What Kind Of Cactus Has Flowers?

If you follow the steps in this article, your cactus should be in the proper environment for blooming. However, the best way to ensure that your plant is going to bloom is to buy one that already has a bloom present

Cactus is an amazing plant that you can add inside or outside of your home. While they are relatively low maintenance, ensuring the health of your cactus does require some work on your part. One thing that many people need to research before adding a cactus to their home is the different types of cacti and what to expect from each variety.

Specifically, many people ask: which cactus has flowers? This is somewhat of a trick question because all cacti are flowering plants, and every cactus is capable of blooming once it has reached maturity. However, whether a cactus will bloom is highly dependent on their age and the care the plant receives.

While all cacti are flowering plants and can flower, many find it easier to bloom than others. There are a few species that are more likely to bloom, and those are in the Mammillaria, Gymnocalycium, and Parodia family. But, cacti can produce beautiful flowers that feature impressive, colorful displays.

Which Cacti Are More Likely to Bloom?

With proper care, your cactus is almost certain to bloom at some point. It needs to reach maturity and have a regular period of dormancy to bloom properly.

One of the best ways to guarantee that you are getting a cactus that will bloom is to purchase one that is healthy and already in bloom.

If you are new to the cactus raising world, you will want to purchase a type that is easier to bloom and more likely to produce flowers. When you are shopping for a cactus, look for some of these varieties:

  • Easter cactus or Rhipsalidopsis – The Easter cactus comes in a variety of bloom colors, and they are usually in bloom at the time of purchase. The flowers featured range from red, white, orange, peach, lavender, and pink. To set buds, they need cooler temperatures and longer hours of darkness.
  • Garnet or Dwarf Cacti from Rebutia cactus genus – These cacti are vigorous growers that flower quite readily with proper care. They feature a large, brightly colored flower which arises from areoles. The flowers are usually found around the lower portion of the stems.
  • Christmas cactus or Zygocactus – Christmas cacti are one of the only ones on our list that are not naturally grown in a dry or arid environment but are naturally found in the rainforests of Brazil. It is important to water these cacti more than other types. Also, when they look as if the blooms are about to open, you will want to ensure proper watering and keep the plant cool.
  • Pincushion cactus from Mammillaria family – These cactus plants bear funnel-shaped flowers with a wide variety of colors like red, yellow, pink, white, and green. The flowers will later develop into often red-colored fruits that resemble a berry or are more elongated.
  • Hedgehog cactus varieties – There are a variety of hedgehog cacti that all feature colorful flowers, and most have edible fruits. The flowers open after the spring rains from February to May. The flowers featured are magenta, pink, purple, and lavender, and the blossoms last for five days opening each morning and closing at night.
  • Prickly pear Optunia cactus – Most feature yellow, red, or purple flowers on these cacti that vary in height from less than a foot up to six or seven feet. These cactus plants feature pads, which are edible and vary in size, shape, and color.
  • Bolivian or Lobivia cacti – This cactus blooms in the spring and summer with large flowers that are in vibrant red, yellow, or orange. They blossom along the sides of the stem and never on top. To blossom, you will want to provide the cactus with proper vernalization keeping it in a vegetative state during the winter.
  • Notocactus or Ball Cactus – To encourage flowering, allow the plant to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and dramatically cut back watering. You will want to continue to water the plant periodically but provide them this time of dormancy.
A christmas cactus.
Christmas cactus

How Do You Choose a Healthy Cactus?

Of course, choosing a flowering cactus variety is one thing, but making sure it’s healthy enough to bloom successfully is another. To make sure the cactus you choose is healthy, you will want to look for the following:

  • Check the outer appearance. The cactus trunk should be robust and firm to the touch.
  • During cooler months, like fall and winter, you may notice the trunk is wrinkly, but this should not be an issue.
  • The cactus’ spikes should be dense and have good color. The spikes are a great indication of the overall health of the plant.
  • Do not buy a cactus that has a “fake” bloom or flower present. Some locations will add fake decorative flowers to their plants, which makes them more prone to get infectious diseases. Also, removing the fake flowers will leave a blemish on the plant.
  • Look for any signs of sickness or inadequate care. You should be able to notice any spots or bruising. A weak or pale trunk is a sign of a chlorophyll shortage in the plant’s tissue.

How to Care for Your Cactus

Once you have purchased your cactus, it is time to begin caring for your new plant and encouraging blooming. You want to ensure you are providing your cactus with the right environment to ensure annual blooming. Most cacti need bright, hot sunlight during the growing season and several months of cooler, less bright sun during the winter months.

Where to Place Your Cactus

The best way to ensure that your cactus blooms is to mimic the natural cycle that the plants would go through outdoors. If you are planting your cactus outside, you will be in less control of the environment that the plant is in. However, if you live in a dry, desert-like area, many spiny desert cacti do much better outdoors than they do indoors.

Golden barrel cactus in a rocky soil.
If you do not have an area that has an abundance of light, some cacti thrive in artificial light.

However, if you are keeping the plant indoors, to encourage blooming, you will want to put the plant through phases similar to those outdoors. Many bloom in response to a cool, dry, dormant period or during the winter. This means that from around September to April, keep the cactus in bright yet indirect sunlight at about 50 degrees and water more sparingly.

During the growing season, which is during spring and summer, indoor cacti do better in a sunroom or south-facing windowsill. This allows the plant to receive the most sunlight, and they need maximum light and heat during this time. You will also want to turn the plant regularly for even light exposure. If you do not have an area that has an abundance of light, some cacti thrive in artificial light.

When to Water Your Plant

While cacti are desert plants, they do still need an occasional watering to guarantee proper growth. Similar to the amount of light they receive, the amount of water you provide should vary depending on whether it is the growing season or during the dormant months. During the growing season, the plant will need more water than during the dormant season.

