Who would have known that desert plants could be a great add on to your living space. What’s even nicer is when they start blooming, the combination of their flowers, hairs and spines gives off good energy in the room. Many people don’t see cacti as beautiful plants, but they certainly can hold their own against even the most vibrant of flowers.
Cacti are unique in their own way and there are plenty of species you can choose from. What makes them attractive to many plant enthusiasts is that they require minimum maintenance and are easy to take care of. Unlike some other indoor plants, cacti are adept at surviving in dry environments and handling neglect. With well draining soil, and a bit of care, cacti are easy to grow indoors. Below are some of the best indoor cactus varieties to choose from.
Before we jump in, if you’re looking for some more general information on growing cacti we have the perfect article for you. There, we go into some of the specifics that are applicable to the majority of cactus varieties.
If you look forward to some vibrant color to your home, Christmas Cactus is a great option. This plant, which originated from Brazil, blooms flowers in brilliant colors such as pink, orange and red. It does require more frequent watering than some other varieties. It doesn’t require direct sunlight and prefers in-direct light, and does well in a slightly humid environment.
Unlike the Christmas Cactus, this plant variety is rich in spikes which are used for protection. It also requires direct sunlight for a couple of hours each day. No need to water this regularly as it can survive up to a month without being watered making it very low maintenance. This plant is also known as mother in law cushion and has been known to grow upwards of 10 feet tall in the wild. Luckily, it won’t grow that tall when grown indoors.
Old Lady Cactus
Taking from its name, the white hairs and spines look like white hairs. Successful blooms will give off small pink flowers which look like a crown on a queen’s head. This is great for people who are rarely at home and looking for an easy plant to grow. It requires minimal water and very little maintenance. You can water this plant about once per month without any ill effects. Use a sandy soil, put it in a sunny location, and it will happily grow with very little input from you.
This type of cactus, which is common in the Sonoran Desert, demands full sun and watering at least every two weeks. The flower blooms with a combination of white and yellow color and looks gorgeous, but can take some time to cultivate. From seed, it can take up to 4 decades before you get to see it bloom, but it’s still worth growing even if it never blooms. When planted outdoors, it can grow up to 40 feet tall and can survive for more than 200 years.
Angel Wings Cactus
Angel wings, also known as bunny ears, are similar to Saguaro which need full sun. Water it enough to keep the soil moist but not too damp. Instead of spines, this plant has hairs which grow the length of the plant. It blooms with a yellow color flower and a bright red fruit, although indoors this may not happen.
Rat Tail Cactus
This plant type also needs to bask in direct sunlight with regular watering requirements. Rat Tail variety originated in Mexico and has been used by the locals as a traditional form of medicine. You can grow this plant either in a pot or a hanging type basket.
African Milk Tree
This slow growing plant thrives well on well draining soil and only needs waterings about twice a month. It is also known as the Cathedral plant and can live up to 10 years or more. Some varieties can grow up to 8 feet tall and grow thorns in-between its leaves. This is technically a succulent, but most people will think it’s a cactus on first inspection.
Fairy Castle Cactus
The inspiration for its name is taken from its look which resembles a castle’s turrets. If planted outdoors, some varieties can grow up to 6 to 8 feet tall. While it can flower, it likely won’t when grown indoors. It requires moderate amounts of both sunlight and water.
This is also known as the starfish or urchin cactus given its shape. If you are lucky enough to see it bloom, a single bright yellow flower is a delight to the sight. This cacti doesn’t grow too large, so is perfect for small, indoor areas. While it doesn’t need a ton of water, it does like lots of bright light.
A great choice for container gardening, the feather cactus is covered in white “feathers”. These actually hide the spines of the cactus so make sure to handle them with care. It’s watering needs fall in-line with other cacti but it does need full sun.
Blue Columnar Cactus
This is also known as the Blue Torch or a Tree Cactus hence the shape. This plant requires average home humidity and full, direct sunlight. Make sure to wait until the soil is completely dry before watering it. This makes it a relatively low maintenance plant.
Gold Lace Cactus
Also known as the lady finger, this variety gives off white flowers and is a great addition to your succulent collection. It does not require much space and grows up to 6 inches tall only. This along with it’s relaxed care schedule makes it a very popular indoor cacti.
Bishop’s Cap Cactus
This cactus looks like the cap worn by a bishop, which is how it gets its name. When grown properly, you can expect a yellow flower to bloom. It also requires minimal watering and is perfect for beginners who are into cacti planting.
The parodia is an interesting cacti in that it doesn’t require as much light as others. In fact, it’s best to give it partial shade into the afternoon as the intense sun during this time can burn it out. It also requires a bit more water than other varieties, and enjoys having slightly moist soil. Parodia is shaped like a ball and will give you a gorgeous yellow flower when cared for properly.
Moon cactus need a well-draining soil to survive and do not need regular watering. It also requires a warm, humid environment to stay healthy. This plant blooms flowers of bright orange, pink and yellow, and it certainly stands out in any garden.
Best Indoor Cactus Varieties
Cacti are a very common indoor plant often grown for their low maintenance. Even if you’ve never grown before (or maybe have a few failed plants) cacti are a great choice. Most varieties are difficult to kill, and will grow happily even with a little neglect. If you’re a cactus grower, what’s your favorite type to grow?