die... 8 )
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

July 10, 2008
12:40 PM

Post #5234460

Somewhere along the line, I heard that you could cut them back, however, was afraid I would "make" them die, too, so left them alone to do their thing. Whatever we did this year must have done the trick as we have had the two blooms. I have two babies in the sunroom which look like they might be more manageable as they haven't sent up those long shoots yet.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 10, 2008
2:27 PM

Post #5235036

Oh, we can all kill plants, and have all done it! What is funny is that if one of OUR plants kicks the bucket, our story is that it just "died." But if somebody ELSE'S plant kicks the bucket, they "killed" it.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 10, 2008
2:44 PM

Post #5235145

dp72, lol,lol. What an observation!!! In my case? Usually, people said, oh how beautiful your plants are, what gorgeous flowers you've...my honest response should be "I kill many a plant too, only those kicked the bucket made its way to the compost pile faster than I can take a picture to post 'em" lol,lol.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 10, 2008
2:51 PM

Post #5235176

Hi, Lily. People tell me what beautiful container plants I have and that I must have a green thumb. I tell them that if they could see all the ones that ended up in the dumpster [I can't have a compost pile, unfortunately] they would have a better understanding of just how good I really am.
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

July 10, 2008
3:40 PM

Post #5235444

For someone who has been dubbed "Plant Murderer" by her husband, anything that makes it to the bloom stage is definitely a success! Of course, this is from someone who never helps me weed because he doesn't know the difference between flowers and weeds, and usually manages to step on my precious babies when "helping" me in the garden! Of course, he does all of the heavy lifting for me, so I can overlook all of this! I am not without my faults, too -- I have intentionally never learned how to start the lawn mower, weed whacker, or other "machinery." I do know how to use a wheelbarrow, though.
pastime
Waterman, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 10, 2008
7:54 PM

Post #5236817

I know what you mean. I was out by the GH today straightening out all 100 of the potted daylilies, pulling out weeds and giving them each a good soaking and making sure all the tags were in the right plants. The sweat is pouring off my face, my clothes are soaked from the hose, my curly hair is fuzzed to capacity in the humidity and he comes out to give me the weather report, (DAH I can see it's going to storm), drags another palett over for me to stack plants on, and goes back in the house. He's a good guy and does do all the heavy work around here too, so I shut up. I just shake my head.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 10, 2008
9:12 PM

Post #5237165

I've this 'small' NBC. When I purchased this one from a local 'Ma & Pa' nursery stand. I was drooling over the parent's plant. Even there, they said the parent plant was a 'Family heirloom' thus isn't for sale ever! And what made me so intriqued was. The parent plant is full of buds at that time. lol.
Kim

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 15, 2008
9:34 PM

Post #5555823

Good things happen to those who wait...After missing the two blooms in AR while we were on a trip, had to leave two buds and travel to FL to clean up after hurricane Fay. Upon looking at our plant there, I found two more buds...something happened to one of them but the other one was watched with great frequency, both during the day and into the evening. Late Monday afternoon, Sept. 8 at around 6:00, this is what I saw:

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 15, 2008
9:51 PM

Post #5555893

8:00 o'clock -- DH has his camera set up ready for the show. No time to invite anyone to dinner this time!

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 15, 2008
9:55 PM

Post #5555909

8:30 and we are mosquito bait but we still persist.

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 15, 2008
10:01 PM

Post #5555933

I'll eat dinner right here & watch... 8 )) if you don't mind!
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 15, 2008
10:02 PM

Post #5555937

10:00 -- it is fully open and the fragrance is heavenly. One out of five aren't the greatest odds but I can rest assured that it will probably bloom again next year, given the same spot in the garden and some more banana peels!

