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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Desert Gems Cacti


Desert Gems Cacti Plant Features

Desert Gems® cacti -- some of the most colorful cactus around -- are easy-to-grow houseplants that add a bold dash of color to your home decor. Available in jewel-tone shades of topaz pink, emerald green, amethyst purple, fire-opal orange, and sapphire blue, Desert Gems cacti are small indoor plants perfect for decorating desks and tabletops. While they're stunning on their own, we love mixing these colorful cacti houseplants together in fun arrangements. You can also dress up Desert Gems cacti by growing them in colorful containers to match or contrast their vibrant hues.

Note: Desert Gems cacti have relatively soft spines, making them a lot less prickly than other cactus varieties. They're fun houseplants for older children to care for and nurture.

Want more information or inspiration? Check out for free idea book! Or sign up for our monthly email newsletter packed with tips and ideas for growing beautiful, healthy plants.

Desert Gems® Questions?
Our cactus experts are happy to help. Just send us an email!

Get ideas for dressing up your desk with Desert Gems.

Desert Gems Cacti Growing Instructions

Grow Desert Gems® cacti in a bright spot; they do best when they get enough light for at least part of the day to cast a strong shadow. These indoor plants will tolerate lower-light spots, especially for relatively short periods.

Water Desert Gems cacti sparingly. They typically don't need watering more than once every 10 to 14 days -- and possibly even less if they're grown in low light or consistently cool temperatures. Take care not to overwater these colorful cacti -- too much moisture is the easiest way to do them in. 

Desert Gems don't require much fertilizer, but if you wish to fertilize, you can do so as little as once a year or so with a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer. These cacti also don't require any pruning; they're truly easy to grow!

Get more care tips with our Houseplant Basics.

Note: Slow-growing Desert Gems will eventually grow fresh spines from the new growth that are not colorful. If this happens, don't worry --- there's nothing wrong with your plants. In fact, it shows you're a great indoor gardener and your plants are happy and healthy!

Desert Gems cacti are not intended for human or animal consumption. 

  • Light

    Indoors: High light
    Indoors: Low light
    Indoors: Medium light

  • Colors

    Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red

  • Water

    Low water needs

  • Special Features

    Purifies the air
    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Desert Gems Cacti with these varieties:
Aloe is a beautiful low-water succulent that looks beautiful with colorful Desert Gems cacti.

There is a wide variety of fun succulent houseplants available to pair with Desert Gems cacti.

Q: Can I use food coloring in the water to enhance or change the color of my Desert Gems cacti?

Great question! We've tried this and we've not really seen much of a difference in the color by using food coloring or food dyes in the water. This is not not an effective way to change or influence the color of the cacti. 

Q: Does the color you add to these plants harm them?

Good news: Our process for adding the color to Desert Gems does not harm them in any way. Our research and development department has worked hard to thoroughly test this. We add the color only to the spines of the cacti, not the green body. Because of that, Desert Gems photosynthesize and breathe the same as they do in nature. We have Desert Gems in our offices that are several years old and their growth is no different than their natural cousins. 

That said, because the color is added only to the spines, the new growth will come out white, rather than colorful.