Spine-Free Cactus: A List of Thornless Options for Your Garden

List of Cactus That Does Not Have Any Spines or Thorns. This will allow you to quickly identify which cactus are easy to touch and which need to be handled with care.

What comes to your mind when you think of cacti? Well, many people view cacti as prickly plants with sharp spines. But did you know that not all cacti have spines? In fact, there are more than 1,500 species of cacti, and only a small percentage of them are armed with spines.

So, what are some of the common types of cacti that don’t have spines?

The most common spineless cactus is the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata). This tropical plant is native to Brazil and features segmented stems with colorful flowers. Another popular type of spineless cactus is the Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri), which is closely related to the Christmas cactus. Other notable spineless cacti include the orchid cactus (Epiphyllum), queen of the night (Peniocereus greggii), and old man cactus (Cephalocereus senilis).

Read on to learn ten types of cacti that don’t have spines and their other characteristics.

1. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata)

Christmas cactus is the most popular type of spineless cactus. This tropical plant is native to Brazil and features segmented stems with colorful flowers. The plant gets its common name from the fact that it blooms around Christmas time.

Christmas cactus is relatively easy to care for and makes a great houseplant. When growing indoors, place the plant in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight.

A christmas cactus flowering near the window.
This tropical plant is native to Brazil and features segmented stems with colorful flowers.

The best time to water Christmas cactus is when the soil is dry to the touch. Christmas cactus is also relatively tolerant of drought and can go long periods without water.

Once the plant blooms, it will likely start to drop its flowers. This is normal and doesn’t mean that the plant is dying. To encourage more blooms, give the plant a cool period (50-60° F) for about four weeks in the fall.

2. Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri)

The Easter cactus is another popular type of spineless cactus. This succulent is closely related to the Christmas cactus and shares many of the same features. The Easter cactus is native to Brazil and gets its common name from the fact that it blooms around Easter time.

The Easter cactus is relatively easy to care for. When growing indoors, place the plant in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight. Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch. Easter cactus is also relatively tolerant of drought and can go long periods without water.

To encourage blooming, give the plant a cool period (50-60° F) for about four weeks in the fall. However, you need to be careful with Easter cactus as it is susceptible to root rot. Be sure to plant the succulent in well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.

You also need to be careful with the amount of fertilizer you give Easter cactus. Too much fertilizer can damage the plant’s roots and prevent it from blooming.

3. Mammillaria lasiacantha

Mammillaria lasiacantha is another type of non-spiny cactus native to parts of Mexico. It gets its name from the long, white hairs that cover its body. These hairs help protect the plant from the hot desert sun.

Mammillaria lasiacantha has a spherical body and grows about 6 inches (15 cm) tall. The flowers of this cactus are white or pink, and they bloom in the spring.

Mammillaria lasiacantha flowering.
It gets its name from the long, white hairs that cover its body.

This cactus is easy to care for and makes a great houseplant. Place it in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering sessions. Water it less often during winter.

Mammillaria lasiacantha is not susceptible to many pests or diseases, but mealybugs can be a problem. The best way to protect your plant from mealybugs is to keep an eye out for them and treat them with insecticidal soap or neem oil as soon as you spot them.

4. Orchid cactus (Epiphyllum)

The orchid cactus is a type of spineless cactus that is native to Central and South America. This plant gets its common name from its showy flowers resembling orchids. Orchid cacti are also sometimes called epiphyllum cacti.

Orchid cacti are relatively easy to care for, making them perfect for planting indoors. They can thrive both indoors and outdoors. When growing indoors, place the plant in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight.

Consider placing it on a south-facing window or near an east-facing window. Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch.

Ochid Cactus flowering.
This plant gets its common name from its showy flowers resembling orchids.

To encourage blooming, give the plant a cool period (50-60° F) for about four weeks in the fall. This will ensure the plant has enough time to rest and store energy for blooming. Its flowers are typically white or pink and bloom in the spring or summer.

