My Picks For Cacti With No Needles – Also, Answer Why Do Cacti Have Needles? Do Cactus Needles Dissolve?

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Cacti are tough plants with pointy bits that many love to have in their gardens or homes. But only some people like the sharp spikes, especially if kids or pets are around. The good news is there are some cacti types without those pointy parts. Apart from listing cacti with no needles, this post also discusses why cacti have needles and whether they dissolve.

An Explanation For Why Do Cacti Have Needles?

Those iconic needles, technically known as spines, aren’t just for show. They serve crucial purposes:

  • Protection: Spines deter animals and birds from eating or damaging the cactus. In the wild, a defense mechanism is vital for survival.
  • Shade & Moisture: These spikes shade the cactus’s surface, helping it keep cool. They also trap moisture from the air, assisting the plant in water collection.
  • Reduced Water Loss: Cacti don’t have broad leaves, unlike other plants. Leaves can cause water loss. Spines evolved from leaves and minimized evaporation, aiding the cactus in water conservation.

We discussed this in another post: Why Does Cactus Have Thorns?

A common question: Do Cactus Needles Dissolve?

No. Cactus spines don’t dissolve or magically disappear over time. They’re durable and stay with the cactus throughout its life. If a cactus loses its needles, it could be due to a health issue or some external factor, not because they naturally dissolve.

My List Of Cacti With No Needles

Why cacti with no needles? People grow cacti without sharp points for a few good reasons. They’re safer, look neat and clean, and are easier to pick their fruit without getting poked. Even though in nature, these points help the cactus stay safe and save water, when we grow them at home or for business, cacti without them can be more helpful. Here are my few suggestions for cacti with no needles:

  • Bishop’s Cap (Astrophytum myriostigma): This delightful cactus has a star-shaped appearance and is entirely spine-free. The green body with white dots makes it an attractive choice for indoor gardening.
  • Blue Torch Cactus (Pilosocereus pachycladus): Though it might have tiny fur-like structures, it doesn’t have the typical long spikes. Its striking blue-green color is a visual treat.
  • Feather Cactus (Mammillaria plumosa): As the name suggests, this cactus has feather-like soft spines that are pretty harmless and add a fluffy look to the plant.

Do you like these suggestions? Let me know if you have more exciting ideas!


Cacti aren’t just about their pointy bits. While they have spikes for good reasons, some cacti look great without being prickly. Whether you choose a cactus without spikes or one with them, they’ll make your garden or home look remarkable with their fantastic look.

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Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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