4 Night Bloomers That Burst with Color in the Summer
Night-blooming Echinopsis hybrids provide delightful pops of color throughout spring and summer. Perfect for planting in-ground or in containers, these succulent selections recommended by Ty Petersen of Arizona Cactus Sales (arizonacactussales.com) are sure to brighten any garden.
By Lori A. Johnson
(Echinopsis ‘Maria Piazza’)
• Pink blooms; spring and summer • 4″-8″H by 4″W • Well-drained, sandy soil • Zones 9B-12 • Partial sun • Low water; low maintenance • Attracts bees, moths
The group of Echinopsis known as Schick hybrids were developed by Bob Schick at The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, Calif. Although Echinopsis hybrids are among the easiest cacti to grow, they tend to become root-bound and will require frequent repotting.
Why we like it: “‘Maria Piazza’ is a prolific bloomer with very distinct pointed-tip petals,” Petersen says. “It also produces many offsets.” Its ruffle-edged purple-pink flowers can be as large as 6 inches across.
(Echinopsis ‘Fond Adieu’)
• Pink and yellow blooms; spring and summer • 4″-8″H by 4″W • Well-drained, sandy soil • Zones 9B-12 • Partial sun • Low water; low maintenance • Attracts bees, moths
Schick hybrids often flower several times throughout spring and summer, and as the plants age, they become even more prolific, with greater numbers of blooms. Soil should be amended with pumice or other coarse gravel to improve drainage.
Why we like it: “‘Fond Adieu’ is one of my two all-time favorites, as it has stunning multicolored blooms,” Petersen says. “The plant body itself can get quite large, and it’s rather slow to offset.” These ruffled 5-inch blooms vary in colors ranging from shades of yellow to mauve and magenta.
• Magenta blooms; spring and summer • 4″-8″H by 4″W • Well-drained, sandy soil • Zones 9B-12 • Partial sun •n Low water; low maintenance • Attracts bees, moths
Although Schick Echinopsis hybrids typically begin their blooming cycle in April and flower successively throughout summer, The Huntington Library has recorded flowers in every month of the year. The plants are hardy to temperatures ranging from mid-20 degrees in winter to higher than 100 degrees in summer.
Why we like it: “‘Antimatter’ is my absolute favorite,” Petersen tells us. “The blooms are spectacular, and photos do not do them justice. This is a slow grower and does not produce offsets as fast as other varieties.”
• Pink blooms; spring and summer • 4″-8″H by 4″W • Well-drained, sandy soil •n Zones 9B-12 • Partial sun • Low water; low maintenance • Attracts bees, moths
Echinopsis hybrids are susceptible to sunburn and do best when covered by 50% shade cloth when in containers, or planted under trees or shrubs to shade them from hot afternoon sun. While drought-tolerant, they should be watered and fertilized weekly during the hottest months for optimal growth.
Why we like it: “The cultivar ’Flattycake’ has a tall and columnar-shaped plant body and is a very good bloomer,” raves Petersen. It gets its name from its flat disklike flowers, which can grow as wide as 5 inches in diameter. Petals are striped in shades of pink.