One Night, Once A Year

About three years ago, I purchased a cutting of a Night Blooming Cactus (Cereus) from a little greenhouse in a neighboring county. (For my local friends, it was Farmer Joe’s in Surry.)

I planted it in a special cactus soil, recommended by “Mrs. Farmer Joe”, and placed it in our upstairs sun room. This tiny plant has grown and grown and grown. That one stalk is nearly 6 feet long.

cactus 8-25-2016 2-50-20 PM

Although Motor Man and I don’t spend much time upstairs, this room is one of Sundae’s very favorite spots.

sundae and cactus 8-25-2016 2-51-13 PM

Whenever I go upstairs, she lies down and stretches out on the rug and waits to have her tummy rubbed. On August 25, she did just that.  She was so cute, I sat down on the rug beside her, and while indulging her in her request, I happened to glance at the cactus and noticed this. It was on the back side of one of the leaves and nearly on the floor. It would have been very easy to miss. (Thanks, Sundae!)

first look at bloom 8-25-2016 2-50-40 PM

Now, here’s a little info on this plant. It grows wild in the desert, but can be grown as a houseplant. It blooms once a year for only one night.  The following morning, the bloom is wilted. From the desertUSA web-site: “… for one midsummer’s night each year, its exquisitely scented flower opens as night falls, then closes forever with the first rays of the morning sun.”  Folks have been known to host parties for their friends to witness the blooming of this cactus.

After discovering the bud on August 25, I made numerous trips upstairs to keep watch on it. It was like waiting for a baby to be born.

Motor Man brought home a security camera system and aimed two cameras on it – just in case we weren’t home when the big event took place. This picture was taken this past  Saturday.

sept 3 9-3-2016 8-48-53 PM

Early in the evening Sunday, by the looks of the bud, I just had a feeling that night would be “it”. Sure enough, this next picture was taken around 9 pm. The scent of the blooms is so sweet, they are used to make perfume.

db with cactus 9-4-2016 8-58-43 PM

A little later in the evening…the bloom was continuing to open.

db cactus 9-4-2016 9-18-43 PM

I must admit, I was a little sad to leave it at bedtime, knowing that the next morning, the bloom would be gone. This was around 11 pm and what I’m guessing is full bloom.

full bloom 9-4-2016 11-06-43 PM

Sure enough, Monday morning.

wilted cactus 9-5-2016 6-31-57 AM

Without knowing it, I’d actually been doing everything right for this cactus to thrive: it was in a dark place at night with indirect sunlight during the day, and I certainly hadn’t  over-watered it.  I’m just hoping that I can refrain from giving it too much attention in the future – now that I know the beauty and magic of its blooms.

~These Days Of Mine~


17 responses to “One Night, Once A Year

  1. that’s beautiful :o) maybe this is the plant from Mr. King’s story? If, then I want one too :o)

  2. Very cool… wish we could have had a sniff! Sundae looks darling there sitting on the rug.

  3. Yay!!! Is hardly enough to express my excitement at the joy that you were home when it bloomed AND it’s exquisite beauty!! OMG!! It got to be so big!! It gives credence to what I always say, it’s not whether you have a green thumb, it is location, location, location ( and in this case the right medium-cactus soil) AND Sundae love. I am thrilled for you Dianna. I bet there are botanical sites that would like to see this success story!

  4. Thanks for sharing that special moment with all of us! Too bad you couldn’t bottle the scent to share?

  5. What an exceptional thing. A treat you got to see it. Wish I could smell it. I love cacti/cactuses. Gosh that’s a beautiful bloom! Thanks to Sundae too for drawing attention to it.

  6. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    Wow, how amazing was that!! You come up with some of the neatest plants and flowers, Dianna. I love it!

  7. Wow, that’s one amazing plant and the blossom is gorgeous. I can only imagine how wonderful it must smell. Sundae, you did a good job alerting your ‘pawrents.’

  8. Now that’s a sight, and for sure ! .. the two pics you sent me before it had opened up completely were impressive .. but the head-on shot here is amazing !! I imagine you’re already looking forward to next year ??

  9. What a wonderful gift to share with all of us. It is beautiful.

  10. That is such a fabulous plant and it appears to be VERY happy in your sunny room – that flower is amazing too – it’s gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing……I love unusual plants and this one is definitely in that category!


  11. WOW – I’ve only ever seen this bloom on TV! You definitely have a green thumb. What a treat worth waiting for.

  12. Wonderful photos of this amazing plant, thank you.

  13. Wow! Really gorgeous bloom!

    I think there is s lesson somewhere there in the fleeting presence of such fragile, amazing beauty…

  14. I’ve never heard of this cactus. It’s an amazing plant. I’m pleased as peaches that you shared it. Shame it only last for one night. A fleeting beauty it is. You must have the perfect environment and temperment to grow such a rare beauty indoors. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. 🙂

  15. Beautiful! It would be hard to go to bed knowing you might miss it. How sweet of MM to set up cameras so you wouldn’t! Sundae should get an extra tummy rub for that!

  16. Fascinating and it’s story lovingly told. Thank you for telling and sharing.

  17. Marilyn Myers

    Wow! I totally missed this 4 years ago! So beautiful, and so neat that the branches you cut have water rooted and you have some new babies!!

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