Cacti are common in Arizona and the Phoenix Valley, but does every cactus grow flowers? When they do they are some of the most beautiful displays imaginable. If you own a cactus or are thinking of growing one you will want to read this to make sure you understand which cacti grow flowers, how long it will take, and how often they will bloom.
Which Cactus Grow Flowers?
Cacti are flowering plants, and that means all cacti are able to grow flowers when they are mature. The key to your cactus growing flowers is waiting for age and caring for it the right way. Some cacti species don’t reach maturity for 30 years, such as the Saguaro Cactus, which means it’ll take that long to see the first blooms.
Other cacti will not bloom even once they are mature if they are not getting the right watering, light conditions, and fertilization. Cacti grown indoors are notorious for not blooming as they many times do not get the right balance of short days and long nights.
Cacti Flowering by Size
The time it will take for your cactus to flower depends largely on the size of the cactus. Giant cactus such as the Saguaro will take 10 times as long to reach maturity and have the ability to flower. Keep in mind that each cactus must have a balance between the right light per day, correct watering, good soil, and be fertilized correctly.
Some of the cacti that bloom the most are in the round category of cacti. They can bloom as early as 3 to 4 years after they sprout. Two of the most popular cacti are the Rebutia and Pincusion cactus. They both produce beautiful flowers once they have reached maturity. The flowers they grow can range in color from white, magenta, pink to red, green, yellow, purple and orange.
Short Stem Cacti
Stems on short columnar cacti typically flower within 5 years of germination. The Hedgehog Cactus, Easter Lily Cactus, and Peanut Cactus are 3 of the most popular examples of short stem cacti that grow well in USDA zones 8 through 11. Flowers for this type of cactus range in size and color yet offer owners an amazing display of color.
The taller growing columnar cacti many times take longer to mature, which means longer to grow flowers. However cacti grown from rooting branches from mature cacti that are already blooming will continue to flower, if the water, light, and fertilizing is right. Saguaro branches will not root so all Saguaro are grown from seed as it is against federal law to remove them from habitat. That means that Saguaro can take 40 to 55 years to flower when they start as a seed.
Best Indoor Flowering Conditions
To grow flowering cacti indoors in pots you will want to ensure that your cactus is getting at least 4 hours of sunlight per day. Morning sunlight is best as it is less harsh as afternoon sunlight, so if you have a patio or window that is east facing it is a great place to put your cactus. Water your cactus regularly for the season of growing.
It’s important to allow the top 2 inches of water to dry out before you water again and make sure water is coming through the drainage holes on the pot. For indoor growing using a soilless option is a great cactus growing medium. Use equal parts of vermiculite, peat, and perlite which will be well draining and easy to fertilize. Each month fertilize your cactus during the spring and summer using a half strength high phosphorous, low nitrogen formula that helps encourage flowering.
Phoenix Valley Cactus Nursery
If you are looking to buy a new cactus, get the best fertilizers, or learn how to get your cactus to bloom, we can help! Having a cactus in your home or yard is a way to have a living piece of the Southwest and when they bloom the color is vibrant and beautiful. Get all the help you need to get your cactus to flower in Arizona with the help of A&P Nursery!
Call or visit one of our 4 locations today