11 Best Cactus That Make Great Houseplants

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Whether you are looking for a cactus to grow outdoors in the sun or a cactus that can live in your home, we have you covered!

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Many cactus plants are perfect for your home, but not all cacti houseplants live in the same conditions. We will go over ten cactus houseplants that thrive in various environments and can be grown in different ways. This blog post is designed to help you choose the best cactus plant for your home!

The cactus family is vast and filled with various plants that thrive in different environments. So whether you are looking for a cactus to grow outdoors in the sun or a cactus that can live in your home, we have you covered! Here are our top ten cactus houseplants.

11 Best Cactus Houseplants That You Need in Your Home

Are you interested in bringing the desert indoors? These are the top ten cactus house plants that will thrive with minimal care.

1) Prickly Pear Cactus

Scientific Name: Opuntia basilaris

  • The Prickly Pear Cactus needs well-draining soil and at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  • They are prone to root rot, so be careful not to overwater them. Instead, they can be propagated by cacti cuttings or offsets.
  • This cactus house plant is perfect for adding a desert feel to your home! This cactus needs warmth, sun, and well-draining soil to live indoors successfully. I have a full blog post all about how to take care of Prickly Pear Cacti HERE.

prickly pear cactus

2) Fairy Castle Cactus

Scientific Name: Canthocereus tetragonus

  • This miniature columnar cactus grows hundreds of green branches. As it grows, the branches clump together vertically, forming the turrets of a “fairy castle”.
  • A Fairy Castle Cactus requires well-drained soil and it is best if potted in an unglazed planter that allows excess moisture to evaporate.
  • The fairy castle cactus plant will grow best in good cactus potting soil, or you can make your own. Mix one part of potting soil with one part each of sand and perlite. This will make an excellent, gritty medium for the cactus.
  • Although it grows very slowly, it can reach up to 6 ft tall. Isn’t it beautiful!?
fairy tale cactus on table
Etsy: Fairy Castle Cactus

3) The Barrel Cactus

Scientific Name:  Ferocactus cylindraceus

  • The barrel cactus is a popular cactus for growing indoors! They do well in bright, indirect light and can be watered every week or two.
  • Be careful not to overwater your barrel cactus, as they are also prone to root rot. Barrel cacti store water in their stems to go for long periods without water.
  • Barrel cacti are slow growers and won’t flower until the plant reaches maturity (which could be ten years or more). But when they do, you will be amazed at how beautiful their bright yellow or orange flowers are!

close up photo of barrel cactus

4) Lifesaver Plant

Scientific Name: Huernia zebrina

  • Although it is often called a cactus, it is actually succulent. But it is such an incredible houseplant I couldn’t leave it off the list!
  • Lifesaver cactus plants need bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sun, but too much will cause the leaves to bleach and turn yellow. If you are keeping your Lifesaver cactus indoors, place it near a window where it will get plenty of natural light.
  • Lifesaver cactus plants need bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sun, but too much will cause the leaves to bleach and turn yellow. If you are keeping your Lifesaver cactus indoors, place it near a window where it will get plenty of natural light.

lifesaver plant with red flower in a white pot

5) Saguaro Cactus

Scientific Name: Carnegiea gigantea

  • Saguaros grow in arid, desert regions and are accustomed to harsh weather. As houseplants, they will need comparable conditions, such as finding a location with bright sunshine!
  • A south-facing or west-facing window ledge is ideal, and using a grow light during the fall and winter months to supplement the amount of light they need to thrive.
  • If you live in a warm enough climate, you can move your saguaro cactus outdoors to sit in partial sunlight during the summer months. However, never let it experience temperatures below 60º degrees Fahrenheit.
little Saguaro Carnegiea Gigantea Cactus
Etsy Seller

6) The Boobie Cactus

Scientific Name: Myrtillocactus geometrizans “Fukurokuryuzinboku”

  • Myrtillocactus Geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku aka “The Boobie Cactus” is quite an unusual-looking cactus.
  • This blue-grey stem cactus has unusually shaped ribs along with areoles that resemble nipples making this cactus appear like it has little breasts, hence the popular nickname, “The Boobie Cactus.”

