Cactus plants are perfect to be grown indoors. They are low maintenance and require little water. They have their origins in the desert regions and adapt well to a warm, centrally heated home.
There are various species of cactus. They vary depending on their size, texture and shape. They are long-lasting and have a long life of decades. There are also many flowering varieties of cactus. Read on to know more about the flowering cactus, which is sure to brighten up your home.
1. Parodia magnifica
Also known as the Balloon cactus or Ball cactus. This flowering cactus is originally from Brazil. The plant has a cylindrical shape. Its stems have 11 to 15 sharp ribs with golden bristly edges. The plant turns dark blue as it grows and can form a cluster. The stem grows to a height of 8 inches in height with a diameter of 6 inches (ca. 15 cm). The flowers are silky yellow and reach a height of 2.2 inches (5.59 cm). The flowers appear in summer. Like other varieties of cacti, this plant does not like too much water. Addition of fertilizers during its growing period will ensure the best results. During the growing season, these plants require regular watering to maintain light moisture in the soil.
2. Bunny ears cactus
This species of cactus is also called polka dot cactus due to its appearance. It is a native of Northern Mexico and the desert regions of Arizona. This slightly larger variety of cacti looks like a shrub and occupies an area of 2-5 feet (1.52 m). The plant body is made of oval-shaped pads that grow in pairs and look like rabbit ears. The pads are red when they first appear and turn dark green on maturity.
The flowers grow at the end of the developed segments. The blooms first appear in late spring and the blooming period ends in early summer. Its flowers are smooth yellow and turn to peach on fertilization. The flowers eventually turn into 2 inch (ca. 5 cm) fruits which can be purple or red. The plant grows easily. They require intense light, moderate watering and average room temperatures.
3. Christmas Cactus
The impressive-looking flowering cactus have their bloom period around the holidays. These cacti are made up of large, hanging branches consisting of level, shiny green segments. The segments reach a height of 3 feet (0.91 m). The blooms appear in red, white, yellow, pink or purple colors. The 3-inch-long flowers have numerous tiers of petals and appear at the tips of the branches. The flowering period continuous for several weeks. You can enjoy the flowers for several days. This plant likes humid conditions compared to other varieties of cacti. The plant also requires extended periods of darkness before the flowering period.
4. Fairy Castle Cactus
This species derives its name from its curved branches, which look like turrets of a castle. It grows at a snail’s pace. A fully mature plant reaches a height of 6 feet (1.83 m). The stems have 5 sides with woolly based spines along each plane. Its arms are bright green in their youth and turn woody or brown as the plant ages. Distinct branches grow and lengthen with time to give a compelling look to the plant. After 10 years, the plant produces large white or yellow flowers at night.
Fairy Castle Cactus requires bright sunlight and well-drained soil. This cactus requires a lot of space for its roots and it is necessary to re-pot it every alternate year.
5. Star Cactus
Star cactus is also known as sea urchin cactus, sand dollar cactus or star peyote. The plump, circular body of this plant lacks a spine. They are easy to grow and blends well with a garden display. The plant is green to grayish brown. The plant body has numerous small white dots that scatter down the ridges. The plant body is divided into 8 sections covered with fine white hairs.
The flowering period of this plant is from March to May. The orange centers give an attractive look to the light yellow 3 inch (ca. 8 cm) flowers. The flowers eventually transform into gray, pink or reddish berries towards the end of spring. Caring for this plant is easy and it thrives well in sunny conditions.
6. Moon Cactus
This flowering cactus is a native of deserts of South America. More than 80 species of this cactus are found in Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia. These small plants are available in stunning colors like hot pink, brilliant orange and neon yellow. Moon cactus lacks the ability to produce chlorophyll and this is the reason for its bright colors. This variety requires grafting to another plant or rootstock so that it can have access to chlorophyll. This process maintains its life and colors. They require a minimal amount of water and indirect sunlight. Planting multiple moon cactus is sure to give a lot of colors to your home.
