9 Types of Cacti for Succulent Lovers

9 Types of Cacti

For the plant lover you are, cacti are no doubt a top pick. And for a couple of ~good~ reasons.

With the numerous shapes, sizes, and colors, every type of cacti can offer you the ultimate all-in-one decor solution— at home or work. But what’s even more appealing is their simplistic nature that makes caring for them a breeze.

You don’t need some top-level gardening skills to have these desert- dwellers shining — although that would be a nice thing. And no full attention either. Occasional peeks at them can go a long way – of course, coupled with a few very simple care regimens.

Seriously, with all the various types of cacti, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t grow at least one for yourself!

So, with all the types of cacti out there, how do you settle on a few serious plants? This is an overwhelming decision to make, right? Well, you could grow as many types of cacti as you wish. But, there isn’t just enough space and time for that.

For a start, have a look at the following 9 types of cacti.

But before we dive into that… If you want 2 FREE E-Books, sign up here for a FREE 30-day trial of Amazon’s Audible program! Consider it a gift from your friends at Succulent City!

9 Types of Cacti
9 Types of Cacti @csg.succulents

Chollas – Cylindropuntia

These are a type of cacti popular for their barbed spines that grab on tightly to anybody that comes in contact with them (clothes, fur and so on). That’s something to be weary of right there.

Be careful not to touch any species of Cholla with bare skin. You’ll regret it, guaranteed.

The species come in a range of sizes, with some growing to sizes of trees while others being creepers or shrubs. Get your own Cholla on Amazon!

These natives of Mexico and parts of the United States require a well-drained soil and adequate sunlight.

We highly recommend this soil mix by Bonsai Jack. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market for your garden. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants. Go ahead and get the 7 Gallon Bag if you are plant nerd like us :). Pick up some of our favorite soil by clicking here: Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil.

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Additionally, the Chollas do best in temperature ranges of 50° F to 70°F (10°C – 21°C).

Watering is a huge deal before maturity, but always ensure the top soil in your garden is dry before doing it. When mature, watering can be revisited occasionally. In cases of prolonged drought, keep up with the watering routine you’d stick to when the plant is establishing. Give your Chollas a home in these planters! They’ll look great in any home or office!


9 Types of Cacti
Chollas @fdvlandscape_photography

Christmas Cactus – Schlumbergera Bridgesii

This such a unique member of the cactaceae family in a couple of ways.

For one, it is not a natural desert dweller like the rest. Instead, it’s a coastal resider, the Brazilian coastline being the natural habitat. And that means it can still do well in conditions other types of cacti find unfavorable.

Secondly, they favor low light sites— as direct sun rays can have a devastating effect on the leaves. If your home or office is a lowlight setting, here’s our list of 7 best succulents for low light environments!

Finally, the Christmas Cactus plant lacks the characteristic of spines, present on a lot of types of cacti species, instead of spotting serrated true leaves. The species also develop colorful flowers, including red and pink. If a pop of color is what you’re looking for, get yourself a Christmas Cactus, or check out these 5 succulents with red flowers and these succulents with orange flowers!

As it is not suited to desert conditions like its cousins, Schlumbergera Bridgesii should never sit in a completely dry potting mix. Always water when the mix is partially dry.

The Christmas Cactus plant can do with a little bit of low light. But guess what– if you want to see those blooms… give it some light – indirect, that is.

The Christmas Cactus can develop and become rather large. So, we found this set of 2 beautiful planters—one smaller and one large, that you can transfer your cactus plant through when it gets larger.

9 Types of Cacti
Christmas Cactus @plantgazing

Hedgehog Cactus – Echinocereus

Echinocereus is a genus type of cacti that grow in clusters of 3 to 60 stems. Each of these stems are ribbed with numerous spines on its surface.

The flowers (which are usually large) form at the end of these almost cylindrical stems and develop into edible fruits. Yep… Cacti and succulents can be edible. Check out this list of 6 edible succulents you may like to taste!

The Hedgehog Cactus plant can tolerate temperatures up to 50°F minimum and thrive on moderate watering – once every other two weeks.

Be sure to keep the frost away during the cold months!

Let the plants enjoy the sun – lots of it. Ideally, 6-8 hours a day is fine. They love it that way!

To keep up with the hedgehog theme, we found this adorable hedgehog- themed planter and this cute hedgehog and cactus coffee mug! Check them out!

9 Types of Cacti
Hedgehog Cactus @chubbyplantpeople

Saguaro – Carnegiea Gigantea

Saguaro is one of the few types of cacti that grow up to be huge, imposing, spine-covered trees. This native of Mexico (Sonora Desert) can reach a height of 12 m upon maturity – which can take up to a hundred years! There’s even a grow-your-own kit on Amazon! Take a look, here.