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 15, 2008
10:05 PM

Post #5555950

Be my guest, Podster!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 15, 2008
10:11 PM

Post #5555966

On the cleanup from IKE here. Here's hoping you didn't have too much FAY damage. Beautiful bloom. How did it smell? I have one bud on an ugly little plant right now... am hovering like a buzzard! lol
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 15, 2008
11:43 PM

Post #5556316

Podster: The Fay damage was one old tree which we wondered what was holding it up. It was full of holes and was out on the edge of the property -- No real damage, except if you want to count the kudzu that came down with it -- then we had a pine tree that split off in the 2004 hurricanes (3 of them) that crossed FL and it fell -- no damage there, just a job for DH to cut it up and haul the logs out for the yard waste people. Also a large limb fell close to the garage, missing it, so all we had were the usual twigs and small branches that we always have after a big rain event. We never thought we would have to rush back to AR to clean up after a hurricane, however, we had small twigs and branches down here. Some of our neighbors had trees down, but we were fortunate. As the husband of one of our neighbors often said..."When you live in the woods..." Hope your Ike damage wasn't extensive.

The fragrance was heavy and reminded me of citrus, very nice, though. Keep a close watch on your little bud! If Ike didn't damage it, you should be fine. Good luck with it!
Jean
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 16, 2008
1:03 AM

Post #5556677

Weather wise, it has been an interesting year. We had no serious damage from Ike. Just lots of trash ~ leaves and limbs. In our woods a couple of large hardwoods snapped but we "live in the woods" and won't worry about it. Salvage what we can for firewood and the rest will rot down providing habitat for the critters. My Cereus bud survived and has a different bloom from yours. But as I recall, delicious fragrance. Looking forward to it!
Ems_Garden
Slidell, LA
(Zone 8b)

September 16, 2008
2:41 AM

Post #5557256

I have what I thought was NBC but came to find out recently that it was Hooker's Orchid Cactus (Epiphyllum hookeri). I received it as a large plant from a friend of a friend who no longer wanted it. The first year it didn't do anything. Then I read somewhere that increased sunlight in the spring and summer produced more buds. So I put it at the back of the yard which gets most all day sun and have had lots of new growth and buds. I water it on a regular basis but not as much as my flower beds (maybe a couple of times a week). I wish these had the fragrance of the NBC.

Thumbnail by Ems_Garden
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 16, 2008
2:45 AM

Post #5557269

I think that is similar to the one I have. Very pretty. Glad it has found a new home with you. Do you keep in potted or in a flower bed?
Ems_Garden
Slidell, LA
(Zone 8b)

September 16, 2008
2:53 AM

Post #5557314

Podster - its potted and kinda root bound but I think it likes that.
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 16, 2008
11:34 AM

Post #5558097

Ems - Beautiful bloom. I think you're right about being root bound. I planted a shoot last fall that I had knocked off in getting it through the door to the sunroom. The only pot I had at the time was a really small one. Thought I would repot it if it got bigger, however, failed to do so and the darned thng shot up several more long shoots this summer, and actually had a bloom on it. This year, for sure I will repot it, just so it won't keep falling off the table in the sunroom from being so top-heavy!

Podster -- keep watching and post your beauty when she finally blooms!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 16, 2008
12:00 PM

Post #5558165

You know, I don't know about rootbound. I'll have to find the post but a gal from south TX had one in a flower bed that was loaded with blooms. How could it be rootbound... It was pretty! I think these plants are truly a mystery ~ LOL
pastime
Waterman, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 16, 2008
12:30 PM

Post #5558251

Congratulations on your bloom. It's fun watching and waiting for them to open. Now you've made me miss my "ugly" plant.

Diana
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 16, 2008
1:06 PM

Post #5558341

Pod -- I think I know the picture you mean. This gal was standing by it and it seemed to be climbing up a tree with blooms galore. I could hardly believe the size of it and the number of blooms. People who don't have really cold weather are lucky that they can have them outside year round.

Thanks, Diana. I was concerned when I heard of people who had these plants for 30 years and they had never bloomed. Maybe my grandmother is watching over her plant and coaxing her to bloom for me!

