How to Grow Hylocereus – Climbing Cactus

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Hylocereus is a tropical climbing cactus with brilliant flowers. Hylocereus is weak stemmed; their aerial roots need trees, fence posts, trellises, or other objects to cling to.

Hylocereus is hardy to just 50℉ (10℃). Hylocereus must be protected from cool breezes and cold. They thrive in warm areas in partial shade.

Hylocereus bear large, nocturnal usually white flowers, sometimes red or pink. Hylocereus blossoms open on successive nights during the late spring or summer.

Hylocereus are native to tropical regions of Central and South America.

Get to know Hylocereus

  • Plant type: Cactus, climbing cactus
  • Hardiness temperature: 50℉ (10℃)
  • Shape and size: Grows to 6 feet tall; climibing 3-angled or ‘’winged’’ stems; aerial roots latch on to trees, fence
  • Flowers: Large nocturnal flowers, usually white, sometimes red or pink; open on successive nights
  • Bloom time: Spring or summer
  • Common name: Queen of the night
  • Genus name: Hylocereus
  • Family name: Cactaceae
  • Origin: Tropical Central and South America

Planting Hylocereus

  • Hylocereus grow best in partial shade.
  • Grow Hylocereus in rich soil or cactus mix that is well drained.
  • Grow Hylocereus where temperatures remain 50℉ (10℃) or warmer.

How to water and feed Hylocereus

  • Hylocereus needs abundant water during the growing season.
  • Fertilize Hylocereus with a cactus fertilizer during the growing season.

Hylocereus care

  • Protect Hylocerus from temperatures cooler than 50℉ (10℃).
  • Hylocereus need objects for their aerial roots to cling too, a trellis, post, or fence.

Hylocereus species to grow

  • Hylocereus minutiflorus. Nearly cylindrical three-angled stems are bright green; white, fragrant, 2-inch-long flowers remain open in early morning.
  • H. undatus (night blooming cereus, queen of the night, Honolulu queen). Grown as hedges in tropics; epiphytic climber (tree dweller) if left alone; bright green, branched stems that are 3-angled; large flowers to 14 inches long with subtle, nocturnal fragrance.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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