Flowering Cactus Plants

Flowering Cactus Plants

Cacti are succulent plants that have spectacular flowers . They are so cheerful colors, it’s nice to see them … if you ever see them. Unfortunately, they remain open for a few days; So much so that most species only have them for 24 hours or even less, which is why many people think that not all cacti flourish.

But yes, they all do it. Some take longer than others, but if there is something they all have in common, it is that they are cactus with flowers . Deciding which are the most beautiful is a very complicated task, but we will try. In addition, we will give you some tricks to have them healthy, which will serve to make them want to flourish.

Mammillaria guelzowiana

Cactus with beautiful flowers


The Echinopsis are cacti originating in South America, specifically from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay. The genus comprises a total of 150 species, most of which does not exceed two meters in height.

The flowers of these plants are some of the largest in the cactusera family, reaching 5cm in diameter , and some of the most striking, being white, pink or yellow.

Echinopsis oxygona


The Ferocactus are succulents that usually have small flowers, which seem to stay a bit hidden behind the thorns. However, we wanted to include them in the list because there are species, such as F. wislizeni  whose orange flowers are very beautiful .

Originating in the deserts of California and Baja California, Arizona, southern Nevada and Mexico, are some of the most cultivated cacti plants for their undisputed ornamental value.

Ferocactus wislizeni


Gymnocalycium quehlianum

Gymnocalycium are cacti that grow naturally in Argentina, part of Uruguay, Paraguay, southwestern Bolivia and part of Brazil. The genus comprises 70 species which are characterized by having a more or less globose and compact shape, up to 15-20 cm in height.

They flower easily, and when they do we can see white, lilac, pink or red flowers.

Gymnocalycium quehlianum


The Mamillaria are gender largest cactus cactus family: contains over 350 species and varieties which grow to a height of between 15 and 60cm, with small flowers but very elegant, white, pink or red .

They are native to the south of the United States, the Antilles, Mexico and the coasts of Venezuela.

Mammillaria swinglei

Parodia (Notocactus)

The Parodia (formerly known as Notocactus) are plants that, in general, grow to reach 30cm in height. Originating in Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the genus comprises 50 species, all characterized by producing a large number of yellow, white or pink flowers thanks to which our day can be more cheerful.

Parodia tenuicylindrica (NOTOCACTUS MINIMUS)


The Rebutia are small cactus ideal for growing in a pot. Originally from Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, around 28 species of the genus grow to reach a height that rarely exceeds 30cm.

The flowers are a real marvel, to the point that they can cover the whole cactus, and they are of very varied colors: red, yellow, orange, pink … Which one to choose? The truth, I do not know. They are all so beautiful …

Rebutia iscayachensis


Tephrocactus geometricus

The Tephrocactus are succulents that, more than for their flowers, call attention for their stems and forms. However, the T. geometricus species, native to Argentina, has large flowers, up to 4cm in diameter, very nice white-pink .

With a maximum height of 20 centimeters, it is ideal to grow in a pot throughout its life.

Tephrocactus geometricus

How to get my cactus to bloom?

If you have cactus but you can not produce flowers, follow our advice so that, in less than what you expect, fill with flower buds.



Cactuses need to be in an area where sunlight gives them directly , not only to bloom, but also to have optimal growth and development. When they are in places with little light, the stems soon etiolan, that is to say, they lengthen looking for light which weakens them a lot.

For this reason, whenever possible, it is important to have them outdoors, exposed to direct sunlight.


The substrate for these plants should allow water to drain , otherwise the roots would suffocate and die. Keep in mind that they grow in sandy, porous soils, so often the universal growing medium gives them many problems.

To avoid this, I advise you to use simply pomice, previously washed river sand or akadama . Thus the roots will always be aerated and can perform their functions correctly.

If you do not have how to get them you can choose to mix black peat with pearlite (or other similar material) in equal parts.


Watering the cactus has always been a complicated issue. Today there is still no universal rule, and as the frequency varies depending on the location and climate, you know what they say: each master has his book .

From my own experience of several years (I began to collect them in 2010 more or less) I can tell you that the best thing to do is check the humidity of the substrate before watering . In summer the substrate dries very quickly, but in winter it costs more, so that the frequency of irrigation should not be the same. How to do it? There are several ways:

  • Take the pot once it is watered and again after a few days.
  • Use a digital humidity meter.
  • Introduce a thin wood stick and check how much soil has adhered to it (valid only if peat is used or similar): if it comes out practically clean, it is because the soil is dry.

Watering in winter: yes or no?

There are different opinions here. There are those who say that they should not be irrigated because they are not growing and could rot, and there are others who irrigate them from time to time. I have them outdoors all year round and winter rains do not affect them at all, so I do recommend watering them from time to time .

Of course, if frosts are expected, do not water, otherwise the roots could freeze.


Mineral fertilizer

The fertilizer must be made during the entire growing season , that is, from spring until the end of summer. It can also be fertilized in the autumn if the weather is mild and there are no frosts or they are late, mild (up to -2ºC), short-lived and very punctual.

But what use to pay? It does not work any fertilizer. For the cactus we must use mineral fertilizers , either prepared specifically for them following the indications specified in the container, or with Nitrophoska or Osmocote pouring a small spoonful every 15 days on the surface of the substrate.



We often fall into the error of thinking that the cacti, having a slow growth -most of them-, can be in small pots for a long time. But this is not so.

Each time we buy one we have to change it from a pot in spring or summer, passing it to a pot that is at least 3cm wider . In this way, you can continue to grow.

Protection against the cold

Although most of the cactus can be grown outdoors as long as the temperature does not drop below -2ºC, it must be protected from hail and snowfall. Both a meteorological phenomenon and the other cause them a lot of damage, so much so that we could lose them.

Therefore, if we live in an area where the winters are cold, we have to introduce the plants in a greenhouse, inside the house, or protect them with plastic and / or thermal garden mesh .


So, you can be sure that they will bloom ????.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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