Jean

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 16, 2008
2:14 PM

Post #5558586

Hi all, currently I've one single bud of NBC that will more likely to open the next couple of days. I did have a first flush of 8 blooms last month. I too have found that this flower bud will drop easily with any little changes in temperature.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 16, 2008
4:38 PM

Post #5559111

Hi Lily: Beautiful! Because I watched it so often, I noticed that my bud hung straight down as it was growing, then began its upward turn a couple of days before it bloomed. We are so fortunate that we have all this wonderful technology so we can share these lovely things with each other.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 16, 2008
4:51 PM

Post #5559156

Absolutely, JeanK, with the technology available to us. DG's website is one of the best there is for all of us to gather here and enjoy our gardening together.
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 24, 2008
7:52 PM

Post #5594240

Hey Podster, how is your bud coming along? Should have either bloomed by now or getting close to it. I found another bud last week and if it finally opens, that will be the first one on the plants here in AR. DH will have to endure both chiggers AND mosquitoes to get pix of this one. There have been five blooms here counting this one, and this will be the first one to make it to the photo album. I'm watching it really close this time. From the one in FL, I noticed the bud begins to turn upward about 3 or 4 days before it opens -- sort an alert if you will, "Hey folks, I'm getting ready for the big show! Don't miss it!" Hope to see your bloom soon.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 24, 2008
8:05 PM

Post #5594289

...camping out here waiting. :)
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 24, 2008
8:10 PM

Post #5594305

Lily -- Better take lots of supplies -- it will be a couple of weeks probably. I will alert you and everyone else for that matter!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 24, 2008
11:51 PM

Post #5595234

It is soooo slow! LOL I am watching it like a hawk. Before long, the bloom and stalk it is on will be bigger than the meager ugly little plant. I have a hunch the dose of rainwater IKE gave it did more to make it bloom than all the banana peels I have been force feeding it.
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 25, 2008
12:33 AM

Post #5595453

I don't know which is worse, a meager ugly little plant or a leggy, sprawling all over the place huge ugly plant! I have decided on trying to tame the beast and have purchased one of those wire trellises from Lowe's and will plant it all the way to the bottom of a large pot and plant the three sprawling things I have in the pot, tying as many of the branches to the trellis that I can. One of the pots is only about 4" and you wouldn't believe the size of the long floppy leaves that have grown out of it. Hopefully I will have one pot with three plants in it, and perhaps they won't take up so much room in the sunroom, otherwise I will have to think of something else to do with them.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 25, 2008
12:51 AM

Post #5595527

I think Picabo on the MSG forum has hers in a large pot on a trellis. If I recall, she either had a dolly under it to move it in each winter or she used a dolly to move it, one. She is the one that I learned the banana peel trick from...
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 25, 2008
12:58 PM

Post #5597272

Podster: Did you know that banana peels are good for roses, too? I have a climber which my cousin gave me several years ago. It languished for several years doing nothing. When I started feeding it banana peels it took off like crazy and now covers the whole arbor and had blooms galore last spring. My DH always says when we buy bananas, "three for you and one for the garden," as if they get past the eating point, I just chop the whole thing up and put it on the plants!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 25, 2008
3:03 PM

Post #5597822

I've a couple unknown Epi's buds. I'll share the blooms when they open as well. I've this in a hanging basket, and so far they're working out pretty well.

JeanK, I've tried banana peels on some of my epi and others plants. But, if you simply chop the whole banana, doesn't that attract ants and other insects? Hmmm, I'm just wondering.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 25, 2008
3:51 PM

Post #5598002

Lily -- do show us your pics. Sharing others' pics is almost as rewarding as seeing our own plants bloom. When I have the whole banana, most of the time I just throw it in the compost, but once in awhile, I really chop it up until it is mush, then scrape up some dirt around the plant, and bury it, then I put some leaf mold on top of that. Probably both of them help. Haven't had any problems so far. Only put the chopped up peels on the potted plants.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 25, 2008
4:07 PM

Post #5598046

I've forgotten these flush of blooms last month to share. These were on the QOTN epi. oxypelatum (?).

Thanks JeanK for the tips. I'll post more pictures as others bloom soon.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 26, 2008
1:15 AM

Post #5600068

Kim those blooms are elegant! I had my first epi growing in a hanging basket. It became a monster. I would leave it hanging under the front porch roof and when it would freeze, I would wrap it in a blanket. One frosty night was windy and blew the blanket off. That plant was history and I was relieved.