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans - Boobie Cactus

7) Pencil Cactus

Scientific Name: Euphorbia tirucalli

  • The pencil cactus is incredibly low maintenance and can handle a lot of neglect.
  • Generally, watering this plant is only necessary a couple of times a month during the warmer parts of the year and even less during the cooler months. And fertilization is typically done annually. Other maintenance might involve pruning dead stems as needed and repotting container plants as they outgrow their pots.
  • The pencil cactus prefers to grow in full sun, meaning at least six hours of sunlight on most days. However, it can tolerate a bit of shade and might even appreciate some protection from the hot direct afternoon sunlight. Indoors, grow it by your brightest south or south-west facing window.

pencil cactus

7) Sand Dollar Cactus

Scientific Name: Astrophytum asterias

  • The Sand Dollar Cactus is a cactus species in the genus Astrophytum and is native to small parts of Texas in the United States and Mexico.
  • Common names include sand dollar cactus, sea-urchin cactus, star cactus, and star peyote.

sand dollar cactus small

8) Ladyfinger Cactus

Scientific Name: Mammillaria elongata

  • As cacti go, the ladyfinger cactus is generally easy to take care of. However, lady Finger cactus does best when grown in bright light if kept indoors. A south-facing window is ideal, but an east or west-facing window should also suffice. Ladyfinger Cacti do not do well in low-light environments.
  • If your home space doesn’t provide enough sunlight for your Lady Finger Cactus, you may want to consider supplementing with a grow light.

ladyfinger cactus in a planter

9) Bunny Ears Cactus

Scientific Name: Opuntia microdasys

  • Angel’s-wings, bunny ears cactus, bunny cactus, or polka-dot cactus is a species of flowering plant in the cactus family Cactaceae, native and endemic to central and northern Mexico.
  • Bunny ears cactus plants do well when given a lot of direct sunlight. Pruning is also necessary for this cactus, as it will help keep the plant looking healthy.
  • Remove any dead or damaged parts of the bunny cactus plant as soon as you notice them. However, be careful not to damage the younger parts of cacti since these are still growing and developing.

bunny ears cactus close up photograph

10) Christmas Cactus

Scientific Name: Schlumbergera bridges

  • The Christmas cactus is a cactus that blooms around the holiday season. It gets its name because it is often used as a Christmas decoration. This cactus is best in bright, indirect light and requires evenly moist soil. Fertilize your Christmas cactus every two weeks during spring and summer with a cactus fertilizer.
  • Water your Christmas cactus when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Let the pot drain thoroughly before returning it to its place.
  • Like most cacti, the Schlumbergera bridges prefer a gritty, well-draining mix. A cactus soil mix would work fine.
Christmas cactus with pink flowers
American Plant Exchange Christmas Cactus

11) Bishops’ Cap Cactus

Scientific Name: Astrophytum quadricostatum var. nudum

  • Astrophytum quadricostatum is one of six species in its genus. The generic name “Astrophytum’ translates from Latin to “star plant”. This species is known for having four ribs, hence the prefix “quad” in its specific epithet. Native to parts of Texas and northern and central Mexico, this cactus grows on the rocky slopes of mountains. It thrives in sunny, arid conditions. The nudum variety lacks the white pubescence found on most other species.
  • These cacti prefer lots of sunlight, at least five hours of direct sun daily, so an indoors south-facing window is ideal.
  • Astrophytums prefer to stay on the dry side. In the summer water them only when the soil has dried out entirely. They are built to withstand drought, and overwatering is one of the quickest ways to kill them. During the winter water very infrequently.
  • Astrophytums prefer a gritty, well-draining mix. A cactus soil mix would work fine.
bishop's cap cactus plant in white planter
Etsy Seller

Final Thoughts

Cactuses are a diverse plant family found in deserts, rain forests, and even your home! These plants have adapted to different environments worldwide, with many species growing indoors as house plants.

 

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