Prickly Plant

Where Do Cacti Grow?

Cacti are one of the most popular house plants in the world due to their low maintenance and unique features. They are perennial succulent plants known for their prickly spines and ability to survive harsh desert conditions.

But where do cacti grow?

In this article, we answer the question – where do cacti grow? We will also discuss the conditions in their native environment.

Let’s dive in.

Where Do Cacti Grow? 

where can cacti grow

Except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which grows in Africa and Sri Lanka, Cacti are native to the Americas, extending from Patagonia in the south to areas of western Canada in the north.

The cactus family is one of the most well-known plant groups on the planet. Thousands of visitors visit the desert each year to see its stunning flowers and odd shapes. The cactus family as a whole has a lot of diversity in its species. 

They range in size from the three-inch fishhook cactus tucked in a rock fissure to the 30 to 40-foot-tall saguaro cactus. Cactus can be found growing on rocky ridges, alluvial fans, and barren washes all throughout the desert.

Grow Your Own Cactus?

Growing your own cactus is fun! This grow your own cacti kit contains everything you need to grow an awesome prickly plant. In this kit, you will get 4 packets of non-GMO cacti seeds, 4 soil disks, shears, grow bags, and some awesome bamboo plant markers. Check it out!

Conditions in a cacti native environment? 

The majority of cacti live in areas where there is at least some drought. Many live in extremely arid regions, including the Atacama Desert, which is one of the world’s driest places. Cacti have a variety of water-saving adaptations.

Desert Conditions

Cactus are able to survive in the desert due to their roots and stems. Cactus roots are near to the soil surface, allowing them to take advantage of the lightest rainfall. The roots swiftly catch the water and store it in thick, expanding stems in preparation for the long summer drought.

The stems are shaded by the dense network of spines, which keeps them cooler than the surrounding air. 

Can cacti grow outside of the desert? 

where do cacti grow

While many cactus species are native to desert regions, they may thrive in a variety of environments. Cactus gardening is achievable in almost any place because of its adaptability

The following are some of the most common types of cactus found in landscape settings: 

  • Thorny pear cactus Is noted for its broad, flat prickly stems with coral-colored tips when exposed to direct sunlight. 
  • Cactus that resembles spine-covered barrels is known as the barrel cactus
  • Cholla cactus – has thin circular stems and looks great in the landscape when used as a focal point. 
  • Pincushion cactus — with its tiny spines jutting out from its spherical ball-like shape, it resembles a miniature pincushion and offers an intriguing addition to the yard. 
  • Totem pole cacti are distinguished by their tall stature and spineless column structure. 
  • Organ pipe cactus – this cactus develops in groups that resemble organ pipes

You should always do your homework before growing cacti and succulent plants. Learn about their specific growing requirements and try to match them to the needs of your landscape.

Cactus plants have a variety of survival strategies that allow them to adapt to their surroundings; nonetheless, it’s always best to choose ones that will grow in your location.

The cactus garden will be more interesting if it contains a variety of cacti with similar growing requirements but differing heights and textures.

Cactus Planting in the Garden 

where do cacti grow

When growing cactus outside, whenever possible, pick a sunny, sloping spot. Cacti that are planted on a slope have greater drainage, which is important when dealing with these plants. 

Beds should be 6 to 12 inches deep, with well-drained soil specially prepared for cactus plants, depending on the species of cactus chosen. 

You can buy it or make your own by mixing two parts potting soil, two parts sand, and one part gravel. 

A moderate layer of mulch, such as stones, boulders, or some similar object, is also beneficial to cactus plants.

Cacti are low-maintenance plants that require little if any, water once established.

Conclusion: Where Do Cacti Grow? 

So, where do cacti grow?

Cacti are native to the Americas (a large territory in North and South America with a strong concentration in Mexico) and are typically found in drought-prone areas.

They are perfectly adapted to live in the intense heat and environment of the desert, so they can easily survive the warm and dry conditions of a centrally heated home.

The plant is ideal for those who aren’t as green-fingered as it just requires moderate watering – in fact, it’s better to underwater than to overwater.

The plant, despite its slow growth, is fairly self-sustaining because it retains moisture in its roots, leaves, and stems, and so controls its own food consumption. It prefers a light, airy, and warm environment and can tolerate direct sunlight.

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Gareth Davies

Hi! I'm Gareth and I own Prickly Plant is the ultimate resource for everything you need to know about looking after your Prickly Plants. With over 10 years of experience selling and looking after plants, I'm passionate about sharing simple & understandable information for everyday people!