These days it is getting dark early and we get home late and this one snuck up on me!
This morning, I did a walk thru on my plants and was startled to find this bloom. It was winding down but was able to catch this photo. And I need to rethink my comment about rootbound. The roots are sticking out the drainholes and have even split the pot!

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 26, 2008
1:22 AM

Post #5600098

Pod, that's gorgeous a bloom! Is it fragrant like the QOTN? I think Betty (picabo) has given me a cutting of those that had two buds as I posted above. These are so precious, I would try my best to move them in the makeshift gh comes winter.

I've read somewhere, some epi. doesn't set flower as long as 5-7 years of age. I was lucky I purchased a pot that promptly gave me bloom this summer. (The epiphyllum oxypelatum above).
astcgirl
Brandon, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 26, 2008
1:30 PM

Post #5601495

You are all so lucky...silly story that I have...I always wanted one of these, I found a small cutting on ebay and potted it up, then I found a lady selling a huge pot full on ebay, so I purchased that, then she put another even bigger pot full on ebay, so I purchased that, then she put the mother plant which was over 30 years old, so I got that (can you tell how much I wanted this plant!) Anyway I gave my next door neighbor the first little cutting I had since I had the other 3 huge plants. Last month she had a bloom on it...that little cutting had a bloom! However my 3 HUGE plants have nothing...it's so sad, I keep wishing and hoping. I read so many forums, I tried the banana peels, I tried the beer formula (much to the weird looks of my neighbors), I know they are pot bound and I try to hold off on the watering until they beg...I want blooms!!! It's been a year now...oh well fingers are still crossed.

Love your pictures. When my plant at my neighbors bloomed we had a little get together with all the neighbors to watch it bloom, it was really amazing.

Thumbnail by astcgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 26, 2008
1:47 PM

Post #5601547

Astcgirl: Do your plants get enough sun? I notice your neighbor's came from an old leaf. I have heard that they only bloom on old growth, however, one of my blooms this year seemed to be on a rather "new" leaf. These things seem to have a mind of their own. Mine are outside and get watered frequetly on a drip system. They sit on gravel or in the instance of one of them, in a pot where they can drain. (The reason for the pot within a pot, I have three small pots sitting within a large pot so they won't fall over.) The one in FL bloomed for the first time since I have had it -- old plant (real old) -- and the only thing I did this year was move it to another position in the yard where it got more sun. It has to find its happy place. Good luck with yours. It is frustraing to wait and wait with no results! I will be looking for you to post a photo of your own plant blooming away next year!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 26, 2008
2:18 PM

Post #5601652

Ditto to what JeanK has stated. I've my NBC facing South, under a rose trellis. Most of the leaves and growth seem to favor the morning and noon sun, and it gave me 8 blooms the first round back in July, then repeated a lone bloom this month. Good lucks, Astcgirl. I called neighbors to come and celebrate with us when the blooms opened. I also gave them some cuttings after the blooms spent, and their have taken roots.
astcgirl
Brandon, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 26, 2008
2:50 PM

Post #5601751

Thank you JeanK and Lily_love, I have them all in different locations, although when I had 1 of my pots in full sun it turned yellow, I think it was too extreme in the Florida heat. So it is back on the lanai with just morning sun. One is in shade and one has afternoon sun. The next door neighbors is in shade all day. Maybe I'll move them again to get a little more sun.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 26, 2008
3:00 PM

Post #5601810

The key is 'Filtered, but bright spot' for most of these beauty. Note; I've a rose arbor overhead. :-) It does get pretty intense heat during the summer here. This year we're blessed with relatively mild heat index. Last year? I may have moved mine around, watching the intensity of the heat daily. :-)
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 26, 2008
3:42 PM

Post #5602035

Lily: Beautiful blooms! It's amazing what a spell these plants cast over us. If plants have thoughts, they are probably laughing at all of us fussing over them so much but the thrill of seeing one of these things develop from a tiny bud to this georgeous, fragrant bloom is worth the "fussing" and the watching!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

September 26, 2008
7:54 PM

Post #5602918

Ha haa, too true JeanK! I recall my grandmother's plant bloomed with ALL the family watching it. She lived about 100 miles from us and the rest of the family lived in the next state! Truly a cause for the fussing and the watching!
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

