Can the size be contained and what kind

Litchfield Park , AZ(Zone 9b)

My sister gave me a 18" cutting of her night blooming cactus and I have a few questions that I hope you can help with.
First what kind go cactus is this? Anyone know the name. The cactus in the picture is about 6years old and started from a small cutting.
Secondly, my sister's is so big is there a way to contain the size and still get flowers? What about growing in a large container.

Thumbnail by dmwade
Mesa, AZ(Zone 9b)

It is some kind of Cereus - hard to tell exactly which one. Xenomorf might be able to tell, if he checks in. I have a bunch of these and in the ground they are hard to keep small unless you are constantly chopping them to size, which is probably what you want to avoid as it won't do the plant much good.
I did have some of them bloom in pots, they were all cuttings from large mature plants that had flowered before, so I see no reason why you would not be able to keep your cutting in a pot so it does not grow as huge. Although the one I have left in a pot is going on 6 feet tall from about 2 feet originally, but it took a while to get there and so far it has not branched. The ones have I have in the ground all have grown at much greater rates.
One thing: In the ground these will take full sun in the summer, in a pot they probably want some shade in the summer. My potted one is under my patio roof and gets early to mid morning sun and that is it. Attached a picture of a flower on the potted one caught early in the morning a few weeks ago. It had several this year.

Thumbnail by mcvansoest
Dallas, TX

You both have nice epiphyllums. Sorry, but I don't know what type. I agree with mcvansoest that they prefer morning sun.

Reno, NV(Zone 6b)

They are Cactus, not Epiphyllums. It is hard to tell which one as several are nearly identical. Look at San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi syn. Trichocereus pachanoi).

I keep mine in pots in a greenhouse as it's too cold outside here. They won't achieve the size that they would planted in the ground but still bloom well. The bigger the container the better - I would go for something half wine barrel size at least. You can keep it in a smaller pot but be prepared to divide it every couple years to keep it in the pot. Cactus don't have huge rooting systems so what your pot mostly has to accomplish is holding up a very top heavy plant.


Mesa, AZ(Zone 9b)

They are indeed cacti, but so are epiphyllums ( ), and based on the flowers (no wooly flower stems) on the plant in the OP I am pretty sure, it is not Trichocereus pachanoi. If I had to guess I'd say Cereus repandus, but the photo is dark and thus the details are hard to see. While some epi's and the AZ Queen of the night (Peniocereus greggii) are often called Night Blooming Cereus, they have different Latin names ( ), whereas the Latin name of these cacti is actually Cereus followed by the specific name of the plant. C. hildmannianus is very common here, so it could be that as well, but on the C. hildmannianus I have with a positive ID the outer petals on the flowers are much more red than the cacti pictured here, but that may not be characteristic.
A name often used for these cacti is C. peruvianus, but as far as I am aware that name is invalid. Common name that I use for these is Peruvian Apple Tree (though not all come from Peru), as they get red fruit that some people feel shows some semblance to an apple.

This message was edited Sep 30, 2015 12:39 PM

Reno, NV(Zone 6b)

The photo is dark and I was having a hard time picking out details. Cereus peruvianus is a synonym for C. repandus

From what I can tell in the photo, C. hildmannianus has a chance. I have attempted to add more contrast to dmwade's photo. Maybe that will help one of us to positively ID the plant.


PS: Yes, Epiphyllums are cactus also but I have issues as "night blooming CEREUS" seems to refer to Epiphyllums, not Cereus. If its a Cereus call if a Cereus, if its an Epi, call it an Epi.

Done now....

Thumbnail by DaisyPlantLady
Fort Wayne, IN

I can't tell you the name, but it is Beautiful!!

Litchfield Park , AZ(Zone 9b)

Thanks all. I think I will try it in a big pot. Finished our landscaping and no real place left for a potential very large cactus.

Litchfield Park , AZ(Zone 9b)

I waited about 3 weeks to be sure the cut was healed and calloused over. Got a very big pot and planted the night blooming caucus cutting today. Kept the cutting covered and out of sun before planting. My concern is the top of the cutting. It Looks almost bluish and dried out. Is this problem.
I am including a picture of the host cactus as well as my potted cutting.

Thumbnail by dmwade Thumbnail by dmwade Thumbnail by dmwade Thumbnail by dmwade
Reno, NV(Zone 6b)

The top does look a little worse for wear but the plant will be fine. It will branch from the top and push up from the bottom. I have an old man cactus (Cephalocereus senilis) that I grew from a cutting and it did the same thing.


Reno, NV(Zone 6b)

This is a P.S.

I have had the best luck rooting cuttings by NOT burying any of the end. I would suggest laying it down so that it can root all along the side or just sitting it on the soil surface, snugging it down and staking so it won't fall out of the pot. Water sparingly and then not at all until it starts to grow (a sign that its rooting).


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