Last updated on May 20th, 2023 at 06:33 pm

A cactus is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Cactaceae. Cacti or cactuses are a large family of about 2,000 species and 139 genera. Cacti originate from the desert and semi-desert regions of North and South America. Mexico has the widest variety of cacti species. Only a few cactus genera are native to dry regions of East Africa, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar.

Cactus is derived from the Greek word ‘Kaktos’ in the 1600s. It was used to describe the Spanish artichoke or cardoon plant with spines found in Sicily. Although the cardoon or artichoke thistle was prickly, it is not similar to the appearance of what is now called the cactus.

Cacti have been known to humans for centuries and are found in pictorial representation in ancient Aztec art and sculpture. It was known to the Aztec civilization of Northern Mexico and the Inca Empire in Peru.

Mexico’s national coat of arms displays a cactus, an eagle, and a snake.

The first cactus arrived in Europe with Christopher Columbus. The unique plant created extreme curiosity and interest among scientists and plant growers.

Not only did cactus plants make an impression in Europe, but the prickly pear cactus was taken to Australia in the 19th century. It became popular as a natural fence for use as a natural fence. Another purpose of this caucus was to feed the cochineal industry, where an insect is bred to produce a substance that acts like a red dye.

The interest in cacti grew so much among scientists, botanists, and gardeners that new kinds of cacti were discovered every year. Due to over-harvesting, many cacti have become endangered in the wild.

What does the Cactus flower symbolize?

Most cactus varieties may not appear as pretty and ornate as several other ornate house plants, but most cacti have beautiful flowers. The tough exterior is misleading as they have a soft inside that’s hidden inside. Mostly bright and colorful, cactus flower meanings vary according to their color.

The native American plant species represents several deeper spiritual meanings. Spiritually, cactus plants symbolize endurance and the ability to perceive beyond what is visible to the eyes. These flowering plants are also connected to trust and protection against danger.

The beauty of cacti lies in their existence. The internal system of storing water and nutrients, the ability to face odds and hardship, and the property to heal is a true marvel. Cacti, mostly found in barren lands, also stand for the capability of pushing the extreme limits of one’s life.

In some cultures, cacti symbolize sexual attraction and loneliness. In the Japanese language of flowers or Hanakotoba, a cactus in bloom is gifted to someone to express sexual attraction. Cactus plants are also given to people who need inspiration.

In Feng Shui, placing a cactus correctly in the house is very important. When placed near the entrance door, it may attract negativity.

All in all, the cactus flower symbolic meanings are:

  • warmth
  • unconditional
  • enduring love
  • strength
  • protection
  • lust
  • attractiveness

Meaning of the Cactus flower colors

Red color 

Red is the color of warmth, romance, and admiration. It also represents energy, happiness, good fortune, and success. Cacti with bright red flowers can be a great birthday or graduation gift. Although red flowers are mostly connected to love, giving a cactus with red flowers is a big NO! Remember, they have thorns that may communicate unfriendly messages.

White color

The white cactus flower’s meaning is similar to most white blooms. They represent innocence, purity, sacrifice, and sympathy. Cactus flowers connect to motherly love, protection, strength, and resilience.

Yellow color

Yellow is cheerful, and flowers blooming in shades of yellow also represent joy. Yellow cactus flowers in a room can usher in some positive energy.

Pink color 

Pink cactus flowers represent grace, friendship, and happiness.

Orange color

Orange is a color of happiness, health, and vibrancy. Orange cactus flowers represent excitement, zeal, warmth, and enthusiasm.

Interesting facts about the Cactus flower

  • Not all, but most cactus plants produce showy flowers.
  • Cacti open their stomata only during the night to preserve water.
  • Some cacti become dormant during summer when the temperatures are extremely hot, and there is a lack of water. They do not grow or make food at all during this phase.
  • The prickly cactus spines are leaves.
  • All cacti’ spines are not the same. They may be round, awl-like, curved, straight, bristle, or hair-like.
  • Cacti can live for ages. Some varieties can even live up to 200 years.

How to grow Cactus flowers

Cacti are popularly grown as houseplants. They are very easy to grow and need minimal maintenance. Most of these plants bear attractive flowers. 

Unique as they are, the cactus flower is also exclusive to each cacti plant. Cacti are also popular living fences. Fruits of some cacti, like the dragon fruit and the prickly pear, are edible.

  1. Choose a cactus that is relatively easy to grow.
  2. Cacti dislike too much water, so use well-draining soil.
  3. Water your cactus on a regular basis from spring through autumn.
  4. Withhold water and fertilizer, and transfer the pot to a cool, sunny location during dormancy.
  5. Place the cactus in a sunny spot.
  6. Avoid repotting the cactus too frequently since they dislike being moved.

How to care for Cactus flowers

  1. Give the cacti plenty of light.
  2. Water the cacti thoroughly.
  3. Use the proper cactus soil and fertilizer.
  4. Purchase a prickly pear cactus.
  5. Handle the cacti with care.

Best time to gift Cactus flowers

Blooming cacti look extremely attractive and can win anyone’s heart. Gifting cacti with flowers can be a bit tricky. 

A cactus flower cannot be given as a gift separately. You have to give a potted plant that’s in bloom. Cacti flowers can be gifted to people who admire these hardy, charming plants on birthdays, anniversaries, and graduation.


Cactus flowers bloom in some of the brightest colors, and their meaning is special depending on the hue they flaunt. The vibrant, eye-catching blooms can be seen in the brightest shades of red, orange, yellow, and pink. Cacti usually have large and showy flowers. 

In the language of flowers, the cactus has some very conflicting meanings. Some believe it to be a gesture of protection from misfortune and danger, whereas some think it expresses lust.

Cactus flowers naturally add a pop of color to desert landscapes and interiors when they are cared for.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!