How to Take Care of Night-Blooming Cereus Plants


The night-blooming cereus (Hylocereus spp. or Selenicereus spp.) is a tropical plant that's part of the cactus family. Night-blooming cereus plants are vine-like plants that can climb by aerial roots up to 30 feet high. These plants are unique in that their spring and summer flowers open at night and close during the daytime. The white, fragrant blooms are extremely large, growing up to 12 inches across and 14 inches long. The night-blooming cereus also has three-winged green stems that have 1 to 2 inch wide wings. Also called the apple cactus or Peruvian apple, the night-blooming cereus can produce edible, apple-like red fruits that are up to 5 inches long if pollinated.

Step 1

Position your night-blooming cereus in full, direct to partial sunlight, such as beside a sunny window. Keep air temperatures around the plant warm at 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit from March through August.

Step 2

Feed your night-blooming cereus once each month from March through August with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 NPK indoor plant food. Follow the dosage directions on the package.

Step 3

Water your night-blooming cereus plant two to four times per week, providing water until it drains from the bottom of the planter pot. Don't allow the potting mix to dry out completely.

Step 4

Reduce the watering frequency in late August, watering the night-blooming cereus plant only once each week until January. Stop watering the plant altogether in February for about four weeks, resuming regular watering in March.

Step 5

Keep the night-blooming cereus in a cooler location from late August through January or February. Nighttime temperatures around the plant should be around 50 degrees F.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't forget to give your night-blooming cereus a rest in winter. When you stop watering and fertilizing the night-blooming cereus in winter, and then resume normal care in March, the plant should begin blooming about six to eight weeks afterward.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-soluble indoor plant fertilizer


  • Plant of the Week: Hylocereus Undatus, Night-Blooming Cereus
  • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Night-Blooming Cereus

Who Can Help

  • Cereus Peruvianus, Night Blooming Cereus, Peruvian Apple
Keywords: night blooming cereus, Hylocereus care, grow Selenicereus

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.