15 Tall Cactus Plants With Names

These 15 Tall Cactus Plants are just the thing you need to give your home or garden a dose of stunning nature. These plants really stand out with their beautiful, vibrant colors. Not only that, but we've also included the names so you can tell them apart! Plus, these cacti make great gifts for those that love plants.

Cactus plants are known to be many homeowners’ favorite plants because of the statement they create. And not only that, these are plants that are easy to plant and care for and can thrive almost everywhere. They come in various personalities, with others tall, short, and others growing in clusters.

Tall cactus creates that bold and trendy look perfect for giving your home an incredible look. If you provide them with enough sunlight, you’ll be amazed at how tall your cactus plants can grow. The tallest cactus plants range from 15 feet to over 60 feet. The likes of saguaro, Mexican fence posts, and orchid cactus are among the tallest you can find at home and in the desert.

Well, if you love your plants standing tall and bold, you’re going to have to be picky with your cactus choice. Not all of them grow tall, no matter how much you care for them. Here is a list of 15 tall cactus plants with names that you should look for.

1.    Mexican Fence Post (Lemaireocereus marginatus)

Just the word fence post is enough to tell you that the Mexican fence post is a tall plant. If you start by growing this plant indoors, it will grow up to 8 feet tall. After reaching the height,  you can now move it outdoors to continue its growth without any interference. In outdoor temperatures, Mexican fence posts can grow tall and bold up 20 feet tall at maturity.

A mature Mexican Fence Post Cactus.
Mature Mexican Fence Post cactus reaches 20 feet in height if grown outdoors.

The plant grows in columnar form, producing some bright white margins that define its beauty. It would be fun to grow this plant from scratch and see it grow to maturity. You can then give yourself a part in the back for being an incredible gardener.

2.    Mexican Giant Cardon Cactus (Pachycereus pringlei)

It looks like the universe blessed Mexico with some of the tallest cactuses on the planet. The Mexican giant cardon makes one of the tallest cacti you can plant in your home garden. Thanks to its upright growth, the cactus got its name because many people use it as fence posts. This cactus can grow up to 63 feet tall and 39 inches. The unique look of this plant also makes it a perfect indoor plant. It’s a pretty easy plant to care for.

Despite being the tallest plant, it’s a slow-growing cactus and will take a long time before reaching its maturity. Just make sure you expose it to desert-like conditions, and no matter how long it takes, it won’t disappoint.

3.    Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)

Saguaro won’t miss the list of some of the tallest cactuses in the world. See it in the desert, which is its natural habitat, and you’ll be thrilled at how tall and huge it can get. This plant works well when exposed to full sun. It takes years to reach its full maturity, say about 200 years. When it’s fully matured, the cactus can take up to 40-60 feet tall.

A huge Saguaro Cactus.
It takes around 200 years for Saguaro Cactus to reach maturity and grow up to 40-60 feet tall.

You’ll easily identify saguaro even if you see it in the desert, thanks to its classic cactus appearance. The tall central body also forms arms. It also forms some sharp hard spines that you should be careful of. Saguaro also produces some white flowers, which later turn into red edible fruits. Saguaro fruits are very fleshy and sweet.

4.    San Pedro Cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi)

San Pedro Cactus is another fairly tall cactus plant to grow at home. It’s a rather easy plant to grow indoors, and it grows so fast in mild climates. This plant is drought tolerant and is perfect for xeriscaping.  San Pedro cactus is native to Andean slopes and will do well when grown in almost the same climates. The plant grows up to 20 feet tall under favorable climates. If you’re growing it at home, make sure it gets well-drained soils and full sun.

You’ll identify San Pedro with its multi-stemmed columnar look that forms small trees with several branches. The stem color is pale green to blue-green at its young age but turns dark green when it reaches its maturity. It blooms in large white flowers that form a trumpet shape. You’ll love the beautiful flowers for their sweet fragrance. The flowers dry into fruits.

5.    Blue Myrtle Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans)

Blue Myrtle cactus is a very fast-growing one that looks like a tree as it ages. The cactus can grow up to 16 feet tall. Even at maturity, this cactus still looks shrubby and as beautiful as a young plant. This cactus produces bluish-grey stems that grow in candelabra-like style. At maturity, blue myrtle cactus might produce white flowers and dark purple ones in spring.