The barrel-shaped stem is the water storage room, expanding considerably to keep as much of it as possible. A mature Saguaro stem can take up more than 700 liters of water in a rainstorm!

Keep your Carnegiea Gigantea in a well-draining soil mix, which you can get here, for optimum growth. And while at it, have it get access to a healthy amount of sunlight.

And this type of cactus plant needs very little watering to thrive – basically once a month during the growing seasons. With all the water-saving capacity this cactus has though, you may need a large watering can! In winter, when the plant is dormant, consider watering once or twice for the whole season.

9 Types of Cacti
Saguaro @abitofeastandwest

Peyote – Lophophora Williamsii

Another spineless member of the cactaceae family.

Peyote is recognized for its chemical components that give a general high feeling when ingested – used mainly by religious groups.

This type of cactus plant can attain a height of up to an inch and a diameter of 2 inches. The stem is green in color and globular with a number of ribs dotted with fuzzy hairs.

Give your Peyote cactus a well-draining mix and cut back on watering as soon seedlings are good to go.

Make a point of shielding your plant against direct sun rays. The Peyote does best in temperatures 70°F to 90°F (21°C -32°C). If keeping outside, try keeping your Peyote under this sun-blocking shade cloth! Helps keep your plants from becoming sun-burnt.

Just so you know: unless you’re a member of the Native American Church, stay away from the Peyote. Due to its dwindling population, growing this type of cactus plant has been outlawed and it’s only permitted to members of NAC specifically those in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon and Nevada.

9 Types of Cacti
Peyote @j.lithops_conophytum

Bunny Ears Cactus – Opuntia Microdasys

The Bunny Ear Cactus is one of the most grown type of cacti species, owing to its rabbit head appearance.

It lacks a central stem, instead, it is composed of pad-like segments of varying length and breadth. Each of the segments are covered by lots of glochids occurring in clusters. And they cause some serious irritation on the skin, so beware of the deceivingly fine darts.

The Opuntia Microdasys does best with temperatures of up to 100°F (38°C) but prefer readings below this during the cold season – typically between 50°F and 65°F (10-18°C).

Don’t fret too much about water. The general rule for cacti holds – the less the better. Pick up your watering can as soon as the potting mix is dry at the top.

Check out a more in-depth conversation about the Bunny Ears Cactus in our article, here!

9 Types of Cacti
Bunny Ears Cactus @synthesispgh

Old Lady Cactus – Mammillaria Hahniana

This is a solitary growing type of cactus with the stem bearing a cylindrical shape. The entire plant is covered with white hairs and spines, hence the name “Old Lady.”

Summer and spring are the seasons when the Old Lady Cactus grows up pink blossoms at the apex.

Mammillaria Hahniana is quite hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as -5°C (23°F) to -10°C (14°F). Find out what a “hard” or a “soft” cactus is, here

The ideal watering frequency is once a week during the growing seasons and once a month in winter.

Want to see those blossoms? Be sure to let the sun shine on the Old lady.

9 Types of Cacti
Old Lady Cactus @b.e.s_garden


This is a collection of close to 20 epiphytic cacti endemic to Central America.

The stems are broad and flat, usually with lobbed edges. Epiphyllum Oxypetalum is a particularly popular species in this genus.

These cacti aren’t so fond of direct sunlight, so shielding them under other plants is highly recommended.

Use a well-draining mix and apply a sporadic watering regimen in order to have healthy Epiphyllum plants – once every two weeks for spring to fall and once a month during winter.

9 Types of Cacti
Epiphyllum @a.planted.life

Star Cactus – Astrophytum Asterias

The Star Cactus is native to Mexico and parts of the United States. The plants are small and globular, reaching a maximum height of 2 inches and a diameter of 6 inches. The stem is ribbed with each rib having a couple of white hairy areoles.

The blooms, which are yellow, come out to play between March and May.

Astrophytum Asterias do love sunlight, so be sure to expose it to the rays every few hours per day for better growth.

Water this plant once every two weeks during the growing seasons. Reduce this frequency when the plant enters dormancy in winter – once a month should do it.

Do the Star Cactus sound like the plant for you? Take a look at our article dedicated to this unique plant, and find out more!

9 Types of Cacti
Star Cactus @galateasart

Think you’ve found your ideal type of cactus to incorporate into your unique lifestyle? Check out this amazing opportunity to help get your collection started… Have you heard of Succulents Box? They offer more than 200 varieties of succulents, that are organically grown in California, along with monthly subscription boxes of fresh succulents and air plants! Starting at just $5/month, you could be on your way to creating a beautiful succulent garden, all from the comfort of shopping at home! Click this link to learn more about Succulents Box and start your subscription today!

Comment below which types you’ve added to your own home or garden, or share with fellow succulent lovers in our exclusive Succulent City Plant Lounge Facebook group!

