Cactcus Care Guide 101 + 49 Types Of Cactus Plants

Cactus plant outside in front of a white building - Cactus Care Guide 101

Scientific Name: Cactaceae

If you’re looking for a sturdy, elegant plant to provide your home with a boost of natural beauty, our collection of cacti are perfect for you! The indoor cactus is one of the easiest plants to care for, requiring minimal watering and having fairly relaxed sunlight restrictions.

Naturally found in deserts and tropical regions around the world, cacti come in a multitude of unique forms. With our cactus care tips, they will offer your home a durable source of succulent beauty that can bring life to any room!

Cactus Light Care:

The indoor cactus prefers a consistent source of bright, indirect sunlight in order to stay strong. Too little light could cause the plant to suffer from underdevelopment, and too much bright light could lead to your cactus becoming “burnt” and losing its vibrant color.

How do I know if my cactus is healthy? Indoor cacti are especially durable, as their habitats require it. This natural resilience means that they can experience some direct sunlight, as well as low light situations, making it even easier for you to care for it. So long as they maintain their powerful green color and rigid form, you can rest assured that they are healthy!

Cactus Care Difficulty:


Cactus Air Purification:

Yes, some forms of indoor cacti have been shown to act as natural air purifiers!

Cactus Water Care:

How often do you water a cactus? If you want to ensure that your cactus is looking as strong and beautiful as possible, water it whenever its soil begins to dry. Your watering schedule should revolve around the summer months, when your cactus will actively be growing and potentially blooming.

To check the water levels of your cactus’s soil, place a water meter in the soil, where it will give you an accurate indication. If you do not own a water meter, stick one finger knuckle-deep into the soil. At this depth, you will be able to accurately account for the soil’s level of moistness.

Cactus Food Guide:

Regular potting soil is perfect for this plant. If you feel that it could use a nutritional boost, or that it isn’t developing as well as it should, offer it a cactus-specific potting soil. An additional portion of compost is recommended.

Similar to its light and water requirements, your indoor cactus has a fairly relaxed feeding schedule. During the summer months, provide it with cacti-specific fertilizer. Standard fertilizer is also effective, but might not provide the same targeted care.

Types of Cactus Plants

(1) Prickly Pear

Also known as an Opuntia or Barbary Fig, the prickly pear cactus can commonly be found growing in a bushlike form. Characterized by its round, segmented components, this type of cactus can produce a selection of colorful fruits and flowers. It is also one of the most commonly purchased cacti in the world.

(2) Saguaro

The Saguaro is native to desert locations in Arizona, Mexico and Southern California. Its steady upward growth and flower-blooming arms give it the appearance of a tree, and it is notable for its ability to withstand drought conditions.

(3) Mammillaria

The Mammillaria is one of the most varied cacti, boasting over 200 known species and mainly being found in potions of Central and South America. It is characterized by its short, round stature and long, clustered spines.

(4) Schlumbergera

Found primarily in parts of Brazil, the Schlumbergera bears little resemblance to many of its fellow cacti. They are vine-like in appearance, consisting primarily of prickly subsections that produce flowers at their ends and joints.

(5) Golden Barrel Cactus

The Golden Barrel Cactus is characterized by its large, globe-like appearance. Also referred to as the Golden Ball, this type of cactus produces spines along its various vertical ribs, and once it has reached full maturity, it can produce small, yellow flowers.

(6) Bunny Ears Cactus

The Bunny Ears Cactus is a form of Opuntia related to the Prickly Pear. It grows in round, segmented pieces, and instead of the classic spines found on other cacti, it possesses short, barbed clusters of glochids that act in a similar fashion.

(7) Ferocactus

The Ferocactus is native to arid parts of Southern California and Northern Mexico. It is short and round as a juvenile, but grows to be barrel-like in shape. Spines grow along its vertical ribs, and it is known to bloom red, yellow, pink and purple flowers.

(8) Echinocactus

Related to the Ferocactus, the Echinocactus is small and barrel-shaped. It possesses a large collection of spines running down its ribs, and is capable of bearing colorful flowers and textured fruit. It is an extremely popular form of houseplant, due to its minimal care requirements.

