Hello everyone! How are you? Today I am eager to show you how to have this fantastic healthy plant, so that you can enjoy the beauty of its flowers for many, many years. As we are going to see, does not require much maintenance, but … there is always a trick that will be very useful when it comes to having your needs covered.
Do you want to discover with me how to take care of the lady at night?
The lady of the night is known by other names such as galán de noche, cestro or zorillo. Not so much its appearance as its ornamentation stands out from this plant, but it is better known for its aroma at night. And it is a plant that is not too beautiful, since it grows in a disorderly way and has a quite feral appearance. The lady of the night is a type of epiphytic cactus that can reach 5 meters in height as long as it is allowed and can grow in good conditions.
What stands out the most is the fragrance since it reaches its maximum levels during the night and that is when the flowers open. Only flowers are responsible for releasing this characteristic intense smell. It is a fairly deep and persistent scent. Even with all the fame that this plant has, there are many people who do not like this intense color.
The lady of the night, whose scientific name is Epiphyllum oxypetalum, is an epiphytic cactus. This word means that, like the vines we are used to seeing, such as bougainvillea or jasmine, it climbs; but unlike these, it does not have earrings. So what it does is grow between the branches of the trees and lean on them to not fall.
How is the flower of the lady at night?
During the summer period some beautiful scented white flowers that will surely make you dream. Don’t forget to take a photograph of it, as these will only be open for one night. Although they last only a few hours, the wait will have been worth it.
These they measure about 5-7 centimeters in diameter, and are made up of numerous petals, which open for a single night. Therefore, as soon as you see the cocoon, we recommend that you keep an eye out for it to open.
Caring for the lady at night
Taking into account these characteristics, if we want to have our Lady at night in perfect condition, the first thing we have to do is place it with its pot -Never on the ground, since snails and other mollusks are very attracted to it- in an area with direct sunlight. If you do not have any available, you can choose to place it in semi-shade, as long as that corner is very bright, since otherwise the plant will not develop correctly. Remember that if the winter where you live is cold with temperatures below -2ºC, you must protect it inside your home.
Being a cactus, the most suitable substrate will be the one that allows rapid drainage of water. A good mix is: 60% black peat, 30% perlite and 20% vermiculite. Likewise, irrigation will have to be occasional, allowing the substrate to dry completely between waterings to prevent the dreaded fungi from appearing. You can take advantage and add some drops of fertilizer for cactus in the irrigation water: you will see how beautiful your Lady looks at night!
Does the lady of the night want sun or shade?
Although there are some varieties of this plant, we are going to select the most efficient cultivation techniques. It is a type of plant that require a filtered sun and a high degree of humidity so that it can grow better. If we want them to grow in good conditions, it is interesting to place them on supports or on a tree that is quite lush. In this way, it will not receive direct sunlight. The relative humidity must be quite high reaching values of 80%. If we do not have a tree so that the sunlight does not reach directly, it is interesting to place it in a shady position.
You also have to keep in mind that at temperatures lower than 7 degrees they can be tolerated but for a short time. It is preferable to place this plant in an area where Winter is not too harsh. If you want to reduce the care, it can be planted in a pot to be able to move it continuously according to the needs of the winter or summer period. They are plants that want to be outdoors and, therefore, it is essential that they are located in a place with good ventilation and being careful with winds that are too hot or too cold.
How to water it?
Regarding irrigation, it is a plant that needs the ground to be able to flow the water quickly thanks to its good drainage. The substrate must be with a great contribution of humidity but without being completely soaked. Among the things we need to learn how to care for the lady at night, it is essential that the soil has good drainage. And is that drainage is the ability of the soil to not leave puddles around it.
If during the flowering period this plant seems less turgid than usual, it may be that it is about to have water stress. It is a behavior or more normal, since the plant is able to reestablish itself if no variation in the contribution and conventional delicate.
It is not the same as with other species of this genus that do not need so much humidity. We cannot let the soil dry out completely but we must water when the substrate is more or less a third of its complete dryness. This attention to watering is especially important during the growing and flowering season. During the autumn and winter season, there is no doubt that the frequency of irrigation will be less.
Plagues and diseases
Another aspect to learn how to take care of the lady at night are the pests and diseases that can affect this plant. Although they are plants that, in general, are resistant to pests and diseases, we can look at the following symptoms:
- The plant wrinkles and becomes soft
- Take on appearance as if burned
- We found cracks in the branches
- Spots appear on the underside of the leaves
If some of these symptoms appear, it is that our lady at night is the one being attacked by pests or diseases.
How to sow lady of the night seeds
If you are lucky enough to get lady-of-the-night seeds, they can grow into a beautiful plant. Yes ok they require more time than if you bought the plant already made, the truth is that you are going to make sure that, from her earliest childhood, she is well cared for and that she grows up strong and healthy.
