Cacti are the most exotic, diverse, and fascinating plants on earth. These hardy succulent plants can exist in places where no other plant would survive. Among the 1800 species of cacti, you will find the most stunning flowers, the strangest shapes, and striking colors.
There are huge Saguaro, fierce Jumping Cholla, beautiful Echeveria, and many more species in the cactus family. Each type has its own set of features, but they’re all immediately recognizable by their unique, evergreen, succulent bodies and spikey appearance.
There are so many different kinds that it’s impossible to go over all of them in one go. So, we’ve compiled a list of 21 cacti perfect for your home garden. Rest assured, these beauties will instantly charm you with their magnificence.
The majestic saguaro cactus is one of the most impressive sights in Arizona. It can grow up to 165 feet high, weigh as much as 10 tons, and live for over 200 years. It is a beautiful sight to behold in the wild, but it can also be a gorgeous ornamental plant in your home garden.
As long as it has enough sun and well-drained soil, the saguaro will live both indoor and indoor. It’s a super slow-growing and no-fuss plant, perfect for all lazy home gardeners.
2. Hedgehog Cactus
Hedgehog cactus is a popular indoor succulent that forms a dense body of many small, round or cylindrical stems.
This is one of the most popular and easiest-to-grow cacti. It lives on full sunlight and requires at least six hours of daily sunshine. In the spring, the Hedgehog cactus produces stunning crimson, magenta, or violet blooms.
3. Mistletoe Cactus
Mistletoe cactus has slender stems that grow in bushy clusters. They make impressive hanging baskets and will brighten up your porch with their beautiful white flowers in early spring.
However, mistletoe requires pampering; it is fussy about temperature and sunlight, so be sure to keep it away from cold drafts or direct sunlight that will burn its delicate skin.
4. Strawberry Cactus
Also known as red pitaya, strawberry cactus has slender, fleshy stems that produce clumps of large beautiful pink flowers in the spring. The name derives from its fruit, which ripens in July and has a tart flavor similar to strawberries.
It thrives in arid, dry conditions and may endure low temperatures if kept away from frost. Just a few sips of water every month, and you are good to go.
5. Blue Chalkstick
Known for its stunningly beautiful blue-green color, the chalkstick cactus is native to South Africa. It grows into clusters of cylindrical stems that fade from dark green to pale blue.
This is a small cactus that forms dense mats, ideal for wall side beds or rockeries. It’s a perennial in native land but only lives as an annual in areas where the temperature drops below 65 F (18 C).
6. Pincushion Cactus
The pincushion is a small cactus and has soft, round stems dotted with bristly spines. It’s one of the most common and popular types of cacti houseplants around the world.
It grows slowly, fits in a tiny container, and only reaches 4 inches tall. After the first rain in summer, the pincushion cactus gets covered in lovely pink blooms that last for weeks.
7. Rat Tail Cactus
With thin sprawly stems and bushy spines, this is undoubtedly one of the most unusual types of cacti. The imposing stems that look like a bushy tail can grow up to 6 feet in length and make a stunning display in hanging baskets.
Rat tail cactus bloom delicate red, pink, and white flowers in the summers. It enjoys the full scorching sun, so place it on a south-facing window sill or in open gardens.
8. Golden Barrel Cactus
This golden beauty is native to Mexico and grows in well-lit patios, courtyards, or by the well-lit window. It features a spherical, ribbed body covered with golden spikes.
They grow as tall as three to four feet in the wild, but you can find smaller varieties for pots – perfect for indoor planting. They’re drought-tolerant and winter hardy, and can withstand temperatures as low as 14 F (-10C), which is remarkable for cacti.
9. Old man cactus
This is a small cactus that forms dense plumelike branches covered with fine hairs. Old man cactus looks very friendly and soft but don’t get fooled by its beauty; there are lots of furry spines hidden underneath.
It doesn’t require much care, but it also doesn’t tolerate full sun. So, keep it in a bright spot of the house with indirect light and follow the soak and dry method for watering.
Echeveria is probably the most popular type of succulent. It is recognizable by fleshy leaves that grow in rosettes found in variations of blue-gray, pink, and red leaves.
Echeveria is a drought-tolerant and cold-hardy plant that doesn’t need much attention to thrive in your garden or indoors. Over 150 varieties of Echeveria are available, so be sure to pick one that suits your light and temperature conditions.