7. Ladyfinger Cactus
This appealing flowering cactus belongs to Mexico. The stems are slender and lengthy, resembling ladyfingers. The small stems sprout from the center in erect position. As they grow longer, they start sprawling around. The stems can spread out to occupy 3 feet (0.91 m) area.
Ladyfinger cactus produces huge, bright pink flowers. The attractive flowers have a white to yellow center. These blooms appear lavishly in spring. The ladyfinger cactus requires a dry, hot climate. This cactus can grow with once in a while watering and minimal fertilizers. They grow well when placed in dry conditions inside the house.
8. Bishop’s Cap Cactus
Bishop’s Cap belongs to the highlands of northern and central Mexico. The star-shaped flowering cactus grows in rocky soil. The immature plants have a spherical shape. But as they grow in height, they develop white hairy scales. The adult plants have 5 projected ribs covered with white spots. The number of ribs of the plant can vary from 3 to 10. This plant grows slowly.
The plant produces a 2-inch flower that resembles a daisy. The flower has a short life of a couple of days. The flowering season continues for months and the flowers bloom in quick succession. The blooming season is in spring or early summer. The beautiful yellow flowers have a slight fragrance.
These plants do not require water from October until March.
9. Old Lady Cactus
The Old Lady Cactus is a member of the Cactaceae family. This plant belongs to the Mammillaria family, which comprises around 200 different species of cacti. This flowering cactus has a body comprising of round stems. These round stems grow up to a height of 4 inches (ca. 10 cm) which can grow up to 10 inches (ca. 25 cm). The stem has a width of 5 inches (ca. 13 cm). Piercing white spines cover the stem and give the illusion of an old lady’s hair. During spring and summer, the spiky stem gives rise to reddish-purple flowers. These flowers bloom in a circular shape at the top of the plant.
10. Easter Cactus
Easter Cactus is a native of eastern Brazil. Also known as the Spring cactus, this flowering cactus produces star shaped flowers in many colours. The flowering period which begins in March continues till May. You can enjoy the flowers for several weeks. They open at sunrise and close at sunset.
These plants require partial sun and dry climate conditions. The glossy leaves are juicy and uniform. The plant grows with minimal care and can tolerate mistreatment.
11. Rat Tail Cactus
Don’t be fooled by the name of this flowering cactus, which is a native of Mexico. These drooping plants survives well in normal house conditions. The plant body is made up of lengthy stems covered with small, delicate spines. The immature stems are green but they turn beige with age. The fully grown stems produce 3 inches long tubular flowers. The color of the flowers varies from bright pink to red hue.
The plant can grow up to 6 feet (1.83 m) in length. This plant requires places with bright sunlight and low humidity. Rat Tail Cactus is perfect for growing in hanging planters or containers.
12. Claret Cup Cactus.
Claret Cup cactus is a native of the desert areas of American Southwest. This flowering cactus has a tiny body covered with spines. They do not grow above 6 inches (ca. 15 cm). The deep pink flowers are huge with a silky texture. These cup-shaped flowers produce large amounts of nectar. Finding claret cup cacti can be challenging since they are not easily available in nurseries. They grow well in dry conditions, and they do not tolerate moist soil.
13. Powder Puff Cactus.
Powder puff cactus is a fast-growing variety of flowering cactus. The sturdy plant body is surrounded by sharp shoots. Silky hairs form a covering over the outer body of the plant. The flowers are round, small and white or red. The flowers sprout from the axils of its tubercles. This species of cacti uses its tubercles to store water. The plant requires bright light and rich soil.
14. Prickly Pear Cactus.
Prickly pear are natives of the Western Hemisphere. The plant body is made up of broad, level pads that appear separately. The flowers and fruits of these plants are mostly edible. Some varieties are small and grow up to 6-12 inches (ca. 30 cm). Some others can grow as much as 10 to 15 feet in height. This plant requires full sunlight. The flowers appear in June to July months. The flowers are yellow, red or purple depending upon the variety of plant.