Costa Farms


Passionate about plants? So are we! Costa Farms is a wholesale grower that discovers, develops, and grows plants for your home and life -- indoors and out. We’re your online gardening resource for plant info and inspiration. Our articles, blogs, tips, and photos help you use plants to beautify your living spaces and enhance your life.

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Cactus Plant Features

Looking for a plant you don't have to water much? A cactus might be your answer! Most cacti come from dryland areas and are used to being able to survive weeks without rainfall. Cactus houseplants have that same characteristic: Just give cacti a bright, sunny spot and you can enjoy the easy-care houseplants without a lot of tending.

There's a wide variety of cacti to grow; they offer a plethora of shapes, colors, and sizes so you can find one that suits your personality and decor style. If they get enough light, many will bloom, producing cheery flowers in white, pink, red, orange, yellow, or purple.

Make the most of your cactus houseplants by planting them in containers that accent the plants' rich colors, shapes, or textures. And by grouping several different cacti together in a windowsill or tabletop, you can create a mini desert escape! In addition to being good houseplants, most cacti are also good plants for offices as they don't need natural light. Lots of artificial light is just fine! 

Cactus Questions?
Just drop our experts an email and someone will get back to you! And we bet you'll love our monthly email newsletter -- it's packed full with tips for growing and decorating with plants like cactus indoors and out.

Download our free guide on growing -- and decorating with -- cacti and succulents! 

Cactus Growing Instructions

The best place for most cactus houseplants is a warm, bright spot. These sun-lovers do best when they get lots of direct light. 

Wondering how much to water cacti? In general, you can water most types once every two or three weeks or so. If in doubt, it's usually best to water too little; cacti can rot if they stay too moist.

Most cactus houseplants are slow growers and don't really need much fertilizer. Just a couple of times per year will do. But if you want to fertilize your cactus regularly, do so in spring and summer with a general-purpose fertilizer formulated for use on houseplants. Follow the directions on the packaging. 

Because they're slow growers, you typically don't have to worry about pruning cacti.

Note: Many cacti are prickly to the touch and are not intended for human or animal consumption. 

Get tips for planting cacti (and succulents)!
Discover 10 water-wise plants anyone can grow. 

Special Care

Outdoors, grow cacti in containers on a sunny deck, patio, or balcony. They thrive in heat and require containers that have drainage holes. 

If cacti are hardy for your landscape, choose a well-drained spot, such as the top of a sunny slope or a rock garden. Don't plant cacti where they'll stay wet for extended periods. 

  • Light

    Indoors: High light
    Outside: Sun

  • Colors

    Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Silver, Variegated, White, Yellow

  • Water

    Low water needs

  • Special Features

    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Cactus with these varieties:
Crested Euphorbia
Crested euphorbia makes for an elegant accent to most types of cactus.

Rosary Vine
Easy-to-grow rosary vine likes similar conditions to houseplant cactus varieties and trails from baskets of cacti.

Most succulents look and grow fantastically well with cactus.

Varieties: Our Favorites

Parodia magnifica Balloon Cactus

Parodia magnifica

A cactus must be cool if its botanical name contains magnifica! Balloon cactus doesn't disappoint; this globe-shaped plant has parallel rows of spines running down its sides, giving it fun architecture. It also has yellow flowers.

Euphorbia lactea compacta Candelabra Cactus

Euphorbia lactea compacta

While it looks like a cactus, candelabra cactus is actually more closely related to poinsettias! It has upright, variegated stems and creates a dramatic look.

Opuntia subulata monstrose Christmas Tree Cactus

Opuntia subulata monstrose

Christmas tree cactus is an unusual, upright-growing variety that has thick, branched pads that almost give it a Christmas-tree look.

Cleistocactus icosagonus Cleistocactus

Cleistocactus icosagonus

Cleistocactus is a lovely variety covered in golden spines that practically glow in the sun. It grows tall and upright and has orange-red flowers when it's happy.

Opuntia rufida 'Desert Gem' Desert Gem Cactus

Opuntia rufida 'Desert Gem'

This type of prickly pear cactus has cute little pads decorated with bursts of little spines and orange flowers.

Eriosyce senilis Eriosyce

Eriosyce senilis

Eriosyce is a fun cactus with twisting, hair-like spines and pink flowers.

Acanthocereus tetragonus 'Fairy Castle' Fairy Castle Cactus

Acanthocereus tetragonus 'Fairy Castle'

This small, slow-growing variety has dark green stems studded with white spines.

Parodia leninghausii Golden Ball Cactus

Parodia leninghausii

Golden ball cactus is a columnar variety that shows off decorative golden-yellow spines that are more bristly and prickly. It has yellow flowers.

Echinocactus grusonii Golden Barrel Cactus

Echinocactus grusonii

One of the most recognizable cacti, this slow grower has a round shape and is decorated by stiff, golden-yellow spines.

