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By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Star cactus plants are easy to grow and make an interesting part of a succulent or arid garden display. Find out how to grow a star cactus in this article. Click here for more information.
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It's time to embrace your inner "Crazy Plant Lady."
If you've been feeling the call to make like Joanna Gaines and embrace your inner "crazy plant lady," an indoor cactus or succulent garden is a great place to start. Did you know all cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti? All succulents store water in their stem or foliage, but cacti also feature areoles, the little bumps on the outside of the plant that the spines grow from. With the proper care, these desert-native plants can be just as happy growing on a shelf inside your home. A cactus requires little care—it can even tolerate some neglect as some types only need to be watered every two to three months. They can live for decades, so even the black-thumbed among us can find success. Our list of best cactus garden tips answers all of your questions on soil, containers, and watering. Cacti come in all shapes and sizes, and some even boast brightly colored flowers. Ready to up your houseplant game with some less-prickly selections? Branch out with these choices.
With proper care, the bright pink blooms of a Christmas cactus will return year after year during the holiday season. A Christmas cactus prefers a humid climate and requires more watering than other types.
This plant, nicknamed the "mother-in-law cushion" (ouch!), needs plenty of sun and not much water. A barrel cactus can thrive with watering as infrequently as once every two to three months.
Who knew a cactus could be whimsical? The varied stems resemble the turrets of a castle, making it the perfect addition to any whimsical garden. This slow-growing cactus can reach up to 6 feet in height. Take note that the Fairy Castle Cactus rarely produces flowers—they're often sold with artificial blooms attached.
The Saguaro Cactus is native only to the Sonoran Desert and can live for 200 years. Its slow growth rate (about an inch per year for the first eight years of its life) makes it possible to grow indoors.
The star cactus (also called sea urchin cactus or starfish cactus) is a small plant, making it ideal for an indoor succulent garden. A yellow or white bloom is the show-stopper on this petite cactus.
Don't be fooled! The white "feathers" on this cactus look fluffy and soft, but they actually act as camouflage for the sharp spines that cover the surface.
The old lady cactus, a type of powder puff cactus, is covered with spines and white down, hence its name. This easy-to-grow plant is a great choice for a beginner.
The bunny ear or angel wing cactus is a popular choice for its cute shape. This plant does not have spines like a traditional cactus, but that doesn't mean it's cuddly! The glochids (which give it a polka-dot appearance) can still stick you.
The fast-growing blue columnar cactus can reach heights of 30 feet tall, and when mature, it boasts funnel-shaped blooms.
Moon cactus are a popular addition to a succulent garden thanks to their bright color. The hybrid plant is actually two types of cacti grafted together, and their lifespans are short compared to other species.
With the proper care, the Easter cactus blooms in early spring. Even without the bright flowers, the green segments make for an attractive plant.
Ladyfinger cactus (also called gold lace cactus) is a sweet addition to a succulent garden. This petite cactus only grows to 6 inches tall and blooms with white flowers.
The ball-shaped Parodia cactus boasts showy flowers. This type of cactus prefers less light and more water than others.
The star-shaped bishop's cap cactus features a short-blooming yellow flower. It requires little water and space, making it easy to grow.
Technically a succulent, the African milk tree cactus is a relative of the poinsettia. Take care when handling this one—the sap can cause skin irritation.