Selenicereus pteranthus (Princess of the Night) is the most popular night-blooming cacti. It is a perennial, vine-like, clambering or scrambling, spiny, leafless epiphyte, with 4 to 6 angled stems up to 13 m long and up to 5 cm in diameter. The conic spines are solitary or in clusters of 2 to 4. The flowers are spectacular, very fragrant, trumpet-shaped, white or pale cream and up to 30 cm long.
Scientific Name: Selenicereus pteranthus (Link ex A. Dietr.) Britton & Rose
Synonyms: Cereus pteranthus (basionym), Selenicereus nycticalus
Common Names: Princess of the Night, Snake Cactus
How to grow and maintain Selenicereus pteranthus (Princess of the Night):
It thrives best in the light shade when young, then when they are mature, full sun is recommended, they need bright light all year round. Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding.
It grows well in a rich-organic, well-drained soil mix.
Water regularly, during the growing season, but water sparingly when dormant (autumn and winter). Allow the top of the soil to slightly dry out before watering again.
It prefers average room temperatures of around 16°C – 24°C / 60°F – 75°F. The temperature should not be kept under 4 °C (39 °F) in winter.
Fertilize once every 15 days with compounds containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or use a good cactus fertilizer.
Repotting should be done every other year, or when the plant has outgrown its pot. Make sure the soil is dry and then remove the pot. Knock away old soil and prune away any rotted or dead roots, then replace it in a new pot and backfill with new soil.
It can be easily propagated from cuttings in spring or by Seeds. Simply sever a branch and replant in moist, well-drained soil. It helps to allow the cut end dry out and harden before you replant it, this makes it easier for the new cactus to form roots.
Pests and Diseases:
Selenicereus pteranthus are susceptible to the scale or mealybugs. If bugs are detected on the cactus, apply an insecticidal soap to the plant according to the directions on the label.