For additional succulent content, we’re on Instagram and Pinterest! Check them out for daily succulent inspiration!

Want to enhance your succulent knowledge? We have some additional articles for you to try out! Take a look at Can Succulents Survive in My Work Environment, Why the Prickly Pear Cactus is One of the Most Popular Cacti, 9 Cacti That are Hard to Find, and What Adaptations Does a Cactus Have. You’ll be a succulent and cactus guru in no time!

Happy planting, friends! ?

The 11 Best Trailing Succulents You Should Have

The 11 Best Trailing Succulents

There are about 10,000 succulent species out there.

This is an advantage to you as a houseplants enthusiast, right?

You get a variety – in more ways than you can wish for. In terms of color, shape, and size; everything you want is taken care of. You know what else? The growing habits. Sure, succulents have the appeal of being compact for a larger part. They can fit into their assigned spaces for the longest time. It is just one of the reasons for its popularity. But what if you are the type that prefers some dangling stems in your gardening resume? What options do succulents offer you?

As mentioned – more than you can wish for. But for a start, grab yourself this list of 11 best trailing succulents. Also, be sure to check out “16 Types of Succulents” for more variety to your succulent shopping list.

The 11 Best Trailing Succulents
Variety of Succulents @plantsofjoy

1. Monkey’s Tail (Hildewintera colademononis)

This hairy beauty is a Bolivian native and produces multiple stems – that develop later on as it grows.

The entire stems are usually covered with soft white hairy spines. The spines, though, still allow the light green color of the stems to shine through. Add on it the bright red flowers that the stems bring forth once and you’ll have a complete sight to behold.

The stems can grow to a length of up to 2 ½ meters. Check out our piece on the monkey’s tail in “The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus“.

2. The String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

Endemic to South Africa, the succulent offers so much versatility as far as the potting containers are concerned. From teeny teacups to hanging planters– everything goes. And it is sure to turn heads.

It has globular pea-like leaves with a light-green color. The stems can attain a length of nearly 1 meter.

As with any other succulents, it is easy to care for. The only thing you want to watch out for is the frost – the two don’t get along well. And it’s the succulent that will always give way.

3. Rat Tail Cactus (Aporocactus flagelliformis)

Mexico is the home to this third entry. Want a leggy succulent ideal for both indoor and outdoor growth? The rat tail cactus is your best option.

The green stems are covered with fuzzy-like small fine hairs and can grow up to 3 ft. The flowers are conspicuous and can be either red or pink.

Take a look at more info having to do with the Rat Tail Cactus in “The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know”

The 11 Best Trailing Succulents
The Cactus Like a Rat Tail @cactusmagazine

4. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)

The burro’s tail is native to southern Mexico.

It has long flat pointy leaves that are either light-green or blue-green. The plants can grow to as much as 4 ft. from the hanging basket. Their flowers come out during the summer – taking on either a pink or red pigment.

Check out “10 Beautiful Flowering Succulents You Need for the Summer”

The burro’s tail boosts of being easy to propagate which has made it a popular option among the trailing succulents. Check out this piece on the Burro’s tail, “Sedum Morganianum— the Burros Tail Succulent Plant

Just remember to give it full sun exposure. It loves that!

5. Calico Kitten (Crassula pellucida variegate)

Remember the variety that comes with succulents? The colors aspect to be precise. You can find lots of it in this single plant.

The heart-shaped variegated leaves come in a combo of colors – pink, cream, purple and green. Good luck with finding any succulent with this diversity. What’s more, the color can vary depending on the amount of sunlight the plant is exposed to. For full sun exposure, the leaves turn into a dark purple hue. This jewel bears white flowers. Check out other amazing colored succulents in “8 Blue Succulents You Need in Your Succulent Garden

6. The String of Bananas (Senecio radicans)

This hardy plant is native to South Africa.

It gets its name from the characteristic banana-shaped green leaves. Flowers can take on a lavender, white or yellow color. On top of the nice aesthetics, the flowers also produce an inviting cinnamon scent.

One huge advantage of this plant is its rapid growth.

The 11 Best Trailing Succulents
The Shape of a Banana @alby.and.co

7. Wax Plant (Hoya pachyclada)

It’s endemic to Asia, Australia, and the southern parts of India. This is the second plant here tolerant of both outdoor and indoor growing conditions.

The leaves are green for a larger part with the regions towards the edges being red. The spring and summer are the best periods to experience the full beauty of the wax plant. During these seasons, it puts out showy white blooms.

You’ll do the plant well by providing it with partial shade.

8. Ruby Necklace (Othona capensis)

This South African native is another multi-colored trailer. The leaves are bean-shaped and blue-green. The stems on, their part, are purple. The plant bears yellow flowers. And the colors here are not a faded lot – they are as bright as you can imagine.

