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Queen of the Night

Selenicereus grandiflorus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Selenicereus (sel-ee-nih-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: grandiflorus (gran-dih-FLOR-us) (Info)
Synonym:Cactus grandiflorus
Synonym:Cereus knuthianus
Synonym:Selenicereus knuthianus
Synonym:Selenicereus hallensis
Synonym:Cereus grandiflorus
» View all varieties of Orchid Cactus


Edible Fruits and Nuts

Vines and Climbers

Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Pittsburg, California

Pomona, California

Dover, Delaware

Brandon, Florida

Indialantic, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Loxahatchee, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sanford, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Pikesville, Maryland

Billings, Montana

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 4, 2015, mensamom from Laurens, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very interesting video about the Queen of the Night:


On Jun 4, 2012, desertlavender from Tucson, AZ wrote:

I have an SG that blooms profusely one night a year, every year, on exactly the same night (usually in July or August) as every other SG in Tucson. However, this morning two blossoms popped out way ahead of schedule, and several other blooms are ready to pop. Is it in trouble? The plant is about 8 years old and began blooming about four years ago, after it was transplanted from our previous home.


On Aug 12, 2011, bob_kim from Mulberry, FL wrote:

In 1966, I arrived in Mulberry, FL with my parents and siblings.
The plant was growing in a large live oak in the front yard. We did not pay any attention to it until we noticed flowers late at night. After that we watched to see when it would flower again. One year, late spring (here) it had 40+ flowers one night. My Dad put a flood light on it and it made the front page of the local paper! The tree went down in a storm 3-4 years ago and I arranged to have the debris cleared but grabbed what I could of the "vines?" and put them around a live oak in my yard. This plant requires no care what so ever. It is now 30-40 feet up the tree and flowers every year. It is just hard to catch the night it flowers as the blooms are only fully open about 3-4 AM and by daylight they are wilted. No... read more


On Jun 15, 2011, Tydy_mommy from Indialantic, FL wrote:

I have seen the Queen of the Night - Selenicereus grandiflorus growing in many locations around Melbourne, Florida, Merritt Island, Florida and in Indialantic, Florida. I had never even noticed some that were in my daily commute for years, until the blooming phase this year and last. They seem to be sturdy enough, if left alone. I've seen them growing from the tops of palm trees without ever touching soil so soil doesn't seem to be a requirement. Most of the locations are in trees around homes that are 50+ years old. Likely there would be many more cacti but bulldozers have cleared lots to build new homes, etc. Most in these areas are attached to either palms or oak trees. The blooming phase in these areas are happening late May through mid June.


On Jul 25, 2010, florotica from Seattle, WA wrote:

This plant wanders all over my greenhouse in Seattle. It puts its aerial roots onto shelves and other plants' pots. Bloomed July 24 this year - I usually get 1 or 2 blooms each year.


On Nov 9, 2009, tarbender1997 from Billings, MT wrote:

I have had my plant for 10 years now. It bloomed for the first time last year and did so twice. This year it has bloomed 3 different times, the first time there were 30 buds, the last time there were 12.

I water this plant weekly and it seems to thrive. I have placed used coffee grounds on top of the soil occasionally as I have heared that it helps feed the plant with out using chemical fertilizer.

I have made several attempts at preserving one of the flowers but have been unsuccessful. I have tried drying the bloom using borax. This yellowed the entire bloom and made it very brittle. I tried using hairspray but the bloom closed up and wilted. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to preserve this flower?


On Aug 12, 2006, spaceman_spiff from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Here is a link to an article from our local newspaper ("St. Petersburg Times"), with a nice story on this plant. (The article refers heavily to the plant as a "Night-blooming Cereus," which is incorrect. The photos in the print version of the article clearly showed the roundish stems of Selenicereus grandiflorus, as opposed to the flat stems of Night-blooming Cereus, which is an Epiphyllum. However, further into the article it mentions that both the Selenicereus and Epiphyllum have been referred to as "Night-blooming Cereus").

[Link removed. It was too long and wouldn't embed properly. If you're interested in the article, let me know and I will send you a link in an email or tell you how to find the article on their website].

(John)<... read more


On Jun 29, 2005, Myakka from Port Charlotte, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

The plant does not require potting, we have taken cuttings and broken parts from a Queen of the Night growing on a Palmetto and attached them to a nearby slash pine. When it bloomed, we had flowers going up almost 40 feet! Time to attach: 3 months, the new plant is now 6 years old. It always blooms in late May/early June, usually just after a full moon.

There is an insect, apparently a small wasp, that immediately upon the flower opening flies in to pollinate the flower. We had 45 blooms at one time on the original plant, and 36 at once on its offspring. We live in Port Charlotte, FL, and pay no attention whetever to this plant! It thrives without us.


On Jun 24, 2004, RxBenson from Pikesville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I got a cutting for this gem way back in the mid 70s -- and still have the self-same plant and its progeny! It has only bloomed for me twice! Once when I had it hanging among the branches of a wild cherry tree in NH (Zone 5). We brought it inside before frost and saw the bud, and it bloomed in SEPTEMBER! We set up the camera tripod, knowing it was a one-night affair and I can tell you that every time the flash went off we could see the flower flinch! Early sunrise, ye gad!

Then in JULY a few years later it bloomed again.

From the prior note, maybe it's time to repot! I have one of mine coplanted with Stapelia grandiflora and that, at least, is blooming periodically!

Now I'm in NJ (Zone 7) and they go in and out with the seasons, cascading from l... read more


On Feb 11, 2004, ideboda from T-village ;) - Friesland,
Netherlands (Zone 6a) wrote:

The Queen of the Night (Selenicereus grandiflorus) bears majestic flowers indeed, so can be a real Queen.
However, when not flowering (and she only flowers around June/July - if she does) she doesn't look very pretty to anyone not being a cactus-freak.
The plant can be grown inside, but needs enough room - it will become very big, producing prickly stems of several metres' length, that have to be led along a lattice or rolled-up like a garden-hose, really. In nature it climbs into trees.
In my case, I can't grow it outside, I live in zone 6a in the Netherlands, which means it's far too cold during winter.
The plant doesn't need a lot of water, but shouldn't dry out totally otherwise it will turn purplish brown and look terrible.
Especially when it forms... read more