With so many Types of Cactus out there, it’s challenging to choose one for planting. To make things easier for you, we divided them into several categories!
There is no alternate to cacti and succulents when it comes to their watering requirements and tolerance to drought. This low maintenance nature is the reason why they’re popular houseplants.
These types of cactus include the ones that can tolerate medium to low-lighting conditions. Most of them are used to growing under the indirect sun and filtered sunlight, so if you are looking for having cactus indoors, you must choose one that’s tolerant of such conditions.
1. Chin Cactus
Botanical Name: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
Protrudence below the spine appears like the chin and hence the name chin cactus. Native to South America, it’s found in the regions of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. Colorful flowers grow on the top of the cylindrical plant on the spineless receptacle.
2. Bunny Ears Cactus
Botanical Name: Opuntia microdasys
Its pads resemble bunny ears in shape, which is the reason behind this unusual name. Be cautious while handling it as the pads are covered with sharp brown spines. It can easily be 2-3 feet tall, it bears white flowers, which then develop to purple fruits.
3. Rat Tail Cactus
Botanical Name: Aporocactus flagelliformis
Perfect for growing in hanging baskets, its thick trailing stems grow fast and can reach up to 3 feet in length. Being fairly hardy, they can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Using a potting mix will help the plant to thrive.
4. Moon Cactus
Botanical Name: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
Moon cactus is more like a mutant, lacking the ability to produce chlorophyll on its own, and are grafted with other succulents, giving them different color forms like hot pink, brilliant orange, and neon yellow. They grow around 8 inches and are one of the most attractive and colorful houseplants.
5. Astrophytum Star Cactus
Botanical Name: Astrophytum asterias
Cactus lovers adore the beauty of Astrophytum. With a chubby body that looks like a sand dollar, makes it perfect to be kept as a show plant. It can grow 2 to 6 inches across, blooming bright yellow, 3-inches flower. Keep the plant near a bright source of sunlight for its optimum growth.
This category includes the cacti types that love to reside in the sun. Almost all cactuses are adapted to growing in the sun as their natural growing habitat is in deserts. Some of the best cacti varieties to grow outdoors are listed below.
6. Golden Barrel
Botanical Name: Echinocactus grusonii
It’s a barrel or circular shaped cactus with ribs covering the sides. Growing up to 40 inches tall in the wild, its size can vary depending on the conditions. Sharp yellowish spikes grow out from the ribs and cover the globular structure, giving it a golden hue. You can expect it to bear yellow flowers in mid-summer!
7. Beavertail Cactus
Botanical Name: Opuntia basilaris
Growing up to 16 inches tall, its greyish-green pads are joined together from sides and form a wide and short structure, looking like a tail of beaver. Also, flowers bloom from late winters to early summers in a glorious shade of red to lavender, followed by oval fruits.
8. Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus
Botanical Name: Echinocereus engelmanii
It also goes by the names strawberry cactus, saint’s cactus, purple torch, or Engelmann’s hedgehog cactus. Echinocereus is perfect for rock and drought-tolerant gardens. Its rounded, light brown clusters are dense-packed with stem full of spines.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could eat a cactus too! There are many cacti out there that are edible. Here are some of the best ones.
9. Dragon Fruit Cactus
Botanical Name: Hylocereus Undatus
Also known as the Pitaya, it’s an exotic vining plant, that has a palm-like trunk. It appeals to the gardeners because of the intriguing beauty it brings to the landscape. Its fragrant white flowers grow to around a foot long, developing later into a dragon fruit. The elliptical fruit has a sweet flavor.
10. Peruvian Apple Cactus
Botanical Name: Cereus peruvianus
It’s an upright growing desert cactus, with 6-8 vertical ribs running on it lengthwise. Growing to 8 feet in length when mature, it adds a sculptural beauty to any landscape. It bears subtly sweet and crunchy fruits with a hint of tartness.
11. Prickly Pear Cactus
Botanical Name: Opuntia ficus-indica
Cactus Pear Fruit, Barbary-fig Cactus, and Gracemere-Pear are some of the many names of this slow-growing perennial. The stems are oblong and can reach a height of 5 meters (16 feet) and a width of 10-12 inches. It takes around two years to flower, and later turning into red and edible fruit. The foliage is also cooked and used in various dishes, especially in hot and arid regions.