It is the season of Brahmakamal or Epiphyllum oxypetalum in Sydney. These exotic and rare flowers are popular worldwide for their ephemeral beauty. It is also known as Tanhua, Dutchman’s pipe cactus, Queen of the night, Kadupul, and Epiphyllum oxypetalum. Queen of the night propagation is extremely easy and they grow really fast.
In early 2020, along with my mother-in-law, I trimmed the existing Queen of the night plant in my garden. We were left with a lot of cuttings which I then planted around my garden. I also placed a few cuttings in the water. This was in early April (which is Autumn in Australia).
I was so happy to see that all of these cuttings produced roots and by September (spring) were producing new leaves. By December (summer), a lot of these had started producing flowers too.
Season: The plant starts producing flower buds from late spring and all through summer. You will start noticing new leaves and branches during this time. They are dormant in winters.
Sunlight: Queen of the night grows well in shadier portions of the garden but will need bright light for the flowers to bloom. The mature plant in my garden gets sunlight from morning till early noon. The cuttings get sunlight from late morning to late afternoon. Both have produced numerous flowers. Although, the direct sunlight on hot days can burn the leaves or dry out the flower bud.
If you live in a place where the temperature goes above 38 degrees Celcius (100.4 F), you might have to provision for shade or move the plant to a cool shaded corner.
Propagation: Queen of the night propagation is extremely easy. You can use a small or large cutting, or even leaves to grow a new plant. Propagation in water can produce roots quickly, which you can then later plant in succulent soil. Cuttings can be directly planted in the soil. Cuttings from mature plants can produce flowers within one year.
The below cutting was taken in early Autumn, which started blooming in summer, 8 months later.
I found that growing the cutting directly in the garden bed leads to better growth and more flowers than planting them in a pot. The plant I grew in pots produced only a couple of buds but they fell off when the temperature soared high. While the ones in the soil thrived and bloomed into gorgeous flowers.
New flower buds on the above cutting.
Flowers: These sweet-smelling white circular flowers are a sight to watch. The petals start opening up after sunset and completely bloom at midnight. The flowers are huge, much bigger than my hand. They bloom only once at night and the petals start closing by the morning. After which they start wilting and are gone in a few days.
Fertilizer: I did not use any fertilizer, but I have read that banana peels work great and can be used long with liquid fertilizer.
Watering: Since they are succulents, they have minimal water requirements. When growing in pots always check the soil before watering. You can water them once in two weeks. And once a week during hotter months. Mine mostly thrive on rainwater and are watered once a week when the temperature rises in December and January.
Sun damage: Once the leaves are damaged by the sun, there’s no way to revive them. That doesn’t mean the plant won’t grow. There are hardy plants. The below cutting consisted of only dried out leaves of the parent plant. I wasn’t even sure if it would live, but it started growing new leaves and even a flower bud in summer. I am waiting for the bud to bloom in a few days.
An excellent guide on caring for your Queen of the flower is Epiphyllum oxypetalum care guide.
The parent plant was also transplanted from its old location to a location under the Frangipani – two on each side. You can also see the vine of Bitter Gourd growing on Epiphyllum oxypetalum plant and Frangipani tree. The tree provides good support for the cactus to lean on.
The parent plant looks much more green as it gets sunlight in the morning and early noon, and the light is mostly filtered by the leaves of Frangipani.
I hope you found this post helpful. Good luck with Queen of the night propagation.
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