How to take care of the lady at night

how to take care of the lady at night

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?

Key features

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

learn how to take care of 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

The lady of the night is a type of cactus that blooms at night

Image - Wikimedia / LEONARDO DASILVA

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

night Lady

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.

Location

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.

Irrigation

Watering potted lady-of-night can kill it in a matter of days. It is preferable to water little but more times a week than to water too much. Excesses are detrimental to the lady of the night.

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.

lady of the night flowers

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.


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  1.   ernesto said

    Hello, I have three kinds of lady of the night, flat leaf, the thick and thin stem cactus type, all of them bloom and in winter they sprout full.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Cool. The flowers of the ladies at night are wonderful ^ _ ^.

  2.   MARTA said

    I HAVE ALREADY HAVE YEARS AND EVERYONE FALLS IN LOVE WITH HER .. IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND A RICH PERFUME, HURT THAT LASTS A SERIOUS NIGHT IDEAL FOR A BRIDAL BOUQUET

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Congratulations on your plant, Marta 🙂
      From what you count, surely you have it very well cared for.

  3.   FRANYITHA said

    Good morning, yesterday they gave me one with a small hook from the plant and another with a root. how I should take care of it and plant it. I proceeded to plant it at 2 o'clock in a pot with compost, add water and I spoke to him, I welcomed him to his new home.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Franyitha.
      You proceeded in the best way 🙂. Now we just have to wait for them to sprout, which they should do in a maximum period of one month. Keep the substrate slightly damp.
      A greeting.

  4.   labory2855evelyn said

    Hello, why is it that the flower only lasts one night? A penalty that is so

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello labory.
      Well, I don't know the scientific reason, I'm sorry 🙁. I can only tell you that there are plants whose flowers last a day, and others that last a week. They are just like that. They have evolved to "end" (evolution continues) like this.
      A greeting.

      1.    Vivian said

        Hello, I have my lady of the night for years, she is 2 meters high, at this moment she has about 20 buds but the leaves have wrinkled I do not know why it will be the first time that it happens to me, could you help me?

        1.    Monica Sanchez said

          Hi Vivian.
          Do you have it in a pot or on the ground?
          If it is potted, how long has it been in it? It must be changed every 2 or 3 years, always moving it to a larger pot, since otherwise there will come a time when its growth will stagnate and, if measures are not taken, it could even dry out due to lack of space and nutrients.

          It is also highly recommended to pay it in spring and summer with cactus fertilizer, as explained in the article.

          If you have doubts, tell me.

          Greetings.

  5.   Clemency said

    I have two cacti already in full bloom, if you want to enjoy that beautiful flower more than one night you have to cut it, put it in water and put it in the refrigerator

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Interesting trick, yes. Thank you very much for sharing it 🙂

  6.   mihaela cristina said

    Hello!! A week ago I bought a lady of the night from Leroy Merlin, I passed it in a much larger pot, from the first night outside the store the plant began to get limp, the leaves at the tip of the branch, I live in Huelva, here the The weather is very warm, I have the plant on the terrace all morning it gives shade and in the afternoon a little sun, I do not know if the change in temperature of the store with the outside or the wind could affect it, if I could you advise !! Thank you!!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Mihaela.
      It's normal for plants to get a bit ugly at first. The conditions with which they have them in the nurseries or in the shopping centers are very different from those we have in the houses or in the gardens.
      My advice is that you water it with hormones from homemade rooting made with lentils. This will help the roots to recover from the change in location.
      It would also be advisable to put it in an area where it was given direct light, or that was in semi-shade but with a lot of light, since it does not grow well in shade.
      A greeting.

  7.   Cris said

    Hello, I want to make a comment for you to advise me, the sheets are yellowish and ocher, what should I do? Thank you very much in advance

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Cris.
      How often do you water it? If it is turning yellow, it is usually due to overwatering. You have to water twice a week, maximum 2, and not keep the dish underneath for a long time with water.
      A greeting.

  8.   Ella said

    Hello Monica! I have a plant for many years; the last flowering has been great, but now many leaves have reddened and some have withered. I have sprayed it with a fungicide once and it has not improved, could it be due to a lack of nutrients?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Ella.
      Yes, it may be a lack of nitrogen 🙁. My advice is that you fertilize it with a fertilizer rich in this nutrient, following the instructions specified on the package.
      A greeting.

  9.   Karina said

    I have it in fuchsia it is beautiful !!!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Yes, it is very pretty 🙂

  10.   carolina said

    My queen of the night is getting the leaves between orange and red, will it be a lot of water or what? Thank you so much!!!!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Caroline.
      How often do you water it? From what you indicate, it seems that it has an excess of water and probably some fungus is affecting it. My advice is to treat it with a systemic fungicide, and to reduce the frequency of watering.
      It is best to let the soil dry out before watering again.
      A greeting.