11. Queen of the Night Cactus
One of the most fascinating cacti, Queen of the Night is native to Mexico and grows into an elegant sprawling plant in shady areas. What makes it so popular are its highly scented, white flowers that bloom in the late spring.
If you’re eager to see one, keep in mind that each flower lasts for just a night. The plant also produces a purplish red edible fruit.
12. Blue Elf Cactus
Also known as the ‘happy plant,’ the Blue Elf cactus is a stunning mix of Sedum and Echeveria. It grows into a compact rosette-shaped shrublet in brilliant azure-green color. It’s a highly sought-after plant, grows only to 3 inches, and blooms enchanting orange flowers many times in the year.
Blue Elf is a slow grower but will reward you with its exquisite beauty for many years to come.
13. Fairy Castle Cactus
This columnar cactus grows adjacent long branches around the main stem and gets an intriguing shape similar to multi-tiered buildings. Unfortunately, it’s a slow-grower and might take up to ten years to start blooming. However, when it blooms, it produces magnificent white and yellow flowers.
It’s not too fond of direct sun and grows well under moderate conditions. Fairy Castle cactus can be toxic to pets, especially cats, so you’ll need to keep it out of their reach.
14. Alluaudia Procera
Also known as Madagascan Ocotillo, this is an erect, unbranched cactus. The main stem becomes quite tall and grows round fleshy leaves directly from the trunk. This gives it a distinct tree-like shape, making it a unique plant for your collection.
It sheds all leaves in peak summers and stores water in the stem instead. The sap from the plant can be toxic for both humans and pets.
15. Christmas Cactus
This lively little guy happily grows in pots and is great for beginners. It has segmented leaf-like stems and blooms big cheerful pink flowers at the end of each branch. Unlike many other types, this cactus blooms in winters, hence the name Christmas cactus.
Native to Brazil, this plant loves humid weather and a well-lit environment. However, too much sun is not a good idea, so keep away from direct sunlight.
16. Bishop’s Cap Cactus
As the name suggests, the ribbed rounded body of this cactus resembles a bishop’s miter. Most varieties have tiny white hairs on the stem that give it a chalky look, but some have smooth stems.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for at least six years before the first bloom. Native to Mexican highlands, Bishop’s Cap cactus needs a moderate temperature and partial sunlight.
17. Jumping Cholla Cactus
There is a reason to call it Jumping Cholla; when you touch the cactus or come too close, its barbed spines detach from the stems and get stuck to your clothes and skin. Jumping Cholla produces edible fruit, but again, the spines are too pesky to bother with.
They have a tuberculated body with ribbed segments, and the size ranges between 2-6 feet high. It’s not a type of cacti you can keep on your desk or windowsill. Instead, they grow into large, tree-like plants that require a decent amount of space. So, if you have enough room, this would be a fun one to keep around.
18. Prickly Pear Cactus
A common leafless cactus with paddle-shaped stems and thorns that cling like leeches, prickly pear has many different varieties. All the types are perennial plants that bloom in the middle of summer and produce edible berries in early winters.
However, the Prickly Pear cactus is illegal to bring and grow in some regions because of its weedlike nature, so make sure you do your research before planting one.
19. Blue Torch Cactus
Blue Torch cactus is a solitary type of cactus that gets out worldly blue shades if kept under full sun.
The cylindrical body remains covered with spines from all sides. Columnar cactus can grow up to 30 feet tall in the ground and grow fast compared to other cacti. After maturity, the plant blooms funnel-shaped yellow and white flowers in the summer.
20. Dragon Fruit Cactus
The dragon fruit cactus is a tough, low-maintenance plant that has recently gained worldwide popularity thanks to its unique fruit. The cactus has vinelike features and long stems that spread out; it’s typically grown in pots indoors.
The dragon fruit cactus produces large fiery pink flowers that only bloom for one night, the fruit ripens in early winters. Native to Mexico, this cactus is a perfect house plant as long as it gets enough sunlight.
21. Mexican Fencepost Cactus
The Mexican fencepost cactus is a columnar variety that can grow up to 30 feet tall. This cactus has a long columnar body, with deep grooves and lots of spines along the ridges. It grows as a cluster of long, slender stems that are only connected at the bottom.
They’re ideal if you want to fence your garden with a lovely backdrop since they produce beautiful red and pink flowers in the season.
Cacti are an excellent choice if you want to spruce up your house or outdoor space with lots of color and texture.
These plants come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and all they need is enough sunlight and dry conditions to flourish.
If you haven’t experimented with cactus yet, it’s time to give it a try!