You will need to arm yourself with patience, yes, but it will be worth it. Now, sowing lady night seeds is not as easy as taking them and putting them in a pot with soil. There are some steps you should take before to avoid problems afterwards to ensure you have a better chance of germinating. Go for it?
Prepare the seeds
In case you don’t know, the Lady of the night seeds are like a grain of corn. What you may not know is that these have a kind of shell and, before planting them, you have to make sure to split it, otherwise it will be difficult, if not impossible, to grow a plant from there.
This shell is quite hard. And if we add to that that the seed is small, it will cost us work. What some do is use a file, pliers, or a knife to help. Be careful if you do this so you don’t hurt yourself.
24 hours before planting them, it is convenient that you put them in a cup with warm water and cover with a plastic film with some holes. In this way, you will get them to germinate faster. It is not mandatory, but it is recommended.
Sow lady of the night seeds
Finally, after all that preparation, it’s time to plant them. Usually, spring is expected, since in this way we ensure that there is no danger of low temperatures or frost that can compromise the germination and development of the plant.
But actually, if you can provide a constant warm climate (because you have them indoors or in a greenhouse) nothing will happen to plant them between autumn and spring.
In fact, if you have them indoors, you can keep them by providing good lighting and meeting their needs.
Don’t plant it too deep. With what buried 1-1,5 cm deep is sufficient. In a matter of one or two weeks you should see the first shoots.
Keys for a seed to become a spectacular lady of the night
The growth of the seeds will be slow and will take time. But you will see the plant grow from the beginning and it may be something special for you.
The important thing in these plants is lighting, which should not be direct sunlight because it is still small and it would not withstand the sun’s rays (especially if it is very hot); and irrigation.
Keep in mind that it is small and therefore does not need much water. The best is pulverize it a bit to keep the soil moist. That yes, make sure that it is water of the time (that is to say, that if you take it from the tap, wait at least 24 hours, not only to remove the chlorine, but also so that it reaches room temperature since if it is direct it can affect it) .
Although it is said that they need a lot of sun, you have to adjust it. At first, if you subject them to the sun, they can end up burning. So try to go slowly.
How to get a lady night vine
One of the most beautiful aspects of the lady of the night is, without a doubt, her vine-like appearance. And it is that she would cover any wall, fence, window, balcony… But, to achieve this, it is best to start when she is small because that way you can direct her branches so that she has the desired shape.
In this regard, we recommend use two elements: on the one hand, one lattice. In this way, placed next to the pot, or supported inside it, it will make it climb and that will encourage it to develop more branches or make them longer.
On the other hand, a tutor is also an option. In fact, you can use the stake to give it height so that the branches are entangled in it. If you use a thick, mossy one, you will be providing it with nutrients that will help it expand more. But also if you combine it with the lattice on both sides, you can give it that vine shape much faster and thus control its evolution.
Of course, this is not going to be something that you will achieve in a matter of days or weeks, but months. It will take a while to get into good shape, but it will take time to improve your structure.
How to care for a potted lady of the night plant
What if instead of having a lady of the night in your garden you want to have it indoors in a pot? What if you want her to be on the terrace but in a pot? Although the care can be the same as if it were planted in the garden, there are some peculiarities that you should not overlook. Here we leave you the best guide for potted ladies of the night.
It will depend on whether you have the pot inside the house or outside. If you have it outside, it is advisable to find a place where it is protected from the cold and the wind.. They are two elements that the lady of the night does not tolerate well, so it is better to have it under control.
Also, frost or extreme cold are very damaging to the plant. So, if you place it outside, always choose a place protected from the elements.
Now, being protected does not mean that sunlight should not reach it. In fact, he will die if he doesn’t have even direct light for a few hours.
In the event that you want to have it inside the house, one of the main needs is going to be light. You should place it in the brightest room you have. If it gets direct sun for hours, much better. Of course, be careful with the glass of the windows or balconies as they could act as a mirror effect and burn the plant.
Do not place it near radiators or air conditioners. Although it will appreciate the heat, this will dry out the environment and negatively affect the plant.
For example, in summer, water it every two days; and in winter 1-2 times a week. If it is on the terrace and it rains, in winter you may not have to water it. In summer, depending on whether it is adapted to that climate, you could give 3-4 times a week.
Soil and compost
One of the characteristics of the lady of the night is that it is capable of adapting to any type of soil. Although the ideal for her would be one that combines a soil rich in nutrients and drainage such as perlite or similar.
As for the subscriber, if you want the plant to exude that intoxicating and characteristic aroma, you will need fertilizer. Search one that is rich in iron and that will help it to have perfume and also develop properly.
I hope that with this information you can learn about how to take care of the lady at night.