That with their blend makes the ruby necklace an invaluable leafy jewel.

Want more options in succulents from Africa? Take a look at “8 Most Popular Succulents from Africa” for more.

9. Climbing Aloes (Aloiampelos ciliaris)

The climbing aloe is native to South Africa. It’s a hardy plant that, just like the string of bananas above, grows rapidly. In fact, it has the highest growth rate among all the aloes.

The green fleshy leaves have white soft hair-like teeth (ciliaris) growing along the margins. The leaves are curved downwards and act as anchors for the plant as it climbs. Blooms are orange-red and come out between November and April. Take a look at another type of Aloe you probably didn’t know about in “Aloe Aristata— the Torch Plant“.

You can easily propagate the climbing aloe via cuttings.

The 11 Best Trailing Succulents
Resident to South Africa @tristellarel

10. The String of Nickels (Dischidia mummularia)

The plant gets its name from the appearance of its leaves – round, flat and bluish-grey. More like pieces of coins. The flowers are creamy-white.

Its natural habitat (the tropical rainforest) calls for a different ball game in caring for them, but not so much. You will need to provide it with soil that is specifically made for epiphytes, more humidity than your average succulents, and indirect light.

11. Peanut Cactus (Echinopsis chamaecereus)

The peanut cactus is originally from Argentina.

It grows in clamps with individual stems reaching a length of 10cm. Soft small spines that are white cover each stem. The stems bear showy orange flowers. Check out another type of cactus, like the star cactus in “Everything You Didn’t Know About the Star Cactus—Astrophytum Asterias“.

Remember to keep the mix as dry as possible during winter.


The 11 Best Trailing Succulents
The Cactus Like Peanut Emerged in Argentina @vanlivingco

That was it! 11 best trailing succulents! Of course, there is more. We are talking about succulents, remember. Options are endless!!

But hey, there is always a starting point, right? You can start with a few and add on as time goes by. You can extend your collection to include the entire list – and then some more. Who said you can’t have it all? Let us know in the comments below the types of succulents you have in your house!

Loved learning about these succulents and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of Ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth Ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to also check out more insight on types of succulents in “5 Types of Air Plants” or “9 Types of Cacti“. Also, check out our Instagram and Facebook for more succulent-loving fun. Tag us in your succulent related posts for a chance to be featured on our page!

Happy Planting ?

All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola

All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola

There is simplicity, and complexity when it comes to keeping succulents. Simplicity comes in taking care of them, as they need less water and attention than other plants. Complexity is what any succulent gardener is faced with when it comes to choosing the perfect succulent. The variety of succulents available is astounding, and yet, there are some which are loved beyond reason. In the Echeveria variants, ‘Lola’ is a favorite. With a romantic and sensual name like Lola, it makes sense that so many would-be drawn to this stunning plant. Keeping one is like having an all-year-round stunning rose, with its evergreen, delicately arranged leaves. So, here is everything you need to know about Echeveria Lola.

All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola
Sensual Name Such as Lola @forloveofsucculents

Introducing…Echeveria Lola

The Echeveria Lola is part of a family known as Crassulaceae, from Mexico or Central America. Where other succulents typically have green leaves, Echeveria Lola’s leaves are a delicate shade of light purple or may appear to be a mix of gray and blue hues. Her leaves grow in the shape of a rosette, with overlapping leaves that appear to grow out of a heart. Another element that adds to its beauty is the thick layer of epicuticular wax that is found on the leaves. This is known as farina and makes the plant look as though it is covered in translucent wax resembling alabaster.

Each year in the spring, the blooms from the Echeveria Lola shoot through. They are a bright shade of pink and yellow, and bell-shaped. Like other Echeveria plants, they stand out on a stalk that catches the eyes and taste buds of pollinating birds.

Taking Care of Your Echeveria Lola

Enjoy this succulent by growing it outdoors and give it the room to spread out to its full potential. Don’t worry, this plant is far from invasive so you will be able to control how stunning it is within your garden or indoors. Here are the best conditions to have when caring for this succulent.

All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola
Take Care of Echeveria Lola @highway92succulents


Echeveria Lola is such a pretty succulent that you may be tempted to have it inside, but this will affect how it grows. It thrives in full sunshine, though a little bit of shade would be good as well, especially in very hot climates. When positioned in a place where it does not get direct sunlight, the plant will not be able to photosynthesis. The sad result of this would be the death of the plant since it will not be able to generate the food that it needs. Keeping it indoors means that you must check a number of boxes when it comes to ‘living conditions’. Positioning the plant where it will receive the afternoon sun would be ideal.

Check out our Ebook on “Best Lighting Practices for Succulent Growth” to get our full inside look at which methods are best for lighting your succulents.

