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We know of plenty of unusual cactus houseplants in the world. From the exotic look of stapelias to the fragrant aroma of peperomia, there are so many kinds of cacti houseplants for you to choose from. But did you know they also make the best houseplants? Check out this article on our blog for more details about these exciting plants and unusual cactus houseplants!
Why should I get a cactus as a houseplant?
Everyone can grow a cactus. Unusual cactus houseplants are perfect for you if you have no idea how to take care of houseplants and with little time and energy to do so. As succulents, they don’t need much water and light. Meaning, they will survive in the most lightless corners of your home as well as under the brightest windows of your house.
There are more than enough reasons why people all over the world prefer keeping them as indoor plants. Their strange shapes also look beautiful inside glass or ceramic pots that match their colors. You can start by supporting one of these cacti houseplants: Century plant, Christmas cactus, Crab cactus, Elephant’s foot, Fishhook Cactus, Crown of thorns, Barrel cactus, and Donkey tail.
The “Christmas Cactus” is a popular houseplant because it blooms at Christmas time. In addition, a Christmas cactus blooms at the end of winter, making it an ideal plant to have indoors during this time of year. This thick cactus blooms in brilliant shades of pink, red, or white. We find this truly one of the most unusual cactus houseplants you can get. In fact, fanciers often collect several of the different colors to display.
Elephant’s food (a type of century plant)
This succulent is among the unusual cactus houseplants you can find. It has peculiar-looking leaves and can grow to be over three feet tall. Like the other plants on this list, Elephant’s food also belongs to the succulent family. It doesn’t need much water or light because it stores them inside its body. In fact, you only need to water occasionally and let some air inside its pot.
The Fishhook Cactus gets its name from the hooked spines that cover each areole along its stem. It is one of the best unusual cactus houseplants you can get. However, what makes these plants, genuinely unique is their flowers. They’re tubular, just like candy corn! They usually grow to be about 2 feet tall. These plants have yellow, cream, pinkish or reddish flowers that bloom from the tip of their stems.
These strange succulents are also known as the “crab cactus” because of their claw-shaped stems and small spines. Their flowers aren’t as bright as those of a Christmas cactus. However, they’re just as beautiful with petals that range from red, orange, yellow, pink, and white. They usually have around 5 petals on each flower and can grow up to 4 inches in diameter. The flower makes it one of the most unusual cactus houseplants you can have at home.
The Barrel Cactus sports a cylindrical shape and spines that form distinctive rings along its body. It is truly one of the best unusual cactus houseplants. It blooms in summer and sometimes even falls with flowers that range from red to pink or purple, depending on the species. The barrel cactus is a popular houseplant because it’s easy to care for and requires little water.
Candle Plant (Senecio Articulatus)
The “Candle Plant” is a type of Euphorbia that produces tall, narrow stems with white or purple spines. On occasion, it also has small delicate flowers as well as tiny berry-like fruit. They’re popular as indoor plants because they can produce flowers at any time of the year indoors. Remember, though, to water them sparingly. These plants need minimal watering. And they prefer soil that’s bone dry before watering again.
This prickly cactus gets its name from the dense cluster of spines that form a ball shape on its body. Sometimes these cacti even have sharp bristles that resemble pins or needles. The pincushion cactus grows easily as a houseplant because it doesn’t need much water or light. Plus, they’re very slow-growing, so you don’t have to worry about them outgrowing their pot quickly.
These unusual succulents belong to the Crassula family. These can turn from grayish-green with age. They grow in long vines with fleshy green leaves and sometimes small white flowers. Six-day burro’s tails are popular as indoor plants. This is because they only need minimal care such as infrequent watering and prefer living in indirect sunlight with 4-6 hours of exposure daily.
Crown of Thorns (a type of Euphorbia)
This succulent hosts slender branches and spines that usually grow around 4-5 cm long. They tend to resemble roses which makes it easy to see why this plant got its name! The Crown of thorns comes in almost every color: red, pink, white, and purple. They have a long blooming season so they flower at any time of the year too! These plants are famous for being easy to grow indoors because they’re very undemanding for sun exposure and water.
Also named “Mother-In-Law’s Tongue,” this succulent is a type of Dracaena that has stiff, leathery leaves with silver streaks along with them. It produces small white flowers if you give it enough sunlight. But, the best thing about this plant is its ability to cleanse indoor air from pollutants like formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide. This makes snake plants popular houseplants in areas with a lot of pollution due to their ability to filter the air in your home.
Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum Oxypetalum)
The “Queen of the Night” blooms only at night, but it’s worth waiting for! The Queen of the Night produces beautiful white flowers that can reach up to 18 inches in length! These cacti are popular as indoor plants because they only grow at night and need a lot of light during this time. However, people say that this plant can’t handle direct sunlight. With that, you have to make sure to put them under indirect light.
This beautiful desert cactus belongs to the Stenocereus family. It produces white or purple flowers during its blooming season, usually around springtime (hence the name). Easter lily cacti are perfect indoor plants. They only need direct sunlight for 3-4 hours every day, so you don’t have to put them lightly for extended periods.
Lemon Ball Cactus
The lemon ball cactus is a type of hedgehog cactus that produces yellow flowers when in bloom. It’s one of the many types of succulents with thick spines around its edges, and they usually grow up to 4-5 cm long! This plant is an easy grower as a houseplant because it only needs indirect sunlight for 5 hours daily and very little water. In addition, the Lemon Ball cacti are so undemanding, which makes them popular indoor plants!
The Biznaga Gigante is another type of cactus that’s native to Mexico. This desert beauty produces long green stems with sharp spines growing out from them. Many consider this a perfect addition to your indoor garden! Easy to grow, the Biznaga Gigante makes a good starter for beginners. It thrives in moderate light conditions, so you don’t have to put the plant in direct sunlight all the time! The Biznaga Gigante make good air purifiers, too. Consider including these in your home or office.
Yucca Rostrata Joshua Tree Cactus
When you want to add something different to add to your collection, consider the Joshua Tree Cactus. It offers a blue color that contrasts with other green cacti. Fairly easy to care for, this cactus happily grows in either full sun or partial shade. Like other cactus species, the Joshua Tree Cactus needs infrequent watering. While it grows up to 30 feet tall in the desert, grown indoors it grows quite slowly.
Notable in its desert garden, the Joshua Tree provides habitat and food for the wildlife in its area. As a bonus, this cacti species is virtually pest-free and disease-free.
Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
The Panda Plant comes from Madagascar. It produces small white flowers during the blooming season. Given that, plant enthusiasts love this as a houseplant or terrarium addition. Furthermore, this succulent proves easy to grow as a houseplant. It only needs indirect sunlight and average watering conditions! This means you can grow it without much maintenance.
Panda Plant sports a lovely leaf laced with contrasting colors. Showcased against other cacti, it truly stands out and gets noticed.
Bunny Ear Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)
The Bunny Ear Cactus is a very popular houseplant because it’s easy to grow and handle. This cacti species comes from Mexico and sports long green spines, making it look like it has bunny ears! They produce yellow flowers when in bloom. The Bunny Ear Cactus plants need direct sunlight for about 4 hours every day during the blooming season. However, they don’t need much water, so they’re an ideal choice for people who want a low-maintenance succulent that looks great!
Lechuguilla (Agave lopheantha)
This plant is scarce because it’s tough to find! The Lechuguilla comes from the desert areas of Mexico and needs direct sunlight for 4-5 hours each day. It grows well in dry conditions but you should water it once every 2 days during the blooming season. Also, make sure you place it where there are no drafts near the leaves. This plant makes the perfect attraction for cactus lovers who want something unique and rare. It creates quite a great decoration piece!
The Strawberry Hedgehog Cacti (Echinocereus)
Originating from Mexico, the Strawberry Hedgehog grows long spines, making it look like a tiny hedgehog! The Strawberry Hedgehog Cacti thrives in moderate light conditions; indirect sunlight for 4-5 hours per day works fine. However, unlike most cacti species, it needs water more frequently. This makes them one of the most unusual cactus houseplants in the world. You should water them once every 2 weeks during the active growth stage. However, you should also reduce watering during the winter season to every month.
Prickly Pear Cactus
Aptly named, the Prickly Pear Cactus grows many spikes on its leaves. However, it also lives up to its name by producing edible fruit! Use this fruit in cooking or eat it plain. Our friends at simplyrecipes.com provided an article to explain How to Cut and Prepare Prickly Pears.
Ready to Add an Unusual Cactus Houseplant to your home?
If you’re on the hunt for a unique and low-maintenance houseplant, or are just looking to add a little diversity to your indoor garden, cactus plants make an excellent choice. Have you ever grown a cactus plant before? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section. And if not, be sure to check out our list of recommended species – there’s something for everyone! Don’t forget to add new plants to your home and share this post with your friends and followers.