September 27, 2008
1:09 PM

Post #5605323

Nanbernier: Love it! I remember being allowed to stay up past my bedtime in order to watch my grandmother's open. My brother had friends over when the same plant bloomed a few years ago. Our daughter from Arizona happened to be visiting us in FL when our heirloom plant (yes this is my grandmother's) bloomed. She took pix back to show her husband and friends, boasting that she saw something that they probably would never see. When ours opens here in AR, we will invite several of our neighbors -- don't think we will do the dinner thing, but will have refreshments -- probably some strong coffee to keep everyone awake!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 2, 2008
8:23 PM

Post #5626173

Ah, luckily, I didn't have to stay up late to watch this bloom. Early this morning was my first time noticing it. I wasn't even aware that it was there, 'til the brilliant flower caught my peripheral vision.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 3, 2008
12:38 AM

Post #5627070

Very pretty Kim. Mine surprised me in the same manner. I noticed this bloom has a delicate fragrance too. Fun, fun, fun!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

October 3, 2008
1:58 AM

Post #5627297

SO! Are you all saying that this plant blooms only ONCE in the growing season? Then, does it bloom again the following year?

Gita
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 5, 2008
10:02 PM

Post #5636777

Gita: One of my plants has had two blooms at two different times, and now I am watching a third bud. The first two I missed because of being out of town however, this one gets watched multiple times each day! I'm going to see this one! I think next year I might have multiple blooms, as when my brother had this plant he had 7 blooms that opened at the same time. Next year they will go outside in their same spot, as they seem to like ti there.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

October 6, 2008
1:42 AM

Post #5637511

Jean,

Do you put it in direct sun? What do you feed yours? How often?

I have been keeping mine under my very high Patio roof. Good light--and it catches the last rays of the afternoon sun...
Maybe it needs more...
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 6, 2008
6:43 PM

Post #5639908

Gita, if they are put in the direct sun, the leaves will be sunburned. Probably where yours are placed is fine. Believe it or not, several times a year, I chop up a banana peel very fine and spread it around the plant. Don't know if this helps, but apparently it hasn't hurt! I don't follow any specific schedule for feeding. They do get watered by a timed watering drip system during the summer because we travel a lot during that time and temperatures can reach 100 for long periods of time. I think sometimes because they are part of the cactus family, people regard them as desert plants and do not give them sufficient water. After they are brought back inside in the winter, the watering is cut back, because we leave the sunroom cool (about 55 degrees). My last bud will be opening within the next couple of days. Watch for a picture!

Jean
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 11, 2008
3:14 PM

Post #5658592

After watching this bud all week, thinking it would open, I almost missed it AGAIN last night. I had checked it several times in the evening, but it didn't seem that it was going to open, however, on a hunch, I went out at 9:45 and it was almost open! Had to wake DH to set up his camera, but the results were worth it!

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 11, 2008
3:18 PM

Post #5658596

Another one at 10:07

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 11, 2008
3:21 PM

Post #5658603

Taken at 11:27

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 11, 2008
3:25 PM

Post #5658607

She is finally open at 11:45 and we are going to bed!

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 11, 2008
3:32 PM

Post #5658627

It was still open this morning at 8:30!

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 11, 2008
3:36 PM

Post #5658634

Good-bye until next year! (11:00 a.m. this morning.)

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 11, 2008
4:14 PM

Post #5658714

Congratulations JeanK! Whistles, musics, hand clapping, the whole works!!! Wooohoooo, and the beauties remained a long time. Ooooh besides the prestine white petals, the intricate filaments and colorful anthers. I bet the fragrant was wonderful too. It's was sort of sweet and spicey like "Musk oil" or something similiar. Thank you, for sharing those pictures.
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 11, 2008
4:39 PM

Post #5658764

You're welcome Lily. It was my pleasure to be able to post these. The fragrance is really wonderful and hopefully next year I can get them inside before their last blooms. I was afraid to move them when I saw this last bud, as I had one last year that I damaged while moving it, and of course it fell off. The reason I would like to have them inside when they bloom is that I have heard that the fragrance will just fill a room. Now that would be heavenly indeed!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 11, 2008
5:35 PM

Post #5658903

Enjoy them JeanneK, they're indeed very special!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

October 11, 2008
6:21 PM

Post #5659016

It looks like porcelain! SO beautiful!

