Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Kevin Brown

Creating the Perfect Cactus Landscape with Gorgeous Cacti

A cactus landscape can be as beautiful as any other type of landscape. However, it’s often unfairly considered dry and uninteresting. Cacti can truly be wonderful plants if given a chance.

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Cacti are beautiful and resilient plants that thrive in desert landscapes. Despite common misconceptions, not all cacti are dull and dry; some are vibrant and gentle. This is why they are popular choices for desert landscaping.

While cacti may have prickly needles, they are generally not dangerous or poisonous. In fact, certain species have smooth branches or even furry exteriors.

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Types Of Cacti For Your Cactus Landscape

There are many types of cacti available at nurseries that can help create a beautiful cactus landscape. Here are a few:

Blue Flame Cactus

Size: Up to 13 feet tall and 12 feet wide

Flower Color: White or yellow

The blue flame cactus is a large cactus that can reach 30 feet in the wild. It has a candelabra-like shape and produces edible fruit that tastes like a berry. The fruit can be harvested from personal cacti.

This cactus can be green or blue, depending on its age. Young blue flame cacti are green, while older ones turn bright blue. It’s interesting to monitor this color change.

Beavertail Cactus is a unique plant native to the southwestern region of the United States and parts of Mexico. It is known for its distinctive, paddle-shaped stems that resemble the tail of a beaver. The plant is also known for its vibrant flowers, which range in color from pink to purple. Beavertail Cactus is highly adapted to desert environments and is able to survive in arid conditions by conserving water.

It has thick, spiny skin that helps to minimize water loss through evaporation. The cactus also has large root systems that allow it to absorb water efficiently from the soil. The Beavertail Cactus is an important source of food and water for desert wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals.

In addition, it has been used by indigenous cultures for centuries for its medicinal properties and as a source of food in times of scarcity. Overall, the Beavertail Cactus is a fascinating and resilient plant that plays a crucial role in desert ecosystems.

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Size: Up to 20 inches high and 6 feet wide

Flower Color: Pink

Beavertail is a type of prickly pear cactus primarily blue-green. It grows about 20 inches high and up to 6 feet wide. Many people like beavertail cactus for its sweet-smelling flowers.

The flowers smell like watermelon and bloom in late winter to early summer. Like most cacti, beavertail cacti don’t need to be fertilized in a garden or yard. They can also be fertilized once or twice a year in a pot.

Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus

Size: Up to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Flower Color: Pink

The strawberry hedgehog cactus, also known as the saint’s cactus, purple torch, or Engelmann’s hedgehog cactus, is a small and attractive beginner’s cactus. It has clusters of stems with flowers. However, this cactus is sharp, so avoid placing it near small children who might be curious.

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Moving on, let’s talk about the Claret Cup Cactus.

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Size: Up to 3 feet high and 6 feet wide

Flower Color: Bright red

Another name for the claret cup cactus is the hedgehog, so Sonic the Hedgehog fans, this one is for you. The fruit from this cactus is one of the sweetest, tasting like strawberries and turning orange when ripe.

This cactus is not only tasty but also pretty, staying low to the ground, growing in multiple bulbs resembling a family of cacti, and with bright and vibrant flowers.

Golden Ball Cactus

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Flower Color: Yellow

The golden ball cactus, also known as the lemon ball cactus, forms clusters and is fireproof. It’s easy to keep alive and starts as a small spherical plant when young. As it grows, it primarily gets taller but not wider, resembling a tower.

This cactus is great for beginners due to its low maintenance and appealing appearance.

Now, let’s move on to the golden barrel cactus.

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

The golden barrel cactus is a medium-sized cactus, known for its round, golden barrel shape. It’s a popular backyard cactus that’s easy to care for and looks great in any landscape. You can even let it grow indoors in a smaller pot until it’s ready to be placed outside.

Just be careful because it’s prickly!

The Mexican Fence Post Cactus is much larger, reaching up to 20 feet in height and 8 inches in width. It also has yellow and red flowers.

Mexican fence post cactuses grow tall but not wide. They get their name from growing naturally along the border and fences in Mexico. Plant them along your fence for a natural look or use them as a fence alternative for added privacy and a closed-in area.

Mexican fence post cacti are unique.

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Size: Up to 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide Flower Color: Pink and red

Peanut cacti are cylindrical cactus that grow low to the ground. The flowers are cup-shaped and vibrant in color. They add beauty to gardens and desert landscapes, especially when surrounded by rocks due to their short stature.

Most of the time, peanut cacti are very small, never exceeding a few inches, hence the name. However, there are occasions when they can grow up to a couple of feet wide, which is remarkable for a peanut cactus.

Old Man Cactus

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Size: Up to 20 feet tall and 6 feet wide Flower Color: Red

The old man cactus, also known as Cousin It, is tall and covered in hair, giving it a monster-like appearance.

