Three blooms all in one night this year! Always a JOY to see this plant put forth blooms. My plant is 20 years old…and I never tire of the beauty it gives only once a year.
Yup that is a Cicada in the first shot, actually it is the shell. That time of year as well! Night-blooming cereus also spelled sirius, also called Queen of the night or Reina de la noche, are names of several genera and species of nightblooming cactus, ~~~~~~~~ This plant is grown as a houseplant, but prefers a trip outdoors for the summer months. Place the container under a shade tree where it gets filtered light, but not direct sunlight in the afternoon. With a flower so showy, you may think it is difficult to grow, but the opposite is true. It basically takes care of itself. The only thing that would be a problem would be waterlogged soils. It prefers a well-drained soil with organic matter added -- a half-and-half mixture of sand and commercial potting soil should do. The sandy mix is preferred, since this is a cactus. Feed it monthly during spring and summer with any water soluble. You don't want to miss the flowering display, because each bloom only lasts for that one night. By sunrise the flower is spent. I have cut a bloom and put it in a vase of water in the refrigerator where it did last for an extra day, minus the fragrance, but it made viewing somewhat constrictive -- you had to have your head in the icebox to see it!
If you can find someone with a plant, ask for a cutting. They root extremely easily. Take a section of stem roughly two to four inches in length, put it a sandy potting soil, and moisten it. It should be rooted with three to six weeks. It will usually take two to three years before you have a plant that begins blooming, but then stand back and enjoy. Some people find that their plants bloom every year, once blooming begins, while others have an alternate blooming cycle.