Ideal Climate

You will notice it getting bigger and healthier in the summer, as that is when its most active growth takes place. If you experience especially cold winters, where temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you may need to move your plant indoors. Once there, invest in warming lamps so that your succulent does not die – cold is not Echeveria Lola’s friend.

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Did you know that some succulents prefer one climate over another? Check out “Summer & Winter Succulents: What’s the Difference?” for a list of succulents varying from season to season.

Watering the Echeveria Lola

Like other succulents, a little water goes a long way so only water it when the soil is completely dry. When watering, focus on soaking the soil and then letting it be till it is dry again. It can grow to fit a cupped hand, stretching up to 6” tall and up to 4” wide.  It is worth noting that this plant grows slowly, so you need not worry that the minimal water is affecting its overall growth. 

All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola
Growth of Your Pretty Lola @jenssuccs

This plant will thrive in containers and also do well in rock gardens. You will need to keep an eye out for mealybugs, which are more likely to grow if you have too much water on your plants. They will pop up when there is water trapped between the leaves. If by any chance water splashes in between the leaves when watering, a small bud of cotton wool is all you need to soak up the excess water. With this in mind, the way that you water this succulent is also important. Avoid watering it from above, instead, water it from the ground level.

Propagating Echeveria Lola

Patience is what you need when propagating this succulent. It typically takes around twice as long as your average succulent and will only really work if you get it right from the get-go. Once you figure out how to make it work, you could have a while Echeveria Lola garden within just six months. Here are the steps that you should follow:

  1. Begin by taking off the leaf, something that you need to do slowly to twist off the entire leaf. For successful propagation, you need to make sure that no part of the lead is left behind on the stem.
  2. After removing the leaves, take around 48 hours before you place it back into potting soil (this is just one approach). During this time, it will develop a callous.
  3. The second approach after plucking off the leaf is to keep it under a bright light for the two-day period. Each day mist it a little and before long, a tiny succulent will start to grow. Nurse this little one until it gets a little bigger and has several leaves and then place it into a pot.
  4. You will also find little offsets after some time sprouting at the base of your plant. If outdoors, and with plenty of space, you can leave these to grow. Indoors, they are ideal to carefully cut and plant into their own pots.

Check out “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents” for more helpful tips on propagating your succulents at home.

All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola
What You Need is Patience @dagtasmedrese

Repotting your Echeveria Lola

Once a year, transplant your succulent so that it can get rich nutrients from new potting soil to keep it going. This will especially help if you are keeping your Echeveria Lola indoors. The best time to repot your plant is in the spring, just before the growing season. When repotting, you need to carefully take the succulent out of the pot. Then, gently remove the old soil from the roots. If there are any roots that are dead, remove them. Place the succulent into a new pot with fresh potting soil, ensuring that the roots are well spread out. Do not water for around a week then water lightly. If your Echeveria Lola is growing outdoors, add a little bit of organic fertilizer and make sure that the soil is mixed up with some coarse sand for better drainage.

Tips for Care

Excellent care means that your succulent will thrive for years. Here are a few tips to make sure that happens.

  1. To maintain your succulent, stick to the basics. First, any dried or wilted leaves should carefully be picked off. This is one plant that does not need much in the way of pruning.
  2. If it naturally propagates and new plants begin to grow, you can carefully cut these off. Leave the tips to dry out for a day or two and then replant where desired.
  3. For even extra care of your plant, pay attention to the pH of the soil. Slightly acidic soil is best for this plant, and a pH of 6.0 is ideal.
  4. When keeping this plant indoors, it is best to grow it within a shallow clay pot that has excellent drainage. This will ensure that it thrives.

One key benefit to note is that Lola is non-toxic and safe if you have any animals so you can grow it anywhere. Therefore it is a great plant to have both indoors and outdoors. While non-toxic, it is not fit for consumption.


All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola
Maintain Your Echeveria Lola @littlesucculentshop_

Echeveria Lola Pests and Problems

Like many succulents, the quickest way to kill your plant mercilessly would be a heavy hand when it comes to water. These plants need very little water in order to survive. If you give them too much, they are prone to getting root rot which will kill the plant from the inside out. For that reason, excellent drainage is required. With pots, having holes at the bottom is ideal. When planting in your garden, mixing up the soil with some small rocks will help to improve the drainage and prevent the retention of too much water.

The main pest that affects these plants is mealy bugs. As has been noted, to keep these away, monitoring how you water the plant is your best bet. Keep it simple and focus on the base of the plant above all else. Lucky for you, we have a whole piece on how to handle mealy bugs as well. Check out “How to Get Rid of Mealybugs” for more.

All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola
Pests & Problems of Echeveria Lola @thegirlunsure.gardens

There are plenty of succulent nurseries that have the Echeveria Lola available for purchase. Should you be looking for a more convenient option, you can purchase this plant online through Amazon, Succulents Box as well as Etsy. Garden centers will also have this plant available for purchase.