Mammillaria celsiana Golden Pincushion Cactus

Mammillaria celsiana

A slow-growing round plant, golden pincushion cactus has attractive golden-yellow spines.

Various species Grafted Cactus

Various species

Looking for a colorful cactus? Try grafted varieties. These are actually two different plants fused together. Grafted cacti come in a range of different colors and sizes.

Mammillaria elongata Ladyfinger Cactus

Mammillaria elongata

Ladyfinger cactus has finger-like stems covered in pretty, golden-yellow, star-shaped spines. When it blooms, it has little creamy-white flowers.

Mammillaria guelzowiana Mammillaria guelzowiana

Mammillaria guelzowiana

Mammillaria guelzowiana is a fun globe-shaped cactus that's covered in spines and blooms with attractive, fragrant bright pink flowers.

Mammillaria mystax Mammillaria mystax

Mammillaria mystax

Mammillaria mystax is a common, and charming, globe-shaped cactus that blooms with small pink flowers.

Opuntia 'Maverick' Maverick Cactus

Opuntia 'Maverick'

Maverick is a showy variety that offers variegated pads. It's a slow-growing cactus that can eventually reach a couple of feet tall.

Lemaireocereus marginatus Mexican Fencepost Cactus

Lemaireocereus marginatus

Tall and beautiful, Mexican fencepost cactus gets its name from its vertical growth. The dark green stems are decorated with silvery spines running down the side of the plant in straight lines.

Notocactus schlosseri Notocactus schlosseri

Notocactus schlosseri

Notocactus schlosseri is a spherical variety that has showy coppery-spines and lemon-yellow flowers.

Notocactus scopa Notocactus scopa

Notocactus scopa

A globe-shaped species, Notocactus scopa has yellow-orange spines and ivory-yellow flowers.

Espostoa melanostele Old Man Cactus

Espostoa melanostele

Old man cactus is a tall variety that looks like it's covered in soft white hair. When it blooms, it has orchid-like white flowers.

Espostoa lanata Old Man of Peru Cactus

Espostoa lanata

Old man of Peru cactus earned its name from its long spines that look like the plant has a bushy white beard. It's an upright grower that has red flowers.

Oreocereus trollii Old Man of the Mountain Cactus

Oreocereus trollii

Old man of the mountain cactus earned its common name because its upright growing stems appear to be wrapped in flowing white hair.

Opuntia microdasys var. rufida Opuntia microdasys var. rufida

Opuntia microdasys var. rufida

Opuntia microdasys var. rufida is a type of prickly pear cactus that has flat pads studded with spines and yellow flowers.

Mammillaria parkinsonii Owl-Eye Cactus

Mammillaria parkinsonii

Owl-eye cactus is a charming mounding variety that has white spines, densely clustered at the top of the plant, and creamy-yellow flowers.

Parodia aureispina Parodia aureispina

Parodia aureispina

Parodia aureispina is a small, rounded variety that has small white and large, yellow hook-shaped spines with yellow flowers.

Parodia nivosa Parodia nivosa

Parodia nivosa

Parodia nivosa is a small cactus with long white spines and bright red-orange flowers.

Pilocereus repandus Pilocereus repandus

Pilocereus repandus

Pilocereus repandus is a tall, upright cactus that grows to tree-like proportions outdoors in the tropics. It has white flowers and showy red fruit.

Pilosocereus lanuginosus Pilosocereus lanuginosus

Pilosocereus lanuginosus

Tall and upright, Pilosocereus lanuginosus has creamy flowers and abundant coppery-yellow spines. Zones 10-11

Mammilaria pringlei Pincushion Cactus

Mammilaria pringlei

Pincushion cactus is an excellent houseplant that has a mounding shape, golden-yellow spines, and pink flowers.

Mammillaria longimamma Pineapple Cactus

Mammillaria longimamma

Pineapple cactus is a low-growing variety that has branching stems topped by star-shaped spines. It has creamy-yellow flowers.

Euphorbia trigona Red Red African Milk Tree

Euphorbia trigona Red

You wouldn't guess red African milk tree is actually related to poinsettias! This succulent has upright stems flushed with red and silver. Zone 10

Mammillaria spinosissima Red-Headed Irishman Cactus

Mammillaria spinosissima

Red-headed Irishman cactus earned its name because the new spines at the top of the plant are a rich, coppery-red color. As they mature, the spines fade to silvery white. This globe-shaped cactus has pink flowers.

Melocactus matanzanus Turk's Cap Cactus

Melocactus matanzanus

Turk's cap cactus is a small, slow grower that's topped by coppery-colored spines and pink flowers.

Mammillaria geminispina Twin-Spine Cactus

Mammillaria geminispina

Twin-spine cactus is a rounded, mounding variety that has silvery-white spines and cute pink flowers.