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The cactus can remain without any branches for a long time, but once it matures, you’ll start noticing several branches. Mature ones form dense green stems which grow closely together and are highly branched. It will form a crown that spreads up to 12 feet in width when it grows in its natural habitat. If you don’t want this cactus to grow too tall and huge, you can control it in a small container indoors.

6.    Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus senilis)

Old man cactus will not only wow you with its beauty, but its height is also mesmerizing.  The beautiful plant grows covered with silky white hair that gives it its beauty and the name. It also has other names such as Old Man of the Andes and hairy cactus, which also describe its appearance. The cactus plant does well in high altitudes and can grow to 6 feet while indoors and up to 49 feet when you take it outdoors.

A Old Man cactus with silky white hair.
The Old Man Cactus with silky white hair can reach 49 feet in height when grown outdoors.

The stems of this cactus produce beautiful blooms at night as soon as it reaches a height of 20 feet. If it gets some drought-tolerant gardens, you’ll get the old man cactus to grow in beautiful clusters that you can use to decorate the sides of your entryway. Give it lots of sunlight, and it will reward you with long and thick white hairs that cover the entire plant as it grows.

7. Armatocereus Oligogonus

This is another tall variety of tree-like cactus native to South America. The tall cactus grows up to 40 feet when mature and forms distinct features such as segmented stems. It also forms tough spines, which earned it the Latin name ‘Armed Cereus.’ Others have no spines, while others have very little. Apart from the spines, you’ll also notice this cactus with its grey to blue-looking stems.

Like other beautiful cactuses you plant at home, Armatocereus will adorn your garden with beautiful red flowers. You have to be careful when picking the flowers because they’re also armed with some sharp spines. The cactus also produces red or green fruits that have spines at first but later lose them when ripe.

8.    Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi)

Organ pipe cactus is another tall cactus we can never miss on the list. After saguaro, this is the second-largest cactus grown in the U.S.  Its trunk can go up to 6 inches in diameter. It doesn’t grow into a single stem-like saguaro but will form several branches from the ground level. This tall cactus is also edible as it produces pulp jelly that can also be fermented. Native Americans have used organ pipe cactus as their food source for several years.

Organ Pipe cactus is the second-largest cactus in the US after Saguaro cactus.

Its green to the gray stem can grow up to 26 feet under favorable conditions. It also grows some brown spines that densely cover the spines. This plant falls into the category of night-blooming cactus that form pinking-red, funnel-shaped flowers. It also forms large, round fruits that are edible when ripe.

9.    Orchid Cactus (Epiphyllum hybrids or phyllotactic)

The orchid cactus is the tall plant on our list as it grows up to 30 feet in full maturity. The plant is mostly found in tropical rain forests and can still do well in different areas as long as you mimic its natural habitat. Don’t let the height scare you if you love indoor plants. Orchid cactus still makes a wonderful indoor plant that you can grow in hanging baskets until it’s too large to fit indoors.

A flowering Orchid Cactus.
Orchid Cactus is a tropical rain forest plant that produces pint, white, red, yellow, or orange flowers in late spring or summer.

Give this plant some bright light but not direct sunlight. Be prepared to see some pink, white, red, yellow, orange blooms in late spring into summer if you give it the best conditions. The plant got its name from these big, cup-shaped blooms. You’ll notice waves of blooms in mature plants that open several weeks during the plants blooming circle.

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10.   Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)

Pencil cactus is another beautiful plant that grows up to 6 feet indoors and 30 feet outdoors. The plant is native to India and Africa. You can use pencil cactus as a houseplant and maintain its height up to the ceiling height. It grows in a slender and toothed look with foliage which is not easily noticeable. Its branches can only grow to a diameter of a pencil; hence, the name.

A top view of a Pencil cactus.
Native to India and Africa, Pencil Cactus can reach 30 feet in height if grown outdoors at temperatures around 25 degrees.

If you grow it at temperatures of 25 degrees, pencil cactus will be sure to reward your efforts. Another name for pencil cactus is milkbush. It got this name from its cloudy sap, which can be toxic to some people and pets. Be careful with it if you plant it indoors.

New plants have some tinged pink and tiny leaves, which will disappear with age. The plant is perfect for your home garden as it grows well with very minimal care.