Grow a Lola and brighten up your succulent garden, wherever it may be. With its ability to thrive in even the driest conditions, this is one plant that will retain its beauty for the long haul. Let us know in the comments below if you have the Echeveria Lola already planted in your succulent garden.

Enjoyed learning about “All You Need to Know About Echeveria Lola”? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “Rare Succulents You Wish You Knew About“. With this ebook, you can find out about other succulents like this one that will captivate your eye! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents. 

Happy planting! ?

The Beautiful Blue Cacti —Pilosocereus

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus

Did you know that cacti can be bright blue? Yup, that’s right—those photos you’ve seen on Instagram of blue cacti are not fake nor photoshopped! There’s a genus of columnar cacti called Pilosocereus that are so vibrant and blue that you almost won’t believe they’re real. They often have contrasting orange spines too, which makes them look even more beautiful and unreal!

Even though most Pilosocereus cacti have an otherworldly color, they’re not rare or hard to track down. Species like Pilosocereus pachycladus are widely cultivated, so you may even be able to find one at your local garden center!

Like all cacti, Pilosocereus love to soak up the sun and hate the cold. If you want to learn more about where these amazing cacti came from and how to care for them in your own garden, keep reading!

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus @florariym40

Origins of the Pilosocereus

Pilosocereus is a genus of tall columnar cacti that can be found in warm areas of the world like Mexico, Brazil, and the Caribbean. There are about 50 different species of cacti in this genus, and although not all of them are that vibrant bright blue color we love, many of them are!

Many species of Pilosocereus also have white wool covering them, which is how the whole genus got its name. Pilosocereus roughly translates to “hairy candle” in Latin. It’s probably one of the funniest plant names we’ve ever come across, but it makes sense! These blue cacti have a columnar shape that resembles a candlestick, and they are pretty hairy because of all that white wool! 

Two other things that make these blue cacti unique are their beautifully colored spines and flowers. Many of them have bright orange spines and vibrant blue flowers that match their beautiful blue stems. These are some of the most colorful cacti we’ve ever come across, so they’re a great way to inject a little color into your garden! 

One more thing to note about Pilosocereus is that they can get to be really tall. Some species reach 32 feet before they’re done growing! Because of how tall they get, most succulent gardeners plant them outdoors in the ground instead of keeping them in pots inside. They also tend to do better outdoors because they need so much direct sunlight, so that’s something to keep in mind. 

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
Bright orange spines @trexplants

How to Care for Pilosocereus Cacti

By now you’re probably dying to get your hands on one of these bright blue beauties so you can plant the cactus in your garden. But first, you’ll have to learn how to care for it! Keep reading to find out what you need to do to keep the newest addition to your succulent collection happy and healthy.

Water and Soil Requirements  for Pilosocereus Cacti

Pilosocereus seem to be able to handle more water than other succulents and cacti, especially in the summer, but you still have to be careful not to overwater them! If they sit in too much water or soil that doesn’t drain well, their roots will start to rot. That’s why it’s important to use a cactus soil that has lots of gritty ingredients. We like this one because it has perlite, sand, and limestone, which all promote drainage and help the soil dry out faster. 

Pilosocereus are pretty thirsty cacti! Some gardeners report that theirs need water almost daily during the warmer months. We recommend watering your Pilosocereus plant about once a week for most of the year, and then watching it closely in the summer and giving the plant more water as needed.

Before you give your cactus a drink, always remember to test the soil first. This helps prevent overwatering and root rot. Stick your finger or a moisture tester in the soil. Do this about once a week during the colder months and once a day when it’s warm outside. If the soil is dry a few inches down, give your cactus some water. If not, wait to water the cactus and check the soil again later. 


The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
Pilosocereus are pretty thirsty cacti! @charleen_aiden

Temperature and light requirements for Pilosocereus Cacti

Pilosocereus are from hot countries like Brazil and Mexico, so they love warm weather and full sun! They grow best in tropical temperatures of 70 degrees or higher and need lots and lots of bright, direct sunlight. Don’t be afraid to put them in full sun, even during the summer months. In Brazil, Pilosocereus grow in full sun in temperatures as high as 125 degrees, so you likely won’t have to worry about sunburn with this cactus like you would with other succulents. 

One thing you do have to worry about when it comes to growing Pilosocereus is frost. In their native environments, they don’t really face temperatures lower than 50 degrees. If there’s a cold snap, your cactus may get damaged. So make sure you take measures to protect your cactus by using a frost cloth when the temperature dips. And of course, don’t try to grow a Pilosocereus if you live somewhere that gets lots of snow and ice! 