Now--when you say "Good bye until next year"...I am confused again---my normal state!!!
Remember, somewhere in a previous Post I asked if it only blooms once a year--and someone said there can be multiple blooms.
S0--your statement doesn't make sense...

Thanks for removing my "cobwebs"...Gita
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 11, 2008
6:32 PM

Post #5659050

Gita, The two plants I have here in AR started blooming in May, then again in August, and now in October--they will go inside for the winter very shortly and be brought back outside around the middle to end of April. THEN they should start blooming again. When we put them in the sunroom, we leave for FL and the temperature is turned down to around 65. A dear friend comes to the house and waters them SPARINGLY until spring, when they get taken outside for the summer. Hope this clears everything up for you. In climates where they can be left outside year round, I don't know what their bloom cycle is, but for mine, mine are "going to sleep for the winter" soon!

Jean
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 12, 2008
12:19 AM

Post #5660040

And it was most beautiful! I am glad you were able to enjoy it before heading south. Thanks for sharing...

edited to add, I allow mine to go dormant for the winter also. I would be curious to know if anyone keeps them blooming thru the winter months.

This message was edited Oct 11, 2008 7:21 PM
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 16, 2008
2:17 PM

Post #5678294

Podster, I would be glad to know if anyone has blooms in the winter months also. The one in FL gets brought inside for the winter, mainly because we do get freezing weather sometimes for a night or two and I don't want to take any chances. The nuns orchid also gets brought in for that reason and so we can enjoy the blooms inside. We have it in the yard where it isn't visible from the house. Since the NBC literally bloomed under my nose without my catching it, I figure if I have to look at it every day, I won't miss anything!

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 16, 2008
4:03 PM

Post #5678709

Your Nun Orchids are beautiful and so healthy, JeanneK, do you fertilize them often, how and when?

As far as NBC, this is my first year, after the two times it bloomed, new growths were set forth. I'll post of new development as I overwinter them these coming months.
JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 16, 2008
4:11 PM

Post #5678756

Lily -- Don't do too much to the Nuns Orchid. I gave it a little fertilizer when we put it outside under the trees last year and it gets watered regularly both by the Lord and a sprinkler system. I have been successful in rooting new plants from the spikes after they bloom. Don't know what the plant will look like when we get back to FL, but about the middle of December, we will see flower spikes appearing among the leaves. I believe this year we might have to either separate it or put it in a bigger pot.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 16, 2008
4:41 PM

Post #5678857

Most of my orchids in general decline in performance after the first blooms departing their nursery destination traveling home to mine. lol. Like this one for instance, last year when they were newly purchased, there were blooms galore, this year it yielded only one flower stalk. I'll try to give them better care next growing season. Thank Jeanne for the tips.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 16, 2008
5:41 PM

Post #5679117

Lily -- last year I bought this because it was just loaded with blooms. I cut back the spikes like they tell you (above the first flower -- or the last one, however you count down the stem) and the second one just opened today. There are more buds on this stem and another spike coming off another branch. Don't take them outside and they stay in the sunroom all summer. Perhaps because it got really hot and humid inside the sunroom this summer due to a malfunction in our air conditioner, they thought they were in the jungle once more!

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JeanK
Deland, FL & Hot Spr, AR

October 16, 2008
5:43 PM

Post #5679125

And another pix of the "twins."

Thumbnail by JeanK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

You cannot post until you register and login.


Other Beginner Gardening Questions Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Cyclanthus bipartitus 'Gigant' bepah 3 Jun 11, 2010 9:05 AM
Welcome to the Beginner Gardening Questions forum! dave 53 Jun 18, 2013 4:28 PM
canna rhizomes help Allison_FL 20 Jan 16, 2013 6:55 PM
Where to locate my garden - light issues Martell 18 Apr 19, 2010 2:17 PM
Baby Oak Tree Seedtosser1 13 Jun 4, 2009 5:13 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America