(9) Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii

Naturally located in parts of South America, the Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii is a small species of cactus with short, bent spines that run along its notched ribs. While normally sporting the common green of a cactus, this plant often lacks chlorophyll that leads to vibrant color mutations.

(10) Astrophytum

The Astrophytum, which is also commonly referred to as a “living rock,” is very unique in its appearance. It consists of several round, segmented columns that combine to give it a star shape. It is generally spineless with white tufts of hair, and can bloom a large yellow flower from its crown.

(11) Schlumbergera Gaertneri

The Sclumbergera belongs to a family of cacti that are characterized by their vine-like appearance. Instead of the barrel or tree shapes of many others, this form of hanging cactus consists of segmented stems that grow bright red fruit and flowers at their ends.

(12) Astrophytum Asterias

Commonly found in parts of Texas and Mexico, the Astrophytum Asterias is characterized by its similarity to a star or sand dollar when viewed from above. It is round, spineless and composed of 8 subsections. Each subsection possesses wooly areolas, which produce soft, yellow flowers with red bases.

(13) Gymnocalycium

The Gymnocalycium’s name refers to its “nakedness,” since it does not possess the sharp spines that are commonly found on other types of cacti. Instead, this species of small cactus sports curved protrusions and often produces brightly colored flowers.

(14) Chollas

Chollas are a tree-like species of cactus that are found naturally in parts of Mexico and the Southern United States. They are characterized by the sharp, barbed spines that cover their exterior and easily attach to skin when brushed. They can be found grouped together in “cholla gardens.”

(15) Echinocereus

The Echinocereus is a small to medium-sized cactus that originates from dry, sunny regions of Mexico and the Southern United States. The bush-like plant takes on a globe or barrel shape and possesses short spines. Its flowers grow to be a bright red and last longer than those found on other forms of cacti.

(16) Hedgehog Cacti

Also known as the Echinopsis or Sea Urchin Cactus, the Hedgehog Cactus is remarkable for its ideal size, tube length and appearance. Native to parts of South America, this plant is densely covered in spines, and its large white flowers are considered to be among the most beautiful of all cacti.

(17) Epiphyllum

Also known as the Orchid Cacti, the Epiphyllum is a species of cactus native to Central America. At first glance, it hardly looks like a cactus at all, due to its long, thin stems and distinct lack of spines. It produces highly fragrant flowers, which only bloom at night and can potentially wither by dawn. It also produces an edible fruit.

(18) Parodia

The Parodia is a member of the Cactaceae family, and it can be found naturally growing in the Northern regions of South America. Appearance-wise, it can range from short and globe-like to tall and barreled. It produces a single flower near its crown, often boasting beautiful shades of yellow or pink.

(19) Mammillaria Hahniana

The Old Lady Cactus, as it is commonly referred, is native to Central Mexico. It is a short, circular species of cactus, characterized by a mixture of fuzz and spines that give it a stark white appearance. It produces small, purple flowers that circle the plant’s crown and offer a gorgeous color contrast.

(20) Cereus

Cereus is a very common species of cactus that is native to certain parts of South America. When you think about cacti, there is a solid chance that the long, tree-like body of the Cereus is exactly what you are imagining. They can produce small, pink flowers, and possess large spines spaced out along their lengthy ribs.

(21) Parodia Magnifica

The Parodia Magnifica is a short and round member of the Parodia family of cacti. Its ribs are covered in a mixture of hair and spikes, and it has been known to produce pale yellow flowers from its crown. It can grow by itself or in bunches, and due its smaller size, it is an ideal houseplant.

(22) Jumping Cholla

Naturally found in dry areas of Sonora and the Southern United States, the Jumping Cholla is a tree-like form of cactus covered in sharp spines that produces white, lavender-streaked flowers. The stems are what give this plant its name, as even the slightest brushing of the cactus could result in several stems coming loose and attaching themselves to you and your clothing.

