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16 Various Types of Cactus Flowers (with Pictures)

notocactus schlosseri

Cactus plants, especially those that flower, can be a fantastic addition to your home or garden. They are succulents that are easy to maintain and grow, while they have a lot of health benefits for us. Also, due to their unique appearance, they will surely be a conversation starter for anyone that enters your home.

We will cover some of the most beautiful Cactus Flowers along with their characteristics and needs. If you ever considered planting cacti or would just like to know more about their varieties, you came to the right place.

garden flower divider

The 16 Various Types of Cactus Flowers

1.  Spider Cactus

Gymnocalycium horstii
Image Credit: Hugmecactus, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region  10–11
Soil Well-drained, mildly acidic/alkaline
Sun  Partial shade
Flowering Time  Mid-summer

Spider Cactus (Gymnocalycium Horstii) is a small, round-shaped cacti species that can be up to 4 inches high and can reach 10 inches in diameter. This cactus specimen is unique due to its large flowers, which are usually pink, white, or pale purple. They require weekly watering and are ideal indoor plants, especially good for small spaces. They can be grown outside as well, but since they are not cold-resistant, you need to put them inside during the colder months of the year.

Pros
  • Pretty easy to grow
  • Ideal indoor plant
Cons
  • Cannot grow outside in cold weather

2. Rosy Pincushion Cactus

Mammillaria Zeilmanniana
Image Credit: YuenSiuTien, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 10–11
Soil  Gritty, well-drained
Sun  Full sun/partial shade
Flowering Time No season, they can come at any time of the year

Rosy Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria Zeilmanniana) got its name due to its look resembling a pincushion, with small spikes and tons of pink flowers. Their flowers can also be red or even white on rare occasions. It usually reaches a height of 5 inches and is about 3 inches in diameter. It’s best to plant the Rosy Pincushion Cactus as a houseplant, but it can also be in a sheltered, sunny patio area in summer, or yearly if you live in warm climates.

Pros
  • Doesn’t need a lot of watering
  • Low maintenance
Cons
  • Cannot survive a hard frost

3. Monk’s Hood Cactus

Astrophytum ornatum
Astrophytum ornatum (Image Credit: Dav Hir, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
USDA Hardiness Region 9–10
Soil Well-drained
Sun Full sun
Flowering Time Summer

Monk’s Hood Cactus (Astrophytum Ornatum) is a stunning cactus that can reach over 6 feet in its natural habitat. Still, if it’s not in those conditions it becomes very small and reaches only 1 foot in height. It takes about 10 years for this cactus species to reach its maturity. These cacti bear flowers in the summer, which are yellow and around 3 inches long. They need light watering because their roots can root from too much water. You should report the Monk’s Hood Cactus at the start of the growing season so that it can reach its true potential. It’s best to grow it indoors as a houseplant.

Pros
  • Requires light watering
Cons
  • Cannot reach its true potential outside its natural habitat

4. Dwarf Chin Cactus

Gymnocalycium Baldianum
Image Credit: Somsit, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 8–11
Soil  Gritty, well-drained
Sun Filtered light/partial shade
Flowering Time Early summer

Dwarf Chin Cactus (Gymnocalycium Baldianum) is a small species of cacti that can grow up to 5 inches in diameter. It is a fast-growing cactus that has red/purple flowers that bloom during early summer. They are quite large and can be around 1.6 inches in diameter. These cacti require partial shade or filtered light if indoors to be able to grow properly. You need to water it frequently during summer, while during winter watering is not necessary.

Pros
  • No need to water during winter
Cons
  • Cannot be planted in sunny areas

5. Powder Puff Cactus

Mammillaria bocasana
Mammillaria bocasana (Image Credit: Dick Culbert f, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)
USDA Hardiness Region  9–11
Soil  Well-drained, sandy
Sun  Full sun
Flowering Time Summer

Powder Puff Cactus (Mammillaria Bocasana) is very similar to the Rosy Pincushion Cactus. It’s a cacti species that forms little puffs that bear flowers during summer. They grow to be around 4.8 inches high and have a diameter of 3.2 inches. Their flowers are usually pink but can be yellow or white on rare occasions. This cactus has an outside USDA Hardiness Zone of 9–11 so if that’s not the case at your location, you need to plant them indoors.

