Cacti might be some of the easiest houseplants to manage. They are beginner friendly as they don’t require a lot of upkeep. However, are they good houseplants overall?
If you are looking for something that needs less water, can survive in a lot of sun, can withstand humidity, and also looks beautiful, cacti are the best plants for you!
So, why are cactus good houseplants?
Why Are Cactus Good for Indoors?
Is it a good idea to purchase a cactus? Should you be investing in another houseplant? As you set your heart on a pretty little cactus plant, these thoughts may cross your mind.
Cacti are quite diverse. This is why they are loved by so many people in many states across the USA. If you feel low in spirits lately and want something that can change your mood, cacti are great!
Cacti plants are good houseplants as they give a lot more than they receive. The more care they receive, the more greenery and beauty they will add to the interior of your home.
These plants also prove to be a great investment for people who keep killing their plants in the first week. Since they don’t need much water and aren’t sensitive to many things, they are easy!
Moreover, unlike what you may believe, cacti tend to flower and aren’t dull. In fact, some cacti like the Starfish Flower Cactus also bloom star-shaped flowers that look quite unique.
If you are asking, are cacti good houseplants, here are some of the reasons they are a great pick;
1. Psychological Benefits
If you have been feeling the blues this winter, perhaps it is time you brought home a companion. What’s better than a cactus that will lift spirits?
According to a study published in Science Daily, the mere sight of a plant can significantly reduce stress. This study also contained the San Pedro Cactus.
Indoor plants have been shown to positively affect stress and diminish it by promoting relief and relaxation. Looking at a plant once a day could actually make you feel better.
Luckily, there are many varieties of cacti waiting for you throughout the USA. You don’t have to come home to an empty living room anymore. Place cacti all around the room to uplift the spirit.
2. Appeals to Your Inner Mother Hen
One of the reasons kindness or taking care of someone (or something) makes you feel better is that we all have an inner mother hen. We feel the happiest when taking care of something that needs us.
This can make us feel important or help us understand our place in the universe. If you have a pet waiting at home to be fed or a plant depending on you for water, it can lead to happiness.
Moreover, caring for a plant and watching its flowers bloom can make you feel a sense of achievement. The happier your plant, the better you feel.
Cacti are good houseplants because they don’t demand much. They can also survive without a lot of water. So, if you forget to water them once in a while, you don’t need to fret!
3. Helps You Breathe Better
A study by NASA revealed that plants could improve air quality inside a room. This means that adding a cactus to your home might help you breathe better.
Cacti are much greener than other plants. They can absorb more carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air. Moreover, they can also reduce impurities floating around in the air.
4. Helps You Heal
Cacti can encourage healing and wellness. Having a plant’s presence in your house doesn’t just heal you from within but also provides you with a companion with whom you can converse.
One of the biggest causes of depression after the pandemic would have to be isolation. People felt like they had to live in a box and couldn’t interact with anyone outside.
Plants provide much-needed comfort within the same space. They also remind you that positivity matters when it comes to growth.
5. You Can Get More Work Done
You might wonder, “Are cactus good for indoors,” if you are a busy person with many work responsibilities.
Contrary to popular belief, plants don’t waste your time. In fact, good houseplants reset your clock and help you become more productive.
With better air quality and a happier mood, you can focus on many more tasks and get them done without procrastinating.
The Best Indoor Cacti
You can find many varieties of indoor cacti throughout the USA. But which ones make good houseplants? Here are some you should consider purchasing;
1. The Christmas Cactus
The Christmas Cactus is one of the most popular varieties of cacti. These become especially popular during the Christmas holidays. Where most plants go dormant, this cactus spreads its wings.
The appeal of this cactus is hidden in its bright red flowers that bloom on every branch. However, it doesn’t stop there. You can also notice beautiful white, purple, yellow, and pink colored flowers too.
The Christmas Cactus can also grow well in a lesser light. So, it doesn’t need the heat of Arizona. It can survive in colder regions too! Just make sure you meet the humidity requirements.
2. Bunny Ears Cactus
This cactus plant is as cute as it sounds. The Bunny Ears Cactus is one of the best cactus plants named after an animal. It also makes for a great indoor plant, as it can survive in indirect sunlight.
However, since it is a larger plant, growing up to 2-3 feet tall, it is best placed in the corner of a room or against big windows.
