Cacti can appear prickly and uninviting, but some of them have flowers that rival the brightest blooms of more traditional flowers. If you want a flower garden full of color and life, but live in a dry, hot climate that makes most plants difficult to grow, then you may have better luck with cacti. In addition, cacti are also easy to care for, making them great for gardeners on the go. Not sure when to expect cactus blooms or which cactus suits you best? Don’t worry, we’ll get you on the road to success in this handy guide to cactus flowers.
What factors influence flowering time?
Species is one of the most important factors that can affect how often your cactus blooms and how long flowering lasts. Cacti tend to bloom when they are fully grown, so slower growing cacti usually take much longer to produce flowers than faster growing cacti.
The other most important factor is whether or not all of your cacti’s needs are being met. A cactus that receives the right amount of sun, water, and nutrients will flower more regularly. On the other hand, a cactus that gets enough light, water, and food to stay alive, but not as much as it needs, won’t flower as often. This is one way to save energy for the facility.
Knowing what type of cactus you have is essential to predicting flowering time. This is both because different cacti flower at different rates and because different cacti have different needs. While we like to think of cacti as plants that all need hot, dry, and sunny conditions, there’s actually still a lot of variation when it comes to how much of each of these things each species of cacti needs.
The best cacti for flowers
One of the best cacti for flowers is the Christmas cactus, also known as the genus Schlumberga. They produce flowers of various shades of pink depending on the specific strain you have and bloom regularly. They tend to bloom when the weather gets colder, hence the name Christmas cactus. They’re also low maintenance and don’t spine, making them a safer option if you have kids or pets. If you start from seed or a seedling, it can take two to three years for a Christmas cactus to mature enough to flower. Once they start flowering, they will flower regularly every year with proper care.
For a more traditional looking cactus, try something from the Mammillaria genus. Also known as pincushion cacti, these small, round cacti begin to flower in late spring and early summer. Its flowers come in many shades of pink, red, orange, and white. Although they remain quite small, they can take over a year to mature and the buds only last about a week. However, they bloom fairly regularly once they start, and the flowers are known for being vibrant.