Pros
  • Unique appearance
Cons
  • Can be grown outdoors only in USDA hardiness zones 9–11

6. Claret Cup Cactus

claret cup cactus
Image Credit: chloe7992, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region  9–10
Soil  Gravel, dry
Sun Full sun
Flowering Time  April, May

Claret Cup Cactus (Echinocereus Triglochidiatus) is a cactus native to the southwest part of the US and Mexico. This is one of the most beautiful cacti species, with orange, red flowers that bloom during April and May. Its height can reach 24 inches, the stems are around 10 inches long and about 4 inches in diameter. It needs to be watered regularly in hot months but shouldn’t be watered during wintertime. Overall, it’s a great outdoor and indoor plant that is easy to grow.

Pros
  • Easy to grow
  • Doesn’t require watering in winter months
Cons
  • Cannot grow in shady areas

7. Balloon Cactus

Notocactus magnificus
Notocactus magnificus (Image Credit: Stefano Fabrizio, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.5)
USDA Hardiness Region 9–12
Soil Well-drained, acidic soil
Sun Partial sun/shade
Flowering Time Summer

Balloon Cactus ( Notocactus Mafnificius) is, as the name says it, a balloon-shaped cactus, that is only suitable as a houseplant. It can be 12 inches high indoors while wild specimens can grow to be up to 3 feet tall. This cactus cannot tolerate frost. The flowers it produces are bright yellow and come in summer, but some of them might not flower. They are moderate growers, so it will take them some time to reach their true potential.

Pros
  • This cactus bears stunning yellow flowers
Cons
  • Some might not have flowers
  • Doesn’t tolerate frost

8. Fairy Castle Cactus

cereus tetragonus
Image Credit: planetzstudio, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 10–11
Soil Well-drained soil
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Flowering Time Rarely

Fairy Castle Cactus (Cereus Tetragonus) is one of the most unique cactuses that bear flowers. They got their name due to resembling a fairy castle. It blooms rarely, which is sad because the flowers it bears are beautiful. They are slow growing, but in years, they can reach over 6 feet in height. This cactus species requires full sun and well-drained soil for the best growth. They are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of watering, making them perfect for first-time cactus owners.

Pros
  • Really tall cactus
Cons
  • Rarely blooms

9. Starfish Cactus

Stapelia grandiflora
Stapelia grandiflora (Image Credit: Jean-Michel Moullec, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)
USDA Hardiness Region 9–11
Soil Well-drained soil
Sun Full sun/direct light
Flowering Time

Starfish Cactus (Stapelia Grandiflora) is a cactus that produces the largest flowers out of all other cacti species. They are wide and shaped like a star, making them a perfect plant for any household. Their flowers are usually red, purple, or green, even occasionally yellow. One bad thing about the flowers is that they have a bad odor after a couple of days, so it might be best to keep them outside while they are blooming. They need light to grow but are overall very low maintenance.

Pros
  • Magnificent, large flowers
  • Low maintenance
Cons
  • Flowers have a bad odor

10.  Prickly Pear Cactus

prickly pear cactus
Image Credit: Lena Maximova, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 9–11
Soil Well-drained, alkaline soil
Sun Full sun
Flowering Time June,July

Prickly Pear Cactus (Genus Opuntia) is a cactus variety that grows from 6–12 inches high, and they have an interesting appearance. They are flat-shaped and don’t require too much watering. Their growth is quite slow, and it can take over 4 years for them to bear flowers. Once they do bloom, which happens around June/July, they have yellow, orange flowers. There are certain species of this cactus that have edible fruit.