The best quality of the cactus is its spines. The name comes from the spines, which contain several white prickles resembling the fur on a bunny.
3. Zebra Cactus
Zebra Cacti are true to their name. Often called Haworthias, these plants don’t grow that tall.
Yet they are beautiful! Since plants can survive longer without water and have beautiful zebra-striped leaves, they are a great addition to your home.
4. The Old Lady Cactus
The Old Lady Cactus is known for her white hair and the beautiful bloom of pink and purple flowers. The plant might need more watering during spring. However, it is much easier to care for.
This indoor cactus will give you the best of everything. With both blowers and beautiful spines, it is a sight to behold.
5. Fairy Castle Cactus
Invest in the Fairy Castle Cactus to transform your living room into a fairy tale.
This is one of the best indoor plants, and it is known best for its spiraling leaves, which mimic the towers of a castle. These stems also bloom throughout the year at regular intervals.
How to Care for a Cactus
Now that we have established an answer to “Are cactus good houseplants,” let’s figure out the next steps.
Once you bring that cactus home, you might need a guide on taking care of it. They may be good houseplants that don’t wilt easily. But improper care can lead to unexplained situations.
Let’s start with the most important factor that can contribute to a dying cactus. Since cacti don’t need much water, you must ensure you aren’t overwatering this plant.
For cacti, it is important to water only when their soil is completely dried out. You can speed up the process by adding drainage holes to the pot.
Drainage holes ensure that all excess water is drained out in the beginning. This prevents flooding and any fungus or molding.
Cacti might not need a lot of water. But you must vary your watering technique depending on where you place that cactus plant.
A cactus pot placed in direct light or high humidity might need a lot more water than one that doesn’t experience much heat.
If you live in Texas, you might need to water that cactus at least once every three to four weeks. However, your cactus needs water less frequently in a colder climate like Boston.
Moreover, smaller cacti potted in tiny pots need water more often. For these cacti, the roots aren’t enough to store water for as long as bigger cacti.
Yet, they will still be storing much more water than the average plant, so make sure you do not overwater. Once every three to four weeks is more than enough!
Everything that has to do with the light/heat/humidity goes back to the sun in some way or another. Cacti plants survive well where there is plenty of sunlight all year round.
However, don’t take this as a go-ahead to place them in direct sunlight. Since the indoors usually gets light through windows, most people might place their cactuses there.
Yet, the windows can also concentrate the heat in one area and scorch your plants!
When it comes to temperature, cacti prefer warmer climates. However, your cactus can still survive if your house has central heating.
If you are living in a colder climate, ensure you keep those cacti away from any drafts or heating vents.
Another well-known fact is that cacti need dry air. They can also survive in humidity, but you might need to adjust the watering accordingly.
Like all other things, plants also need nutrients to grow. Often, they might not get these from regular soil. This means they need fertilizer which can allow them to grow faster.
The best way to fertilize any plant is to observe its blooming season. In spring, plants grow more quickly and sprout flowers. For cacti, the season might differ.
You can fertilize your plants during the blooming season and avoid adding fertilizer in any other months. Overfertilizing can lead to fungus and stop growth.
Your cactus needs the best soil to grow. Since it stores a lot of water in its stems, it can only do so if it has the energy it needs.
Make sure you invest in good-quality soil. Good houseplants might not ask for a lot of watering. But they do need great soil that is light and allows for easy draining.
Soil that clogs and stores water can easily cause mold and fungus. This problem is even worse for cacti which already store a lot of water on their own.
Avoid repotting your cactus every year. Unlike other plants, cacti are self-sufficient and don’t need repotting unless necessary.
What should you do in case of an infestation?
One of the reasons cacti are good houseplants is that they don’t get infested as often as other plants. In fact, they are known to be low maintenance in this regard.
If your plant gets infected, try using home remedies and avoid smothering them with chemicals.
Cacti plants are a beautiful addition to the interior of your home. They don’t just purify the air and help you breathe better. They can reduce stress and loneliness too.
Moreover, you should pick cacti over other houseplants because of the convenience. Cacti don’t need that much care and maintenance. As a beginner, this is the perfect plant for you.
If you want to try gardening and start your journey towards achieving that green thumb, there is no better plant than a cactus to help you start. After all, you don’t want to give up gardening because of that difficult plant you invested in at the start.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.