Some people don’t appreciate the fur, while others love its quirky nature. You can wash the hair to keep it white or let it naturally absorb colors.

Orchid Cactus

Size: Up to 2ft tall and 2ft wide Flower Color: Pink and red

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The orchid cactus is unique among cacti. It resembles a well-groomed wildflower bloom rather than a typical cactus, but it is indeed a cactus.

The orchid cactus can grow to be over 200ft wide in the wild, but if you keep it confined, it will only grow to a comfortable size, not outgrowing the container. At least not by much!

Candelabra Cactus

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Candelabra cacti are known for their cup-shaped flowers that open during the day and close in the evening. The fruit from these cacti is edible but less sweet than other fruit. The candelabra cactus has tall, flat arms that stick straight up and curve around like a candelabra on the sides.

Each arm is unique and grows in an x-like shape when viewed from above, giving the cactus an eclectic look.

Organ Pipe Cactus can grow up to 30 feet tall and 10 feet wide. It has pink, white, and red flowers.

Organ pipe cactuses, also known as Arizona organ pipes, resemble old organs found in 1800s churches. Their stems resemble sausage links, although this name is not commonly used.

In the springtime, the flowers of this cactus “go to sleep” at night and awaken at dawn. Observing this process is enjoyable, as you can witness the flowers waking up alongside them. Children particularly enjoy the experience of watching flowers awaken.

A similar cactus variety is the Prickly Pear Cactus.

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Size: Up to 5 feet tall and 15 feet wide

Flower Color: Red

One of the most popular types of cactus is the prickly pear cactus. It is easy to take care of and can be prepared in various ways in the kitchen and at outdoor cookouts.

Popular ways to prepare the prickly pear cactus include grilling, sautéing, making beverages, or creating sweet jam. People are becoming increasingly creative when cooking the prickly pear.

Rat Tail Cactus

Size: Up to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide

Flower Color: Pink or orange

Rat tail cactuses are medium-sized cacti, but their branches and stems are narrow. They cascade down, resembling a weeping willow, rather than growing straight up.

Due to their growth pattern, rat tail plants look stunning in hanging planters. However, they may need grooming to prevent them from becoming unruly. Take caution when grooming cacti and ensure you have proper knowledge.

Saguaro Cactus:

– Size: Up to 50 feet tall and 10 feet wide

– Flower Color: White

The columnar saguaro cactus is easily recognizable. You may not know its name, but you can identify it from old westerns and video games – the classic cowboy cactus.

The iconic cactus has one downfall: it doesn’t tolerate winter well and requires heat and sunlight to survive. Additionally, it takes 100 years to reach maturity, which makes it better suited as a wild plant.

The Turk’s Cap Cactus is a small cactus with a big personality. It stands only 4 inches tall and wide and features red flowers. Unlike other cacti, it requires water and is sensitive to temperature changes.

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However, its size and personality make up for its needs. It can be placed in any windowsill or pot, making it a perfect gift for someone in need of a small plant friend.

Next is the Silver Torch Cactus.

Create The Perfect Cactus Landscape With These Gorgeous Cacti

Cactus Size: Up to 10 feet tall and 6 inches wide. Flower Color: Pink.

The silver torch cactus is often referred to as Cousin It’s cousin because of its tall and hairy appearance, resembling an older and wiser version of the old man cactus. It grows much taller than it does wide.

This cactus is aptly named for its silvery hair, which gives it a shimmering and glowing effect in the sunlight. While it is unique and soft, it may not appeal to those who dislike wooly cactuses. Consider exploring other options.

Star Cactus

Size: Up to 40 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Flower Color: White and yellow.

We can’t overlook the star cactus, also known as the monk’s hood. This cactus is named for its star-shaped appearance when viewed from above. Despite its small size, it is perfect for gardens or windowsills as it won’t outgrow its space.

You have to see this cactus to believe it!


– Is landscaping fabric good for a cactus landscape?

Landscaping fabric is not recommended for areas where you want plants to thrive. While cactus can survive longer with fabric, they may eventually die from it.

– Can I include other plants in a cactus landscape?

Yes! Cacti mix well with other plants. They aren’t generally intrusive, though a few of them can be.

You can mix any plant from any type of landscape as long as it can survive in the climate where you live.

What Are Common Cactus Landscape Problems?

One of the most common problems with cacti is overwatering. Signs of overwatering include browning, yellowing, or blackening of the leaves, which is often opposite in other types of plants.

Can I Have A Cactus Landscape That Isn’t In The Desert?

A cactus landscape will thrive in the desert. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a cactus landscape anywhere else. As long as you take good care of your cactus, you can have a cactus landscape anywhere.

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