Pros
  • Doesn’t require too much watering
Cons
  • Slow-growing cactus

11. Christmas Cactus

christmas cactus
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 10–12
Soil Well-drained, moist
Sun Partial shade/indirect light
Flowering Time Fall, early winter

Christmas Cactus is the perfect indoor plant, which got its name due to blooming in fall and early winter. This cactus bears beautiful rosy, pink flowers. It should be kept in a humid environment and should be planted a couple of times weekly. They are usually around 6–12 inches tall and about 12–24 inches wide. This will surely be a showstopper in any household, so if you’re looking to have an indoor cactus, this would be a great option.

Pros
  • Perfect indoor plant
Cons
  • Needs humid environment

12. Easter Cactus

easter cactus
Image Credit: jessicahyde, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 10–11
Soil Acidic soil
Sun Partial sun/full shade
Flowering Time March, May

Easter Cactus is another houseplant that can easily fit into any home decor. It blooms from March until May with many vibrant flowers. They are quite large when mature and can be 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. They prefer cooler environments and cannot grow in hot environments as most usual cactuses can. They should be fertilized during winter but not during summer. This species needs to be reported every couple of years so that the soil is refreshed.

Pros
  • Large when mature
Cons
  • Cannot grow in warm environments
  • Needs reporting every couple of years

13. Peanut Cactus

Echinopsis chamaecereus
Image Credit: Davide Bonora, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 10–11
Soil Well-drained, acidic soil
Sun Full sun
Flowering Time Spring, summer

Peanut Cactus (Echinopsis Chamaecereus) is one of the rarest cactuses that exist. They seem prickly but are soft to touch. This cactus is around 6 inches high in its mature size. It blooms around spring or summer and has red, slightly orange flowers. It’s a low-maintenance plant that can be grown both outdoors and indoors. It requires cooler temperatures to prosper during summer but cannot stand frost. It requires full sun to prosper, like most other cactus species.

Pros
  • Low maintenance
Cons
  • Cannot stand frost

14. Schlosser Cactus

USDA Hardiness Region 7–10
Soil Well-drained soil
Sun Full/partial sun
Flowering Time May

Schlosser Cactus (Notocactus Schlosseri) is a species native to Uruguay, but it has become extremely popular in the US in the last couple of years. It’s a cactus that grows slowly but is easy to maintain. They can grow in both hot and cold temperatures and both indoors and outdoors. They don’t need to be watered during winter, whereas they need some watering during summer. Their flowers are yellow, and they resemble small sunflowers.

Pros
  • Easy to grow
  • Doesn’t need watering during winter
Cons
  • Needs to be put inside during colder months

15.  BeaverTail Cactus

beavertail cactus
Image Credit: Pi-Lens, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 8–10
Soil Well-drained, acidic, alkaline soil
Sun Full sun
Flowering Time Spring

BeaverTail Cactus (Opuntia Basilaris) is a succulent, low-spreading cactus that has wide, flat pads, similar to Prickly Pear Cactus. This cactus is usually planted outside but should be inside during colder periods of the year. They bear flowers in spring, and the flowers are usually red, pink, or purple. This is another low-maintenance species that doesn’t require lots of water to grow. They can be 2 feet tall and about 5 feet wide when mature.

Pros
  • Low spreading
  • Low maintenance
Cons
  • Needs to be put inside during colder months

16. Calico Cactus

hedgehog cactus
Image Credit: CoachRad, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 5–9
Soil Sandy, well-drained soil
Sun Full sun
Flowering Time Spring

The Calico cactus (Echinocereus Engelmannii) is also known as Engelmann’s hedgehog cactus. It can grow up to 2 feet and it’s among the most common cactuses in the southwest USA. It blooms in spring and has pink and red flowers. They are usually around ¼ inches long and there are multiple of them once the cactus blooms. This cactus doesn’t require a lot of water and needs to be planted in full sun. Their stems are upright but tend to fall to the ground with age.

Pros
  • Easy to grow
Cons
  • Stems can fall to the ground with age

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Featured Image Credit: Dirk M. de Boer, Shutterstock

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