A flowering cactus in a water can.
You will want to water the plants one every two or three weeks

Most cacti have adapted to very little rainfall, and even indoor plants have these same hardy characteristics. You will want to water the plants one every two or three weeks. Often, it is best to water on the less often side than too much as these plants can easily rot in oversaturated soil.

An easy way to tell if watering is needed is to feel the soil that the plant is in. You should allow the top two inches of soil to dry out before you water the plant again, at this point water thoroughly until it runs out of the bottom of the pot. You will then empty whatever drainage tray you have present to avoid allowing the plant to sit in extra water.

When to Fertilize Your Plant

Compared to most other plants, cacti do not need regular feeding, and adding fertilizer is more of an owner preference. If you do want to add fertilizer to your plant, opt for a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer that you can find at most lawn and garden stores. Follow directions on the packaging and never overfeed the plant.

A woman applying fertilizer to cactus.
You should also note that overfeeding the plant will not make it bloom.

You should only be fertilizing the plant in the spring and summer months. NO fertilizer should be added during the dormant period. You should also note that overfeeding the plant will not make it bloom.

When to Repot Your Plant

Cacti are universally known for being slow growers, so the need to repot the plant should not be very often. (They also do not need regular pruning or trimming, but you can do this if needed.) However, over time, there will be a need to repot the plant if it outgrows its current pot, but this is likely only to happen once every three or four years.

You can tell if the plant needs repotting because the roots will tightly fill the inside of the container. Also, some cactus plants will become too large to stay stable in the container. If you want to repot your cactus, you have to pay extra care due to the spines of the plant. You should always use some form of tongs, gloves, or a folded towel when handling the plant.

Make sure that you repot your plant in a potting mix that is designed for cacti and succulents. Do not water your cactus for a week after repotting.

A small cactus flowering.
Repot the plant should not be very often

When Will Your Cactus Bloom?

If you follow the proper steps laid out above, your cactus should be in the proper environment for blooming. However, the age of the plant and overall health of the plant can be an important factor. If your plant is not mature, it will not bloom.

As mentioned, the best way to ensure that your plant is going to bloom is to buy one that already has a bloom present. This means that the cactus is at the age of maturity and can bloom. You will still want to provide the proper environment for your plant so it can continue to bloom once in your home.

read this next

Succulents seem like they would be easy-care plants, but some of the most common care mistakes can cause your beloved succulent to lose all signs of life. Here are some easy-to-spot symptoms that could mean your plant is dying and what to do next.
Succulents make great gifts. They come in so many shapes and sizes and most of them are hardy plants with interesting traits, like the ability to survive hot weather or damage from freezing. In this guide will show you how to propagate a string of dolphins.
Does Cactus Need Direct Sunlight?
Most cacti species don’t need exposure to direct sunlight to survive. Just like other succulents, cacti plants will do well when positioned in places with good light and not necessarily direct sunlight
Succulents are some of the easiest plants to grow in the world. Succulent seeds can take anywhere from 10 to 40 days to germinate depending upon how warm they are kept and what type of seed they are. Let’s learn how to start succulents from seed right now!
Generally, rooting Christmas cactus cuttings in water is relatively easy. The key to success is knowing where and how to find healthy and mature cuttings and being patient with the process. Also, it takes a lot of practice to start rooting your cuttings successfully
While some succulents love being under direct sun, others may develop brown spots or even die when being exposed to too much direct sunlight. Here are some tips on how to avoid sun damage and take proper care of succulents.
Have you been struggling to take care of your cactus? Perhaps you blame yourself and think your lack of care is what led to your cactus dying. It’s possible that you did not give it the best fertilizer. To prevent this from happening again, you should fertilize your cactus more carefully next time.
As a succulent plant owner, you might be aware that your plants can “go soft” and lose their shape. This is natural, but it is also not something you want to happen all the time. There are things you can do to ensure that your succulents remain firm and strong for as long as possible, and we’ll go over those tips here.
Browning is a relatively common problem that many cacti gardeners have to deal with. Fortunately, this is not a death sentence for your plants. When you notice brown spots start to form on your plant, take time to identify the problem and deal with it accordingly
Terrariums are the perfect compromise to houseplants. Small, but not too small. Easy to care for, but still interesting. Set up a terrarium in your home and be astounded by the hardiness of plants, and how they will sprout new growth once properly hydrated. Here are some of the best plants that grow well in a terrarium.
The root system of a cactus is very unique. It is necessary for the plant to get water deep into the ground and disperse it as widely as possible, so that the cactus can take in as much water as possible. Cactus roots will grow as deep as three feet into the ground and up to three feet wide as well as horizontally.
With propagation, you’ll have new plants in no time. Propagate your succulent pups indoors or out. Whether you decide to start from cuttings or a leaf, as long as your succulent is happy, this is a great way to get more plants.
The Kalanchoe plant is well know for its beautiful, long lasting blooms. As time goes by, the stems will often dry up and break off naturally at their base or between where they are connected to the leaves. Most people assume that when this happens it means the plant is dead. The secret to keeping your plants healthy and growing is knowing how to take a cutting off one of these dried up stems and getting it re-planted.
Terrariums are a fun, creative way to display live plants at home or in the office. They require little maintenance and can last for years. Although each living thing is different, there are some general guidelines to follow to ensure the long life of your terrarium. Here are some things you need to know about terrarium plant’s lifespan.
Most succulents aren’t fussy about sunlight, but Portulacaria afra does appreciate a few hours of direct sun each day. Like most succulents, however, it will generally tolerate light shade, and in fact, will do better if cultivated on the shaded side of your yard where it is protected from drying sun in summertime.

Receive the latest news

Get Our Cacti Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest facts, tips, advice, and more!

Your privacy is important to us.