  11.   White said

    hello, my plant grows the flower buds grow 10 cm and then they fall, it is the second year that passes

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Blanca.
      It can occur for three reasons: due to lack of fertilizer, aphids or because the flowers get wet when watering. If it is the first, I recommend you fertilize it with guano in liquid form, following the instructions specified on the package, since it is a very fast-effective natural fertilizer.
      If it is the second, aphids are insects that measure less than 0,5cm in color green, brown or yellow (depending on the species) that settle on the flower buds and feed on them. You can fight them with Chlorpyrifos.
      But, if it is the third, you have to avoid wetting the leaves and flowers as they end up drying.
      A greeting.

  12.   Susana said

    My plant never already flowered? I have it in a pot, you have beautiful leaves, it has grown a lot, I have it in a gallery with good light, it likes the place I say because of its growth, I fertilized it with iron, it has nothing in its leaves, when will it flower?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Susan.
      Sometimes it takes a while for the plants to flower. If it is well cared for, as it seems to be from what you indicate, it will not take long to give flowers.
      Fertilize it with a universal fertilizer in spring and summer, and in less than you expect it will bloom, for sure 😉.
      A greeting.

  13.   Rosana said

    Hello I am from Argentina, I have one for 3 years, it is beautiful but just yesterday it gave me its first flowering! It's worth it!

  14.   elizabeth said

    I brought a small night jasmine from Colombia but the leaves fell silent and the trunk turned bright yellow in Switzerland, the cloud from home and I already put it outside but I do not see it well, what do I do

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello, Elizabeth.
      What is the minimum temperature there? This plant is not very resistant to cold, down to -2ºC, so it may have been cold.
      Water it very little, two or three times a week maximum, and wait.
      Good luck.

  15.   Gricelda Medrano said

    Hi! It is the first time I see your page and it is very interesting. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. The question is: is Epiphyllum oxipetalum and. Cestrum nocturnum?
    Thanks in advance

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Gricelda.
      We are glad that you like the blog.
      Regarding your question, no, they are not the same plant. The Epiphyllum is a cactus and the Cestrum is a shrub.
      A greeting.

  16.   geraldine said

    hello after several years he finally gave us his first flower, it is beautiful !! the question is how can I reproduce it? He is already very old and I would like to know if I can get others from that, but I don't want him to die. can you guide me?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Geraldine.
      Congratulations on the flower 🙂
      You can multiply your plant by making cuttings of about 20cm. You lay them on a tray with substrate, burying one end a little (where the roots will come out) and water. In a few weeks it will take root.
      A greeting.

  17.   belen martinez caamaño said

    My lady of the night has fallen leaves and branches, withered, as if she were dying. I live in Granada it is very hot and I have it in the sun, what should I do?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Belen.
      I recommend putting it in semi-shade, since it may be that it is suffering from excess light.
      Keep the soil moist (not flooded), and little by little it will surely improve.
      A greeting.

  18.   Dew said

    Hello, I have a lady of the night that I bought a month ago. The plant is growing well. I have her in a pot with her plate. I water it every 2-3 days. I put water in the dish that I fill to the top and then I pour a little water on the ground. My question is, do I do well watering it like this, or should I do it in another way?
    I await your advice.
    Thank you very much.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Rocio.
      Although there are guides that can be followed, they have to be used as that: guides. In practice, each teacher has his own book 🙂; I mean, if you are doing well like this and the plant is growing well, then continue taking care of it as you have done now.
      Of course, in autumn and winter, think about reducing the risks, to one or two per week.
      A greeting.

  19.   Dew said

    Thanks Monica. Now I have another question, I just discovered that some leaves have whitish spots with tiny black dots. I suppose it's a plague, but I don't know what it is. Sure you can help me.
    Thanks in advance.
    I look forward to your advice.
    Thank you again.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello again Rocío.
      They are probably trips.
      You can eliminate them with Chlorpyrifos 48%.
      A greeting. 🙂

  20.   Fernando said

    Hello, how am I from Buenos Aires? I have a small but overcrowded garden with this plant that has reproduced and grows by itself! I would need recommendations to control it, it is in soil not in a pot with a thick stem and so high that it comes forward! I await comments to get it tidied up and to keep it upright.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Fernando.
      You can put a bamboo stick or cane to keep it upright, and prune the crown a bit so that it does not have as much weight.
      Anyway, to control its population in your garden you can add salt for example, or get these homemade herbicides 🙂.
      A greeting.

