8 Best Cactus Varieties to Grow Indoors

Cactus Varieties

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Cactus Varieties to Grow Indoors

One of the downsides to growing houseplants can be keeping the environment humid enough to maintain the health of tropical plants, which often need jungle-like conditions to truly thrive. This is not a problem for cactus lovers, as these desert plants appreciate dry air and average room temperatures. While some sunlight is necessary for cactus health, many species can survive three hours a day, and additional lighting can help specimens that live in north-facing windows.

A happy cactus might even surprise you with vibrant blooms, a bonus for plants that already vibrate with supernatural shapes and prickly textures. The slow growth and easy maintenance of these popular varieties add charm to mixed pot plantings and also make for elegant stand-alone specimens.
Take a look at these eight cacti to grow indoors.

Angel Wings Cactus

Opunta albispina or angel-wing cactus belongs to the prickly pear family, which tends to grow evenly spaced strands of hair rather than sharp spines. The native Mexican creates groups of pillows no more than two feet tall, but over time they can grow up to five feet in diameter. The light yellow flowers are followed by edible red fruits on plants that receive a full day of sunlight.

Rat Tail Cactus

If your sunniest window doesn't have enough room for a container, consider a hanging basket filled with the amazing Aporocactus flagelliformis, or rat-tail cactus. This plant is native to Mexico, where its magenta flowers have been used in traditional medicine for heart problems. Choose a generous hanging basket for this fast-growing cactus - the thick stems can be over a meter tall.

African Milk Tree

Euphorbia trigona is one of those simple cactus specimens that any grower will feel like an expert with. Also known as the cathedral plant, this cactus can grow up to 2.5 meters, but it grows slowly and is unlikely to grow much more than a meter indoors. Small green leaves grow between the spines on the wavy stems and when the Rubra variety is grown the leaves are reddish purple. If you plant in well-drained soil and water twice a month, your African milk tree can live for decades.

Saguaro Cactus

Anyone who has visited the Sonoran desert will not soon forget the sight of a 12-meter saguaro cactus permeating the landscape. These majestic plants can live for two centuries and flowering can last up to 40 years. The slow growth rate of this cactus also allows it to thrive as a houseplant for many years. Give your saguaro as much light as possible and water sparingly, about once a month.

Old Lady Cactus

This species of cactus is full of personality as the name suggests. Mammillaria hahniana forms small colonies of spheres 25 cm high with white hair and spines. Healthy plants can have a halo of pink flowers, like a crown on the head. Plant this cactus in sandy soil to transplant, water every two weeks, and water monthly during winter.

Bishop's Cap

Astrophytum ornatum's simple spherical shape impresses with its decorative gravel lid and sturdy ceramic vase. The rigid spikes cover deeply ridged spheres that can reach several meters in height. Plants often develop an icy white blanket that resembles disease but acts as a defense mechanism to protect the plant from the sun. Water infrequently and provide conditions that are warm and sunny enough for the yellow flowers to thrive.

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus is quite toothless for the cactus family, with its smooth, segmented leaves and smooth, rounded spines. The tubular flowers are available in red, pink, orange, and white. This type of cactus is different from normal cactus care. The plant is native to the Brazilian rainforests, where they live as epiphytes that grow on other branches. Give these plants light and moderate filtered watering. If you can expose them to milder temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius in winter, you can make your plants bloom again.

Barrel Cactus

The genus Ferocactus is aptly called the fierce cactus. It is covered with long, stiff spines that protect the succulent and edible pulp. The barrel cactus can live for many decades, eventually reaching a maximum height of 2.5 to 3 meters when grown outdoors. As a houseplant, the barrel cactus craves the sunlight it can provide and little water, as well as loose sandy soil to transplant.

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Cactus Varieties

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