(23) Organ Pipe Cactus

The Organ Pipe Cactus is native to the rocky deserts of Mexico and the United States. It derives its name from its similarities to an organ pipe, as its long tubular stems grow in tall clusters. Covered in spines from top to bottom, it produces bright white flowers and sweet fruit, and locals often cultivate them for their great-tasting interiors.

(24) Beavertail Cactus

The Beavertail Cactus is native to much of the Southwestern United States, especially in the Mojave Desert. It is a type of Prickly Pear cactus, characterized by the flat, round pads and barbed glochids that give it the appearance of a beaver’s tail. It is known to produce deep magenta flowers with red bases.

(25) Astrophytum Myriostigma

As is the case for many of its close relatives, the Astrophytum Myriostigma is easily identified by its starlike shape when viewed from above. It is composed of several vertical ribs, which can multiply as it ages and create a more cylindrical appearance. It is spineless and produces one or more pale yellow flowers from its crown.

(26) Pachycereus

Native to parts of Mexico and Southern Arizona, the Pachycereus is a species of cacti that can grow to be either shrub- or tree-like. Its stems can grow by themselves or in packed groups, and each possesses short spines running up its interior. It produces small white flowers along its stem, and wild forms of the cactus can grow up to 15m tall.

(27) Rebutia

The Rebutia is an incredibly petite species of cactus that is spherical in shape. It is covered in sharp spines and can quickly reproduce, leading to clusters of the plant. Its colorful flowers grow to be larger than the plant itself, and due to its tiny stature, it is often utilized as a desktop addition to people’s homes.

(28) Pachycereus Schottii

The Pachycereus Schottii is a fairly uncommon cactus native to regions of Southern Arizona and Northwestern Mexico. Similar to the Organ Pipe Cactus, this plant often grows in a cluster of tall, sturdy stems. Its spined, tree-like figure can grow to great heights in its natural habitat.

(29) Rhipsalis

The Rhipsalis is a unique species of cacti. While commonly found in Central and South America, it is the only cactus that is also native to regions of Asia and Africa. While the Rhipsalis’s form may vary, it generally takes on a vine-like appearance and produces small white flowers.

(30) Stenocereus

Native to Baja California and other regions of South America, the Stenocereus is a spined, tree-like species of cactus. While they end to grow slowly, they are also quite easy to maintain and produce a type of fruit near their apex that is described as being similar to the dragonfruit. The Stenocereus is extremely popular as a home ornament.

(31) Cephalocereus Senilis

Lovingly nicknamed the Old Man Cactus, the Cephalocereus Senilis is native to a select few regions of East Mexico. Its colloquial name comes from the silvery white hair that grows in large tufts all across the cactus. It mixes with the barreled plant’s white spines to give it an elderly appearance.

(32) Mammillaria Bocasana

Found primarily in Northern Central Mexico, the Mammillaria Bocasana is a small, spherical cactus. It possesses a mixture of white, wispy hairs and hooked spines, which lend to its commonly used nickname, the Powder Puff Cactus. During certain times of the year, it produces cream-colored flowers and cylindrical fruit.

(33) Schlumbergera Truncata

The subtropical Schlumbergera Truncata is native to the forest regions of Southeastern Brazil. It belongs to a species of vine-like cacti composed of flattened, segmented stems. Its colorful flowers grow from the stems’ ends, as well as from each stem’s joints. The multiple stems make it an ideal hanging houseplant.

(34) Queen of the Night

The Queen of the Night is a popular houseplant, and its appearance is rather uncommon among the various families of cacti. It consists primarily of branched stems and white leaves, instead of the tubular stems that you would usually associate with a cactus. It only produces its beautiful white flowers at night, which lends to its Queen of the Night nickname.

(35) Pilosocereus

The Pilosocereus Cactus is native to regions of Mexico, Brazil and the Carribean. It is characterized by its blue-green, tubular stems, along with bright yellow spines that travel along its ribs. Its flowers are tubular as well, and they generally bloom during the nighttime. Due to its sturdiness, it can be grown all year round.