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
Top view of the Pilosocereus cacti @jacquelinetaylor9611

Fertilizer Requirements for Pilosocereus Cacti

Pilosocereus cacti are already fast growers, but fertilizing them can help them grow even faster! They grow fastest in the summer, so that’s the best time to fertilize them. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer, like this one, up to once a month during the summer. 

Before you apply fertilizer to your growing cactus, make sure you dilute it to half strength so it doesn’t burn your plant. If the package says to use a tablespoon for each gallon of water, use a half tablespoon instead.  

There you have it! Those are our best tips for keeping your Pilosocereus cactus happy and healthy.

Now that you know more about them, are you going to get one of these amazing blue cacti Pilosocereus for your garden? Let us know in the comments section below! Happy planting! 

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
Blue cacti Pilosocereus @florariym40

We really believe this cactus will add a gorgeous pop of color to your garden. We wish knew about them years ago!

Are you already growing a Pilosocereus (or 2)? Drop a comment down below on some care tips you’ve experienced with your cactus! And share your photos in our exclusive Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge, today!

Looking to add some additional cacti to your garden? Check these cacti out with our articles in The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus, The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need to Know, Everything You Didn’t Know About the Star Cactus, or 9 Rare Cacti That’s Hard to Find!

Loved learning about this cacti and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide.

Happy planting! ?

The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica

The Rounded Ball Cactus Parodia Magnifica

For most people, cacti and succulents can be used interchangeably. Well, until recently when the clear distinction has been understood. If you didn’t know yet, all cacti are succulents but not the other way round. Succulents come in a wide species variety and cacti are just one of them.

And even for the cacti, there are so many plant options, round ball cactus being among them.

Maybe you’ve encountered it or not. Even if you have, just how much do you know about it? Buckle up because you’re about to learn a ton.

The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica
rounded ball cactus is a succulent @succulent.cabin

What is the Rounded Ball Cactus

Parodia Magnifica starts off growth as a spherical spiny structure but settles on a near columnar shape as it ages. The entire stem is ribbed and the plant can grow to a height up to 0.85 m. The diameter can go all the way to 0.45 m.

The whole stem is covered by spines that are yellow in color while itself being either green or having a tinge of blue-green. And this has greatly influenced the common names the Parodia Magnifica has (remember them from above?). In summer, it wears a yellow crown in the form of a flower. Check out what other succulents benefit from this yellow crown flower in “Succulents With Yellow Flowers“.

In general, rounded ball cacti are grown mainly for their aesthetic appeal – in the gardens (in places where they can survive outdoors) or in the house.

Scientific Classification

In the botany world, the rounded ball cactus comes from the Cactaceae family under the genus Parodia and the species Magnifica. This gives it the scientific name Parodia Magnifica.

The name is recent though. In the years gone by, the rounded ball cactus was scientifically referred to by two names; Notocactus magnificus and Eriocactus magnificus. If you bump into them anywhere, just know that they refer to this same plant.

Rounded Ball cactus isn’t the only common name there is. Parodia Magnifica is also known as balloon cactus, green ball cactus, and blue ball cactus. You’ll find out why in the upcoming part of this post.

This species has been found to be native to South American grasslands – in Brazil to be precise. Somehow, you can find it in homes across the world sitting around in pots (hello, succulent lovers).


The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica
rounded ball cactus surrounded by rocks @thesucculentstore

Bad and Good News

The bad first – Parodia Magnifica is labeled “Endangered” on IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) Red List. What does this mean? 

Despite this cactus species being available across the world (at least), the population isn’t something to write home about. The numbers are just too small which is kind of sad because there is a risk of losing the plant forever. Quite unfortunate.

To the good news

Despite its dwindling numbers, Parodia Magnifica was gifted the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the British Body Royal Horticultural Society. That means the plant satisfied a number of requirements laid down by RHS. Ignoring the conditions that might only be specific to Britain, the following are great to anyone from all over the world:

  • Easy to care for
  • Not prone to pest and disease attack
  • Excellent for garden decoration

This is definitely huge as more people will be interested in growing it. And who knows, maybe that will push up its population considerably.

Have a succulent garden at home? Check out “The Best Succulents For Your Fairy Garden” to see if you could transform your garden into something magical.

How to Take Care of Rounded Ball Cactus

You know the old adage for succulents?

They thrive on neglect.

And Parodia Magnifica is no different. It can battle out some super hard conditions to emerge healthy. What can you do as the plant owner, though? And to what limit?

The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica
Taking care of the Parodia Magnifica @kaktoscactusve

Watering the Parodia Magnifica

As a general rule, be as light-handed with watering as possible. Plenty of water is not something succulents have a preference for, if you’ve read our previous succulent articles, I’m sure you’re aware.

Just a little of it and they’ll be all good.

