Selenicereus pteranthus (Link ex A. Dietr.) Britton & Rose
Princess of the Night, Snake Cactus
Cereus pteranthus, Selenicereus nycticalus
Selenicereus pteranthus is one of the most popular night-blooming cacti. It is a vine-like, clambering, or scrambling epiphyte with 4 to 6 angled stems that grow up to 10 feet (3 m) long and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. The conic spines are solitary or in clusters of 2 to 4. The spectacular fragrant flowers are trumpet-shaped, white or pale cream-colored, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, and up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly low-maintenance and hardy. Ensure they receive enough water without becoming waterlogged, especially during the summer, and fertilize them for best results. If the roots have become black or overly soft, the cactus could be experiencing root rot. Cut away the affected parts and replant. Most gardeners interested in cacti should be able to cultivate these without much problem.
It may become necessary to repot your Cereus if it outgrows its container. If so, make sure the soil is dry and then remove the pot. Knock away old soil, prune away any rotted or dead roots, then replace it in a new pot and backfill it with new soil. Make sure not to overwater cacti planted in new pots, as this can lead to root rot. It should be left dry for about a week and then watered lightly.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.
This species has a wide distribution, occurring in the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Cayman Islands, and Mexico.
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