Cactus plants grow naturally in the Americas and thrive in warm climates. They come in various shapes, sizes, colors and some even grow flowers. Because they live all year long, many cacti can be grown and kept as house and office plants. These plants make popular indoor plants for homeowners and beginner gardeners due to their easy, low-maintenance care requirements.
Prickly Pear (Opuntia humifusa/compressa)
This perennial cactus plant grows in a clump that measures 8 to 12 inches tall and up to 36 inches wide. Bright yellow, funnel-shaped flowers bloom in late spring to early summer. Large, oval-shaped pads surround these one- to two-inch blossoms. Sometimes the prickly pear produces edible purple or red fruit as well. It prefers direct sun and needs constant soil moisture from spring to fall; only water the soil enough during the winter to prevent completely drying out.
Whisker Cactus (Pachycereus schottii)
In the wild, this cactus plant grows up to 84 inches high and 36 inches wide. It originates from Mexico and the Arizona and has dark green stems with sharp black spines that fade to gray with age. Mature plants have funnel-shaped flowers in the summer. The flowers are green on the outside and red, pink or white on the inside. The whisker cactus also occasionally yields fleshy, round-shaped fruit with black seeds. It grows best in a place exposed to direct sunlight and needs moderate watering during the spring and summer. Allow the soil to dry out between each watering.
Chrysacanthion Cactus (Parodia chrysacanthion)
Growing 5 inches tall and 4 inches wide after 10 years, this globe-shaped cactus house plant comes covered with pale yellow spines. It produces flowers in the spring and prefers direct sunlight exposure. It requires moist soil from spring to fall, but only enough water to prevent drying out in the winter.
Nivosa Cactus (Parodia nivosa)
This low-growing plant hails from Argentina and possesses a spherical or cylindrical shape. The green, woody stem gives way to round, white areas with white spines and protruding spikes. Bright red, funnel-shaped flowers grow approximately one inch long near the crown in the spring. Give it direct sunlight and moderate water in the spring and summer, allowing it to dry out between waterings. In the other seasons, water the soil sparingly.
Peruvian Apple (Cereus peruvianus)
The dark green column of this plant grows up to 15 feet tall. If you want to see flowers in the summer, give your Peruvian apple cactus as much direct sunlight as possible year-round. You'll be treated to white, funnel-shaped, 6-inch long blossoms with the outer petals tipped with a red or greenish-brown color. During the winter, only water it enough to keep the soil from drying out; otherwise keep the soil constantly moist.