11.   Eve Needle Cactus

Eve Needle is another fairly large cactus you can find in the desert. The cactus is a maintenance-free plant that you only need to give lots of sunlight, and it will be good to go. The cactus plant can grow up to 13 feet tall in its native habitat and 5 feet tall indoor environments. The cactus takes a tree-like form as it matures.

The beautiful cactus has deep green stems which can grow up to 3 inches in diameter. They grow covered in tubercles along with the upper parts of the stem.  The tubercles are sharply pointed and appear semi-cylindrical. This is where the plant derives its name from. South Americans eat the leaves of the Eve’s Needle cactus. They also produce pretty flowers which are red in color and form a cup shape. You’ll see the blooms around spring and summer.

12.  Senita Cactus

At a glance, you won’t think senita is a cactus due to its unusual shape. It grows into a smooth and silky surface, making it one of the most attractive cactus collection plants. Senita is a perfect indoor cactus, thanks to its slow growth rate. It can grow up to 6 feet tall in a container and up to 15 feet tall when you take it outdoors.

The beautiful plant forms some clumps when it branches near the base. There are some short spines in the stem. New senita grow appears in a purple tint which takes a powdery light green color as it matures. The frost tolerant plant can survive well in areas that receive long winters.

13.   Totem Pole Cactus (Pachycereus schottii Monstrosus)

Totem pole cactus takes years to reach its full potential, which is around 12 feet tall. Despite the slow growth, it’s one of the easiest cactus plants to grow. Although it’s not so many feet tall like the saguaro and the others, its upright growth qualifies it to be in this list of the tallest cactus plants. Its short trunk at the base forms tall stems with smooth skin and medium green color. It also features areolas with small bumps, which give it an appearance of many faces.

Mature totem pole cactus have hair-like sharp grey bristles on the tips of the stems. The plant doesn’t get bothered by insects and is immune to diseases. All you have to do is avoid overwatering it, and it will serve you perfectly. It grows pretty well in both indoor and outdoor environments.

14.   Candelabra Cactus (Euphorbia lactea compacta)

Candelabra cactus is a tree-like plant that grows up to 15 feet tall in its natural habitats and 10 feet in pots. It’s one of the best cacti to grow indoors, thanks to its form of growth and beauty. The beautiful tall plant is native to coastal and inland South Africa in dry and rocky habitats. The plant forms a stem with distinctive ridges with rows of the spine. It also blooms in some yellow-green flowers with vertical ribs.

Due to its form of growth, Candelabra cactus is among the best large cactus species to grow indoors.

The euphorbia family cactus has a milky sap that oozes when you cut the stem. It looks like a saguaro cactus with upright stems and branches. Its stems resemble dragon bones. They have thick, three-side branches with paired spines running down the ridges. They also have milky green lines on the three flat faces. Some branches also have some spoon-shaped leaves.

15.   Peruvian Apple Cactus (Cereus peruvianus)

Don’t associate this cactus with the Peruvian forests because of its name. Peruvian Apple cactus is native to Brazil and Uruguay. This incredible plant can grow up to 20 feet tall in the right outdoor conditions. Thanks to its size, it has also earned the nickname of hedge cactus or giant club cactus.

Don’t let the height scare you. Peruvian apple cactus can also grow pretty well indoors. But you must prepare yourself to prune it once it outgrows the container. Unlike other cacti, this plant grows very quickly and can acquire up to four feet in a single year. You should not leave it unchecked for long if it’s indoors.

If you love blooms, this cactus will not disappoint as it will adorn your garden with beautiful flowers during summer.  The stunning flowers bloom in shades of yellow, pink, and white. However, the Peruvian Apple cactus only blooms one night in a year; hence its flowers are very short-lived. If you get to fertilize it on time as it blooms, it might reward you with some fruits.

Summary

Just because a cactus plant grows tall doesn’t mean it’s only suitable for the desert. There are many tall cactus varieties that you can grow both indoors and outdoors. A good rule of thumb is to grow them indoors then take them out once they’re too tall to fit in the confines of a room. You’ll love growing them outdoors as a décor for your yard or even a fence post.

The good thing about these cactus varieties is that they’re very easy to maintain and care for. Some of them can do so well even if you don’t water and fertilize. Others grow so fast that within a short time, they’ll give you a beautiful-looking garden. Find yours in the list above and join many gardeners who’re already enjoying the beauty of cacti plants.

Last update on 2022-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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