9 Types of Cactus 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.

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!


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.

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.

Bunny Ears Cactus – Opuntia Microdasys

The Bunny Ear Cactus is one of the most grown types 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!

astrophytum asterias nudum
Astrophytum Asterias ‘Nudum’ @Pinterest

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!

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