Indoor Cactus



5 Most Common Indoor Cactus Plants

            To add an exotic and colorful touch to your décor, try growing indoor cactus plants in addition to the normal houseplants found in homes.  Their care may be a little more different than that of a green leafed plant, but your minimal efforts will pay off in bounties of lovely flowers and interesting textures of the plant itself.

            One of the best reasons to grow cacti indoors is that even individuals who are living in small spaces can enjoy them.  A variety of different cacti are able to be grown together in the same container, living amicably for many years.  Although many varieties of cactus have the capability of growing to towering heights even indoors, their growth can be kept to a minimum by clustering them with others.  To help choose which of the indoor cactus work best, explore the following five choices that people commonly choose for decorating the inside of the home; popular for their ease in care as well as their beauty.

            Astrophytum is also known by common names such as sand dollar, sea urchin and star cactus.  It features a spherical shape with several pronounced ribs and speckled with white flecks; beautiful white or yellow flowers with delicate yellow centers that are rimmed in red appear on the top of the globe.  Most of the varieties of this type of cactus exhibit no spines at all, carrying instead an exterior texture similar to that of felt material.

            Opuntia, or prickly pear cactus, is a large species of cactus that consists of small ground cover cacti as well as large plants growing over 6’ in height in the wild.  This species enjoys a well lit area with low humidity, and does well in containers.  Bright red, pale pink or yellow flowers may be produced, but blooming rarely occurs until a prickly pear grows quite large.

            Holiday cactus includes such popular plants as Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus and Easter cactus.  These types received their respective names due to the time of year they are known to bloom.  Christmas cactus, also called orchid cactus, is more likely to be found in garden shops for purchase and grow very well in most households; reputed to last for many years when they receive the proper care.  Indirect lighting is their best venue to produce flowers in hues of white, pink and red.

            Mammillaria, with its upright growing habit and cylindrical shape creates an eye catching display when the brightly colored flowers appear.  Called the rose pincushion cactus, fuschia, red, purple and pink flowers are common on the several varieties of mammillaria cactus.  Either direct or indirect lighting is appropriate for this species which is an excellent container plant.  These cacti exhibit sharp spines covering the entire cactus surface, and generally remain under 6” in height.

            Escobaria, also known as purple pincushion cactus, features brilliant and vibrantly colored flowers of magenta and fuschia, earning them favor as indoor cactus plants.  There are several varieties of this species, all of them globular shaped and literally covered with spines.  Container friendly with its small 6” height, the plant does well in either direct sun or indirect lighting.

            Planting will require a shallow container with good drainage, a commercial blend of potting soil and sand and gravel.  Add soil, leaving 2” from the rim and arrange the various cacti to achieve the best visual results.  When you are satisfied with the arrangement, add remaining soil to the pot up to the rim; being sure to push soil around the roots.  Add a thin level of gravel; water enough to dampen soil and place in a warm, bright area.

            Indoor cactus plants offer a beautiful alternative or addition to houseplants.  With their interesting shapes and ease of care, it is easy to see why cacti are such popular choices.