Most people associate cacti with their thorny needles, but there’s more to these hardy plants than meets the eye.
After all, many beautiful types of cacti have flowers blooming from them, but you may not have seen them. If you want to see these for yourself, look at our ten beautiful flowering cacti selection!
1. Fairy Castle Cactus
The Fairy Castle cactus is native to several Central American countries and is a regular sight in the southern regions of the US. They can grow up to 6 feet tall, with the stems forming an appearance similar to castle turrets and spires.
However, you can find smaller Fairy Castle cacti, a popular plant to grow indoors as they’re low maintenance.
When they’re young, they might not bloom, with most flowers appearing in older plants over ten years old. Their flowers usually bloom at the head of the cactus and are more likely to appear at night.
If you look for the colors, the most commonly found ones are yellow and white, but you might also find a few pink and red ones.
2. Hedgehog Cactus
There are many types of Hedgehog cacti, but we’ll take a closer look at the Echinocereus variety.
These vary in size, starting from small to reaching a medium-height, and you’ll usually find them in southern regions of the US and Mexico, where it’s both sunny and rocky. As a whole, their mature height is 18 inches tall and only 3 inches wide.
The Hedgehog cactus has large blooms, with red being a common flower you can find. There are many varieties of this type of cactus, each growing a different type of flower. They need to grow in warm climates, so they’re a popular houseplant choice.
When you grow them, you can expect them to live for many years, and they are best planted in spring to ensure they have access to warm weather.
3. Holiday Cactus
Why is the Holiday cactus known by this name? Usually, it’s because they grow during the cooler seasons. However, there are three different types of Holiday cacti: Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
They all have a few differences, and while they might not look too different from each other, they each have a few tells.
The Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti both need cool temperatures and darkness to bloom and need between 6 and 12 hours each day in these conditions. This is one of their only similarities, and as a rule, they have different types of leaves.
The Thanksgiving cactus has clawed edges, but the Christmas cactus tends to have notched edges that aren’t as pointy. While the flowers are similar, the Easter cactus has flat star-shaped flowers, which sets them apart from the other Holiday cacti in the season.
4. Ladyfinger Cactus
The Ladyfinger cactus is a popular choice for beginners new to growing their houseplants. They’re native to Mexico and can grow up to 8 inches in height, with dense clusters of cylindrical stems forming around them.
These look like fingers, as they have a long and narrow appearance. It’s no surprise that they’re known as Lady Fingers, as they have a delicate appearance to them.
In the spring, you’ll find flowers blooming in the upper half of their stems. These usually look white to pale yellow, but they vary. They need to reach certain growing conditions to bloom, and if successful, we find that they flower from mid-winter into late spring.
If they haven’t bloomed by then, you’ll need to place them outdoors through the summer. To ensure that it flowers the next year, you’ll need to maintain a strict watering routine. Then you can appreciate the gentle buds from their fingertips.
5. Mexican Fire Barrel Cactus
As its name suggests, the Mexican Fire Barrel cactus is native to Mexico and is endemic to the region. They have thick red spines and begin life in a globe-shape, but they can get taller.
Ideally, if you’re growing them at home, you should grow them as a houseplant, especially if you live in a cooler climate.
They rarely bloom when they’re cultivated, but you’ll find that their flowers are pretty impressive when they do bloom. The flowers grow near the top of the stems at the head of the cactus, but you’ll mostly see these appear in the wild.
When they flower, it looks like the fire is coming out of the top, with red and yellow flowers blooming at the crown.
6. Moonlight Cactus
The Moonlight cactus has a distinct appearance and is a sight to behold in Central America and the northern parts of South America. The cacti are thin and spindly, with angled stems producing a unique flower.
These flowers regularly appear at night and are large and nocturnal. Due to that, they’re only pollinated by nocturnal insects such as moths, and surprisingly, you may find bats are occasionally drawn to them.
The flower itself has a gentle appearance and doesn’t look like the type of flower you would expect to grow from a cactus. You can grow them in a bright room at home, and they don’t need much watering or fertilizing.
Mature plants will usually grow more of these flowers abundantly and typically are white in color. However, these flowers will usually only last for a single night.
7. Old Lady Cactus
The Old Lady cactus is a beloved plant for many gardeners as they are suited to both indoor and outdoor environments. It tends to grow in groups, with spheres that can grow to be 4 inches tall and 5 inches wide.
But you might find they can grow even taller over the years, with some measurements leaning closer to 10 inches.
During spring and summer months, the spiky ball plant will begin to form a crown of reddish-purple flowers at the top of them.
The crown looks like a halo, and with the many white spikes, you’ll find that it almost resembles the head of an old lady from above. It’s why the Old Lady cactus gets its name.
8. Peanut Cactus
Peanut cacti are native to Argentina, and it forms clusters with stems that some say look like fingers. However, they are also said to look like long peanuts, which is how they got their name.
Usually, you’ll find they grow up to 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide. It’s best grown as a houseplant, but you can grow it outside in hotter climates. Ideally, they should have a little shade in hotter regions, but they can stay in full sunlight in cooler areas.
During the spring and summer months, the Peanut cactus grows reddish-orange flowers covering a large part of it. Unlike other cacti, the flowers are a focal point of this plant and take center stage.
9. Silver Torch Cactus
Silver Torch cacti are native to the mountainous regions of Argentina and Bolivia, but you can also plant them in your home. They can be planted in your garden, or you can grow them in pots to have more control over their height.
When they’re outside, they’ll attract a variety of pollinators, including hummingbirds and different pollinating insects.
But how are these hummingbirds and insects attracted to the Silver Torch cactus? Through the beautiful reddish-burgundy flowers that have a tubular appearance.
They don’t fully bloom but typically grow up to 3 or 4 inches and last for a few days. However, you won’t see these flowers until they reach maturity and at least ten years have passed.
10. Starfish Cactus
The Starfish cactus is native to South Africa, and they need warm, humid temperatures to grow. So, you might need to grow them in a greenhouse environment to get the best results.
What’s interesting about these cacti is that they smell terrible, so they are also known as the Carrion Flower. These look carnivorous, but they’re actually not.
They look carnivorous because they have a five-petaled flower that blooms and exudes a terrible odor. This makes them great for getting rid of fruit fly infestations, as all the insects will be mesmerized by the flower for several hours.
While the odor is terrible, the flowers themselves are beautiful and grow to a massive size. However, we recommend not keeping these indoors due to the scent.
Although known for their prickly spines, cacti can also have beautiful flower blooms. We hope you enjoyed this post, and if you want to know more about flowers, feel free to browse our site.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most common type of flower growing on cacti are Saguaro flowers, which can be found near the tops of their stems. They tend to smell like overripe melons, usually around 3 inches in diameter.
Most cacti kept as houseplants take between 1 and ten years to bloom. However, some can even take 50 years before they flower. Some bloom only once in a lifetime, while others bloom once a year. It all depends on the type of cactus you have.
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