  21.   Carmen said

    Hello, I have a queen of the night and her leaves are turning black and drying. Help, what do I do ??? Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi carmen.
      How often do you water it? If you are from the northern hemisphere, now that summer is ending you have to decrease the frequency of watering and water every 4-5 days.
      If you are from the southern hemisphere, I tell you the opposite, you have to water a little more often, avoiding waterlogging.
      A greeting.

  22.   White said

    It is spectacular, about two months ago they gave between my three plants more than 40 flowers, and I am seeing that they will bloom again, I am counting at least 24 to come out!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Great. Enjoy them 🙂

  23.   Lilian said

    Hello, I am from Argentina, the segment must be put in water until it has roots and then pass it to the ground or is it placed directly on the ground?
    Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Lilian.
      I recommend more to put it directly on the ground.
      A greeting.

  24.   Alicia charquero said

    Hello I live in Uruguay, I have the lady of the night, I have a problem, the flowers are born but they do not open, could you tell me what I should do, thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Alicia.
      The lady of the night flowers open during the night.
      You can fertilize it with a liquid cactus fertilizer, following the instructions specified on the package, so that it has more strength and flourishes better.
      A greeting.

  25.   Maria said

    A query ... about the flower that comes out and is a beauty. It bloomed last night. Can I take care of that already fallen flower once it falls like a seed or is it useless?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Maria.
      Sorry, but I have not understood correctly. You mean if you can sow that flower that has fallen? If so, no, it won't do you good, as it has no seeds. Look in this link you will see how the fruits are compared to the flowers.
      A greeting.

  26.   Marines Meendez said

    Good morning how often can it bloom in the year. I have like five and it is a beauty!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Marines.
      They only bloom once or twice a year.
      A greeting.

  27.   carla jimenez said

    I have bought the plant 2 times, because I love it and I really want to have it in my house, but it has dried up on both occasions.

    I already tried to have it in a pot and it dried up
    I transplanted it and it dried up, and both with the same characteristics, the leaves get sad, they dry up

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Karla.
      When did you transplant them? I'm asking you because you have to change the pot at the end of winter. Doing it sooner or later can hurt you a lot.
      Did you have them inside the house or outside? It is not a plant that is well adapted to living indoors.
      A greeting.

  28.   Freddy Osvaldo Allende Pettis said

    They gave me a plant from «The lady of the night». How can I know if it is a cactus or a bush?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Freddy.
      You can search photos 🙂
      The shrub's scientific name is Cestrum nocturnum; and that of the cactus Epiphyllum oxypetalum.
      A greeting.

  29.   Hilda said

    Hello, I have my lady of the night and she has given me beautiful flowers. The plant is beautiful, but these last blooms reached their maximum size but did not open, and the small ones fell without evolving. What should I add to it?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Hilda.
      Do you have it in a pot or on the ground? If you have it in a pot, and you have not changed it for a long time (more than a year), I recommend you move it to a larger one with new soil in spring.

      Also, in spring and summer it needs regular fertilizer. In the nurseries they sell ready-to-use liquids (such as universal or guano), but you have to follow the instructions specified on the packaging.

      A greeting.

  30.   Maria said

    Hello
    I have a lady at night who blooms every year gives me one or two flowers but this year I have counted 10, I would like to know how many days it takes to open since you see them born, I take pictures of them every year but this one that comes out so many, the same I'm not at home So my interest in knowing how many days it will take to open, I do not think I will see 10 flowers together again.
    Thank you very much.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Maria.

      Geez, 10 flowers at once. That's because it receives the best care. Congratulations.

      In general, they take a few days to open, between 3 and 5.

      Regards!

  31.   Raul said

    Hello, my Epiphylum Oxypetalum has begun to have brown spots on the edge of some of its leaves. Could it be a fungus? If so, what do you recommend doing?
    I would like to send you a photo.
    Thank you very much for your attention.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Raul.

      They may be mushrooms, yes, but how often do you water it?

      You can send us photos through our Facebook if you want.

      Greetings.

  32.   Teresa said

    Hello!! Last night our Lady of the Night bloomed !! A beauty!! We took many photos of him !! Did you know that it is one of the most expensive exotic flowers in the world !! Greetings!! Tere de Mendoza Argentina.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Teresa.

      Congratulations on that bloom.

      What about an expensive flower, I can't tell you. I guess it will depend on each country and, above all, what it costs to get it 🙂

      Regards!

  33.   Ethel said

    Hello, I have had this lady for more than 4 years and when I moved her last year she has bloomed very well and has filled with leaves; Now she has more sun and it has done her a lot of good. A few days ago I planted a leaf in a small pot, to have another plant Today I saw that this recently planted leaf already has a bud!!! I am amazed!! I live in Uruguay, we started the fall with pleasant weather.
    Thank you!!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Ethel.
      We are glad your plant is better now 🙂
      Sometimes a little change can mean a lot.
      A greeting.