Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Night-blooming cereus

My night-blooming cereus is on the verge of flowering again. Last year I was out of town when it happened. I'm hoping it blooms while I'm here. This is how big the buds were on Saturday:

On Monday:


Here's the whole plant:

The flowers bloom only for one night. They put out an incredibly strong yet delicate scent that can fill my whole house. Last time I was home for one, at 7:00 p.m., it didn't look like it was going to happen that night. By 9:00 p.m., the blossom had opened completely. It's like watching time-lapse photography in real time!

The key to having these bloom, I've read, is to treat them badly. I've had this plant up on the railing all summer. It has southwestern exposure. I water it occasionally, but mostly just leave it alone. The other NBC I have is a different variety--that's the one from a cutting off my grandmother's plant. I haven't had a blossom on that one in about 12 years.

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