5. Rhipsalis baccifera

This cactus is native to Brazil and is one of the most popular spine-less cacti. It’s easily recognizable by its long, thin stems that can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) long. The stems are greenish-brown and covered in tiny, white hairs.

Rhipsalis baccifera flowers are small and white and bloom in the late spring or early summer.

This cactus is easy to care for, making it a great houseplant. Place it in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering sessions.

One of the ways to care for cacti during the winter months is water even less frequently. In fact, this cactus can survive the entire winter without water.

Rhipsalis baccifera is not susceptible to many pests or diseases, but mealybugs can be a problem. These pests suck the sap from the plant and can cause it to become stunted or even die. If you see mealybugs on your plant, treat them with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

6. Queen of the night (Peniocereus greggii)

The queen of the night is a type of spineless cactus that is native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. This plant gets its common name from its large, showy flowers that bloom at night.

The queen of the night cactus is relatively easy to care for and makes great houseplants. When growing indoors, place the plant in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight. Water the plant when the soil is completely dry.

The queen of the night cactus is well adapted to surviving in relatively dry areas and can go long periods without water.

Queen of the night flowering.
The queen of the night cactus is relatively easy to care for and makes great houseplants.

The queen of the night cactus typically blooms in late spring or early summer. The flowers are short-lived, only lasting one night. However, the plant will produce new flowers nightly for several weeks.

After the flowering period, the plant will go into a dormancy period and should be watered less frequently. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering during this time.

Also, the plant may shed some of its older leaves during the dormancy period. This is normal and should not be cause for concern.

The queen of the night is not susceptible to many pests or diseases. However, mealybugs can be a problem. These pests suck the sap from the plant and can cause it to become stunted or even die. If you see mealybugs on your plant, treat them with an insecticidal soap or neem oil.

7. Pachycereus pringlei

Pachycereus pringlei, commonly known as the Cardon cactus, is a type of spineless cactus native to Mexico. It is the tallest cactus in the world and can grow up to 65 feet (20 meters) tall.

The cardon cactus has a large, columnar trunk, and it is covered in spines. The flowers of the cardon cactus are white or pink, and they bloom in the spring. The fruit of the cardon cactus is edible, and it tastes like a cross between a pineapple and a pear.

The cardon cactus is mainly found in the Sonoran Desert, California. It is also known as the elephant cactus or the candelabra cactus.

A Cardon Cactus in the desert.
the Cardon cactus is a type of spineless cactus native to Mexico.

This succulent is a slow-growing plant that can live for hundreds of years. It is drought-tolerant and does not need much water to survive.

The cardon cactus is an important food source for desert animals, and the Native Americans used the cactus for food, shelter, and medicine.

If you are looking for a unique and interesting plant to add to your collection, the cardon cactus is a great choice. It is a beautiful plant that is sure to make a statement in your home or garden.

8. Peyote

Peyote is an odd-looking but cute cactus native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. It has a green, spherical body with small, pink flowers. It gets its name from the fact that it is often used as a natural psychedelic drug.

Peyote grows in arid desert regions, and it is a slow-growing cactus. It can take up to 12 years for a peyote plant to mature. The plant is small and only grows about 6 inches (15 cm) tall.

Peyote has been used by Native Americans for centuries, both as a food source and as a medicine. It was also used in religious ceremonies and as a way to induce hallucinations. Peyote is still used today for these same purposes.

If you are interested in growing peyote, it is essential to know that the plant is federally protected in the United States. It is illegal to grow or possess peyote without a permit. In Mexico, peyote is not regulated, and it is legal to grow and use the plant.

Summary

While some cacti have spines or thorns, several do not. If you are interested in adding a cactus to your garden, but are unsure if it will have prickles, consult this list for some ideas.

All of the cacti on this list can be found at local nurseries, so you can get started on your collection today!

Last update on 2024-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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