Night blooming cereus is one of the easiest cacti from which to take cuttings. These succulents can root in just a few weeks from cuttings that are taken in spring from its leaves. Propagating night blooming cereus from cuttings is faster and easier than trying to start new plants from seed. In this article, we'll give you a few tips on how to propagate a night blooming cereus for the best chance at doubling your stock of these amazing plants.
Night Blooming Cereus Cuttings
Night blooming cereus is a leggy plant with flat leaves and gangly stems, but when it is blooming it goes from wall flower to star of the show. The fragrant dinner plate sized blooms are worth waiting for as they perfume your whole house. Rooting night blooming cereus to create more plants is easy. These cactus root quickly and establish as single plants in less than a month. The best time to take cuttings is during the growing seasons, spring through summer. This is when plant cells are at their most active and can be induced to produce roots rather than leaf cells. Use clean, sharp implements anytime you take a cutting from a plant. Night blooming cereus cuttings should be 6 to 9 inches (15-23 cm.) long and from terminal growth. This is where plant cells are youngest and easiest to influence. Let the cuttings callus in a warm dry location for up to two weeks. The ends will be whitish and closed. The callus step is crucial to rooting night blooming cereus. It is from this callus that the root cells will form.
How to Propagate a Night Blooming Cereus
Once you have your callused plant material, you need to prepare your medium. You can use a standard cactus potting soil or create a mixture of coarse sand and peat for propagating cereus cactus. Choose a container that drains well, such as a terra cotta pot, and one that is just a couple of inches (5 cm.) bigger than the diameter of the leaf. Insert the cutting, callus side down, into you potting medium. Bury the cutting in the medium about halfway and firm the soil around to remove any air pockets. Water your cutting and then only irrigate as often as you would an adult cactus. Never let soil get soggy, as the cutting will simply rot, and any new roots will melt away. Keep the container in a cool, bright location for two weeks as roots form.
Care When Propagating Cereus Cactus
Once your cactus has roots, it is time to move it to a slightly warmer location. The cutting shouldn't need repotting for a couple of years and can be grown on in its small pot. During the growing season, fertilize with a soluble plant fertilizer once per month. Just before blooms form, use a high phosphorus food to improve blooming. If any damage occurs to the stems and leaves, simply cut it off, trim the piece to where healthy tissue is, and allow it to callus, propagating night blooming cereus anew. In just a short time, you could have so many of these plants you'll be begging your friends to take one away.
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Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.
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