Discover the Beauty of Cactus Flowering Plants

If you’re searching for a stunning addition to your indoor plant collection, look no further than the cactus. While these spiny succulents may not immediately come to mind when you think of flowering houseplants, many varieties actually bloom with surprising extravagance. Say goodbye to artificial paper flowers and glue, because the real beauty of cactus flowers is a sight to behold. Not to mention, it’s not as difficult as you might think to get your cactus to produce these remarkable blooms.

Embrace the Blooming Splendor

Below, we’ll explore nine of my favorite cacti with breathtaking flowers that rival even orchids or lilies. Each one showcases a unique charm and captivates with its vibrant colors. So, which of these spectacular cacti steals your heart?

Schlumbergera sp. (Holiday Cactus)

If you’re a fan of houseplants, you’ve likely heard of the holiday cacti from the Schlumbergera genus. These cacti are incredibly popular for indoor growing due to their magnificent blooms, and they can even bloom more than once a year. The selective cultivation of this flowering cactus has resulted in a rainbow of shades, including red, white, yellow, orange, and hot pink.

Opuntia sp. (Prickly Pear)

Opuntia, commonly known as prickly pear or nopal, is a familiar sight among cactus enthusiasts. With dozens of different species, these cacti can be found throughout the American continent, blooming with big yellow, orange, or pink flowers. Opuntia gosseliana stands out with its unique purple hues when exposed to ample sunlight.

Further reading:  The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Stunning Jade Plant Bonsai

Echinopsis sp. (Hedgehog Cactus)

Meet the Echinopsis genus, a winner in the world of cactus flowers. Naturally found in South America, these orb and cylinder cacti have gained popularity worldwide for indoor and balcony cultivation. Echinopsis oxygona, known as the hedgehog cactus, is a particularly spectacular bloomer. Another delightful choice is Echinopsis subdenudata, aptly named the Easter lily cactus.

Rebutia perplexa

Rebutia perplexa, a clustering orb cactus, is a must-have for any cactus lover. With little pink flowers blooming abundantly in spring, this easy-to-care-for species adds charm to your collection. Explore other species in the Rebutia genus, such as Rebutia albiflora for white flowers or Rebutia albopectinata for orange blooms.

Epiphyllum sp.

Epiphyllum, also known as orchid cactus, brings a touch of the jungle to your plant collection. Recognizable by its flat leaf segments, this unusual cactus prefers higher humidity and regular watering. Its flowers, which also emit a delightful fragrance, bloom from spring to late summer. Epiphyllum oxypetalum, commonly called Dutchman’s pipe cactus, is the most well-known species.

Selenicereus sp.

Similar in appearance to Epiphyllum, the genus Selenicereus produces gigantic, cream-colored flowers with a divine scent. These jungle cacti typically grow as epiphytes or lithophytes on trees or rocks. You may recognize them as pitahayas or dragonfruits at the supermarket. Selenicereus undatus is a popular choice, offering tasty pink-skinned and white-fleshed dragonfruits, along with its stunning blooms.

Astrophytum sp.

Now, let’s return to the desert cacti. Astrophytums, with their orb-shaped bodies, are among the most popular cacti available. While rare in their natural habitat in Mexico, these cacti bloom beautifully. Look out for Astrophytum asterias, known for its vibrant colors and lovely blooms. The variegated version, with shades of yellow, red, and orange, is particularly sought after.

Further reading:  Hindu Rope Plant: An Exquisite Specimen

Mammillaria sp.

Mammillaria, the largest genus in the cactus family, boasts over 200 species. These orb-shaped to cylindrical cacti create a colorful flower crown with their tiny blooms. Mammillaria cacti are beginner-friendly, and their stunning beauty has made them immensely popular. Some favorites include Mammillaria blossfeldiana, Mammillaria bocasana, and Mammillaria spinosissima.

Gymnocalycium sp.

Species within the Gymnocalycium genus are renowned for their beauty. Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, commonly seen as the colored orb on top of a grafted moon cactus, is a crowd-pleaser. With approximately 70 species, each offering its unique charm, you’ll find an abundance of stunning blooms. Gymnocalycium saglionis and Gymnocalycium horstii are just a few examples.

Cultivate Blooming Wonders

If your cacti haven’t bloomed yet, don’t despair—it’s not your fault. Indoor cacti may not bloom as frequently or abundantly as their outdoor counterparts. However, there are steps you can take to increase your cactus’s chances of flowering.

Desert cacti require gritty potting soil to prevent excess moisture and ensure proper drainage. They prefer a sip of water when their soil has fully dried out. Adequate light is also crucial. If your cactus receives insufficient sunlight, consider placing it outdoors during the summer months. This exposure to natural light can encourage blooming.

Experience the Beauty of Cacti

With their remarkable blooms, cacti prove that nature’s beauty knows no bounds. Whether you choose Schlumbergera, Opuntia, Echinopsis, or any other flowering cactus, you’ll find captivating beauty in each unique species. Explore the vibrant colors and intricate details of cactus flowers. Allow these resilient desert plants to fill your home with a touch of natural wonder.

Further reading:  Planting Potatoes with Companions: Maximizing Growth and Health

Ames Farm Center