Queen of the Night Cactus – Epiphyllum oxypetalum

I’m hoping you can help me identify this plant. It’s growing well, but only stems with shoots off of that – no new leaves yet. I was told it will bloom a very fragrant flower sometimes. This plant was started from a leaf on a larger more mature plant. I was planning on repotting it in the spring, but just not sure what to do with it. Should I trim it back? Thanks!


Hi Christy,

Your plant is a Queen of the Night Cactus; also called Night Blooming Cactus, Epiphyllum oxypetalum, Night Blooming Cereus Cactus, or Orchid Cactus.

Large white flower on Night Blooming Cactus - Houseplant411

Here are some care tips for growing a Queen of the Night cactus .

Water: This is a succulent plant so water well and then allow the top 25% of the soil to dry out before watering again.

Light: Bright indirect light, even some morning sun

Winter Rest: A Queen of the Night Cactus needs to rest for 6-8 weeks during the winter for the flower buds to set in March. Keep the soil dry and do not feed when the plant is resting. Place the plant in a cool (not below 40°F  (4.5°C ) dark area during this time.

Fertilizer: Feed a  Queen of the Night Cactus monthly in the early spring through the fall. Use a  plant food high in potassium to encourage more flowers.

Pot Size: This plant likes to be root-bound in smaller pots. Re-pot in the spring when the plant is not blooming.

Flowering: A Queen of the Night Cactus produces large flowers in spring or early summer, but only at night. Here is a picture of the flower.

Queen of the Night Cactus

Regular pruning encourages the plant to become bushy and full. Spring is the best time to prune, right before it starts growing again. You can use the cuttings to start new plants. Around the middle of March, the thorny long leaves start producing beautiful flowers. Some leaves can reach 2ft. in length and be covered in flowers.