That means you have to make sure your watering sessions are adequately spread out to allow the soil mix to dry. Check the top part of the mix. Any whim of moisture is a sign that you should wait some more. Take a look at “How Often To Water Cactus” for more tips on watering your rounded ball cactus.

Sun Exposure for the Rounded Ball Cactus

The rounded ball cactus prefers plenty of sunlight. So, make sure it gets as much of it as possible for dapper development. Not too much of it though.

Ideally, half a day of sunlight will do just fine – in the morning. If it’s indoor, placing your plant near a window is even much better. Just be sure to rotate the pot so as the plant doesn’t stretch out. We don’t need any etiolation to occur for the Parodia Magnifica, otherwise, it’ll look extremely odd.

What’s the Ideal Temperature Conditions for the Parodia Magnifica?

Rounded ball cacti are ideal for Zone 9 to Zone 12 growth.

Tip: If you don’t know what zone your particular plant is find out here.

That means some super-low temperatures may turn out to be harmful. That is anything below 10°C. Basically, they have to stay inside, where it is warmer, during winter. For more helpful info to take care of your succulents during the cold season, check out “How to Care for Succulents in the Winter

The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica
Close up Rounded ball cactus @b_o_b_c_a_c_t_u_s

Take a break from learning about the Rounded Ball Cactus and check out this offer we have for you. Did you know that this article is sponsored by Amazon Prime! Amazon is offering our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of a FREE 30-day trial of their famous Amazon Prime Membership. Click here to get your free trial started and enjoy that free 2-day shipping!

Is Potting Mix for the Rounded Ball Cactus the Same as with other Cacti?

Good drainage is one thing you should give priority when it comes to the potting mix you choose.

You have two options here; either grab a commercial cactus and succulents mix or prepare your own mix at home.

To prepare one, all you need is a regular soil mix, pumice, and coarse sand. Throw them together in measured quantities and you’ll have the perfect medium for your rounded ball cactus to grow.

Can I use Fertilizer on the Parodia Magnifica?

Fertilizer isn’t much of a need for rounded ball cacti, especially if the potting mix is fresh.

Otherwise, apply a low nitrogen liquid houseplant fertilizer once every 6-8 weeks during spring and summer. Completely withdraw from fertilizing in winter.

Winter = dormancy. Fertilizing will do more harm than good.

How to Propagate Rounded Ball Cactus

Propagation of rounded ball cactus is best done by offsets.

When the offsets form, carefully pluck them from the mother plant and allow time for the cut part to callous or dry. Takes a few days.

Now prepare the ideal potting mix (remember it from above?) and place the calloused part in it. Keep the little buddies warm until they form their own roots. Wait a bit until they’re established and repot them.

Alternatively, you can grow new rounded ball cactus plants from seeds – only that it will take longer for your plant to grow to a considerable size. Plant the seeds as you would for any plant and wait for them to sprout. Keep the sprouts moist until they are of a considerable size for potting.

Propagation should be done during spring and summer, if you’re actually successful in the winter, you’re a cacti wizard for sure. Check out “How to Propagate Your Succulents Successfully” for a full guide to propagating your succulents.

Here are some inexpensive propagation tools that you can use to really help you out when propagating offsets of your prickly baby.

The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica
Frosty Succulent @toanakarat

Repotting your Rounded Ball Cactus

Repotting is done as soon as the plant overgrows its initial pot. You don’t want the roots to choke in limited pot walls.

Just remember – repotting during winter is a no-no. Always give the plant enough time to settle in before the cold weather comes knocking.

Is the Rounded Ball Cactus Susceptible to Pests & Other Problems?

Rounded Ball cactus has a solid resistance to diseases. So, no worries to that front. For pests, the most common are mealybugs and aphids.

Mealybugs appear like little bags of cotton and can attack the plant any season of the year. Aphids are fond of infesting the plant during summer/spring when it is flowering. You can eliminate them by spraying your plant with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. A suitable pesticide will also do the job just fine.

Besides that, the rounded ball is definitely a strong contender to fight off anything harmful. Talk about a ball of strength!

Where can I Buy the Rounded Ball Cactus?

A lot of options here. With the popularity of succulents, you’re sure to find rounded ball cactus in numerous online stores stocking succulent plants. Don’t forget your local nurseries.

Check out our article on where to buy succulents and you might be able to find it there.

The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica
Macro of Cactus @mrs.chucactus

Interested in getting a Parodia Magnifica cactus for yourself now? The care is not all that hard and the size of these cacti isn’t too space taking either.

Thank you for reading! Let us know if you get a rounded ball cactus for yourself, we’d love to see yours in action! Be sure to also check out “9 Types of Cacti” to see other types of cacti options for your garden.

Enjoyed learning about “The Rounded Ball Cactus— Parodia Magnifica”? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents“. With this ebook you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents. 

Happy Planting! ?