5 Cactus Varieties That Make Great Houseplants

by Ellen Johnson 10/04/2021

If you’re interested in growing a cactus inside as a houseplant, there are many varieties that do well indoors. Similarly to their succulent relatives, most cacti do not need constant attention to thrive. Here are some of the best varieties of cactus to grow indoors as houseplants.

Bunny Ear Cactus

Also called the angel wing cactus, bunny ear cacti have a bright green color and an iconic branching growth pattern. Rather than long stems, this cactus grows rounded paddle-shaped leaves in small clusters of two or more. They make excellent indoor plants for a few reasons including their ease of care, cheerful yellow flowers and their lack of pointy spines. Bunny ear cacti have coarse hairs that make these plants more friendly than their sharper cousins.

African Milk Tree

The African milk tree is part of the euphorbia family of cacti that all grow well in common household conditions. These plants grow in clusters of towering branches that can grow up to 4 feet tall indoors. African milk trees have round leaves that sprout on the edges in between its thorns, ranging in color from bright green to deep red depending on the variety. It only needs water about twice a month and prefers partial shade, making it a houseplant you can grow and display in any room.

Barrel Cactus

Barrel cacti are sphere-shaped and covered in rigid golden spines. In the wild this cactus can live for decades and grow upwards of 10 feet tall, however, in containers indoors you’re unlikely to notice much growth unless you keep it for a lifetime in perfect conditions. Despite its slow growth, the barrel cactus makes a great houseplant for a sunny windowsill and is easy to find at nurseries and plant stores.

Moon Cactus

Moon cacti with bright yellow, orange, pink or red tops are the grafted results of combining a normal specimen with a mutated version. The mutation causes the beautiful colors, but it also means they lack chlorophyll and cannot live as long as other cactus varieties. That said, they make wonderful houseplants that add a pop of cheerful color to any space and have very low-maintenance care needs.

Christmas Cactus

The winter-blooming Christmas cactus enjoys being treated more like a tropical plant than a desert-dweller. Christmas cacti need regular watering and protection from direct sunlight that can burn their more delicate leaves. Christmas cactuses are extremely easy to propagate from cuttings or even broken pieces which makes them excellent gifts as well as attractive houseplants.

While many consider the cactus synonymous with hot and dry environments, they can thrive as houseplants in normal home conditions. No matter what climate you live in or what amount of attention you can give, there is a perfect cactus for your needs.

About the Author

Ellen Johnson

I am a longtime time resident of Plymouth, I started my love of the area as a summer resident who was lucky enough to spend summers at the beautiful Priscilla Beach. I am a successful business owner who owned the first salon and day spa in Plymouth. I sold that business and started a highly successful women's clothing and accessory store also located in Plymouth.  My love of the area and real estate brought me to a new chapter in my life full time real estate sales.

Leveraging my experience as a business owner known for outstanding client service, high tech marketing and a personal touch that is needed in a real estate transaction I have guided my sellers and buyers through the complicates process of a real estate transaction. I am proud to say that I received the International Diamond Society designation, awarded to the top 11% of all Coldwell Banker Affiliated Sale Associates consecutively the most recent year 2020.

I am grateful for my wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children. Also, to live on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I can truly say there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!