(36) Southern Barrel Cactus

The Southern Barrel Cactus begins as a small, spherical plant and eventually grows into a more cylindrical shape. Thick, hooked spines line its ribs, and in the summer months, it produces red and yellow flowers at its crown. Its fruits become yellow as they ripen, and they can persist on the cactus for long periods of time.

(37) Myrtillocactus

Found in many regions of Central America, the Myrtillocactus is popular due to its sturdy, appealing stem. Clusters of spines line its ribs, and given the proper conditions, its stems can branch out and create a system of spined tubes. It is known to flower in the summer months and produce collections of edible purple berries.

(38) Rattail Cactus

Native to Mexico, the Rattail Cactus is a species whose long, tubular stems protrude out and hang down to give it a vine-like appearance. It flowers from the ends of its stems, boasting vibrant pinks and whites. Due to its ease of cultivation, this type of cactus is popular as an indoor houseplant.

(39) Disocactus

The Disocactus is a vine-like species of cactus that is native to regions of Central and South America. Its stems are rounded at the base, then become flattened and leaf-like as it branches out. Its red and pink flowers blossom from the ends of the plant, as well as along the length of its stems.

(40) Melocactus

The Melocactus is an extremely prevalent species, being found naturally everywhere from Western Mexico and Central America to northern regions of South America. It is also commonly referred to as the Turk’s Cap Cactus, as it sports a red wool- and bristle-coated formulation on its crown. This “cap” allows the cactus to bloom an assortment of beautiful flowers.

(41) Cephalocereus

The Cephalocereus is a blue-green species of cactus that is characterized by the white tufts of hairs that grow around its exterior. Its pale spines blend with the hair, giving the cactus an overwhelmingly white appearance. Native to Mexico, Central and South America, its tubular stems are especially sturdy.

(42) Cleistocactus

The Cleistocactus is native to the mountainous regions of South America. Its characteristics are similar to many other cacti, tending to grow in clusters of tubular stems and possessing several rows of spines. It produces red flowers that grow along the length of its stems, although the flowers do not commonly open.

(43) Disocactus Ackermannii

The Disocactus Ackermannii is a species of cactus that is characterized by rounded stems that grow into flat, leaf-like segments. Its tropical roots in Mexico lend to its hanging plant appearance, as opposed to the long, tubular stems that its desert counterparts favor. It often produces scarlet, funnel-shaped flowers.

(44) Pereskia

The Pereskia is one of the more hidden species of cactus. While you might be used to the long, tubular stems of many desert cacti, the Pereskia’s stems are thin and branch out into large, leaf-like segments. It grows in the form of shrubs, and its flowers come in a variety of red and pink variations.

(45) Kingcup Cactus

Native to the desert regions of Mexico and the Southwestern United States, the Kingcup Cactus is a species composed of multiple spherical stems, each boasting its own collection of spines and wool. Its bright scarlet and orange-red flowers are funnel-shaped and often frequented by hummingbirds.

(46) Hatiora

The Hatiora is commonly found in the rainforests of Brazil, branching off from trees in long, round stems. Its own branches are extensive, and it generally lacks the sharp spines found on other members of the cactus family. Its flowers are bell-shaped and usually colored yellow or pink.

(47) Ariocarpus

The Ariocarpus is a popular succulus species that can be found in Southern Texas and Northern parts of Mexico. Its short, tubular stem is plated in triangular tubercules, which is uncommon among many other forms of cacti. A woolen structure sits atop each stem, which supports the growth of white, yellow, pink, purple or magenta flowers.

(48) San Pedro Cactus

The San Pedro Cactus is native to the Andes Mountains, and it is notable for its rapid growth and large, clustered appearance. Its stems tend to branch out and produce white flowers at their ends. This species of cactus is wildly popular, both as an aesthetically pleasing plant and as an ingredient in traditional healing practices.

(49) Triangle Cactus

The Triangle Cactus is a popular species among the succulent lovers of the world. Their petite, tubular appearance and tendency to cluster give them an especially lively appearance. Native to Florida, Texas and Central America, its flowers don a green-white color and commonly bloom at night.