Selenicereus validus S.Arias & U.Guzmán
Selenicereus validus is an attractive cactus with pendant, rope-like stems that branch at the base. Stems are up to 16 inches (40 cm) long, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter and have very fine white spines. Nocturnal flowers open at full darkness and stay open till late morning. They are up to 5 inches (22 cm) long, white and gold and appear in warmer months.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Perhaps the most important aspect of epiphytic cactus care is the potting soil. Experts are strongly divided on the subject of using commercial cacti or orchid mixes, but they do agree that epiphytes need well-draining potting soil with lots of air space, since the roots would naturally be exposed to air. If you wish to create your own mix, start with a basic formulation of 60 percent potting soil to 40 percent perlite. Other amendments are often added, including peat, orchid bark, sand, fine gravel, and leaf mold. Aim for a pH of 5.0 to 6.0 and plan to repot every 2 to 3 years if you use ingredients that eventually break down completely, such as orchid bark.
Epiphytes do not exist in the open sun, instead of receiving bright filtered light in most situations. They thrive as houseplants because of their relatively low light requirements. Ideally, you should provide full morning sun and shade for the rest of the day. An east-facing window with nothing blocking it can create these conditions. Light will affect the plant's willingness to bloom, though these requirements vary widely between epiphytes. Many can be coaxed into blooming by simulating short days by placing them in dark closets for 12 or more hours at a time for 4 to 6 weeks.
Learn more at Tips for Growing Epiphytic Cacti.
Selenicereus validus is native to southern Mexico.
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Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil do not let dry out between waterings
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Where to Grow:
Can be grown as an annual
Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling
Soil pH requirements:
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed direct sow after last frost
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
Selenicereus validus – Cactus Plants
Selenicereus validus is an ornamental, flowering cactus with stems that branch at the base. The stems are a pendant, rope-like, up to 40 cm long, up to 3 cm in diameter with very fine spines covering the exterior, stems cascade in waterfall form very easy. Nocturnal bloom opens at full darkness and stays open till late morning. The flowers are up to 22 cm long, white and gold, blooming in the warmer months from June to fall depending on your location.
Scientific Name: Selenicereus validus S.Arias & U.Guzmán
How to grow and maintain Selenicereus validus:
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 validus is 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.