8 Types of Pereskia Cacti [With Pictures]

Pereskia is a cactus that resembles no other cactus in terms of its morphology. This is because of the presence of stems that are unlike those of most succulents and leaves that are quite full, persistent and substantial. They can even grow to a height of up to 10 m.

How to Grow and Care For Pereskia


Pereskia is very popular with people because of its unique positioning of being a cactus that defies all norms. It looks lovely, to begin with, and can make any space brighten up. Do you like the Pereskia? If yes, you also need to know how to grow and care for these cacti.


Pereskia needs a lot of sunlight to be happy and healthy. Unlike many succulents and cacti that do not thrive on harsh sunlight, these plants can do well even in the scorching sun. Without adequate sunlight, its leaves will wither away.

You can keep them indoors as long as you can provide them some hours of direct sunlight. The best part about this plant is that though it doesn’t enjoy cold weather, it won’t perish as long as you keep it dry and warm indoors.


Pereskia needs regular watering all through the growing season i.e. March to September. The soil should be well-drained at all times and even the slightest standing water can be harmful to the plant.

As compared with most other cacti, Pereskia has moderate needs for water and could not go for prolonged periods without water. However, it could do with regular periods of watering in moderation.


These plants need fertilizing in the growing season to aid their flowers to bloom. A slow-release or balanced fertilizer works well. During the other times of the year, it is not mandatory to feed the plant a lot of fertilizers.

Refrain from overfeeding the Pereskia because that may be counterproductive and stress the plant.


Go for well-drained and organic soil for Pereskia. The components of this soil could be loam, coarse sand and some peat moss. Two parts of sand with one portion of loam and peat moss each can be a good place to start.


Places with warm climates and high temperatures work best for this plant. They are frost tender and stand the chance to wither away in heavy frost and rainfall.

How to Propagate Pereskia

Pereskia can be best propagated by cuttings. All you need to do is to cut a piece of the stem connected to the main part of the plant and treat it with a good rooting hormone. Once you have done this, you can take this stem and plant it in a good well-drained potting mix.

The best part about Pereskia is that they are adaptive plants. They take really well to new environments though they may take some time to bloom once propagated.

Throughout the propagation, you need to place the plant in a warm place away from a lot of moisture. Do not water the plant too frequently during this time because the plant won’t be able to survive.

You don’t even need to repot this plant often, though you should mulch the soil occasionally to check the presence of weeds and diseases.

Alternately, you can propagate Pereskia by seeds. Sprinkle a few seeds on slightly moist well-draining soil with a small amount of slow-release fertilizer. A mixture of peat and perlite in the soil works well. The seeds should germinate within 10 days.

Types of Pereskia Cacti

Pereskia aculeata (Barbados Gooseberry)

pereskia aculeata

Pereskia aculeata is a shrub, at first erect, but the branches often long, clambering, and growing to 10 m tall in trees. Like other members of the genus Pereskia, these plants are unusual cacti with spiny non-succulent stems and large leaves.

In tropical America, the plant climbs over walls, rocks, and trees, and at flowering time is covered with showy, fragrant blossoms, followed by beautiful clusters of yellow berries, but its strong, almost offensive odor makes it objectionable for growing near habitations. This species consists of several races, differing in shape and size of the leaves and in color of the flowers.

Pereskia bleo

pereskia bahiensis

Pereskia bleo is usually a shrub or small tree, but sometimes half-clambering, 2-8 meters high. The cylindrical stem is covered with large spines. The pretty bright orange/red flowers appear continuously and resemble single rose blossoms.

Pereskia bahiensis

pereskia bleo

Pereskia diaz-romeroana

pereskia diaz romeroana

Pereskia grandifolia (Rose Cactus)

pereskia grandifolia

Pereskia grandifolia is an ever green to deciduous (depending on growing conditions) small tree or shrub, 2 to 5 m tall with a rounded crown. it is an example of a non-succulent primitive cactus. Two subspecies are recognized; the nominate form and subs. violacea.

Pereskia grandifolia ssp violacea

pereskia grandifolia ssp violacea

Evergreen to deciduous (depending on growing conditions) small tree or shrub, 2 to 5 m tall with a rounded crown. it is an example of a non-succulent primitive cactus.
subsp. violacea is distinguished by having purplish-pink or purple bracts and flowers. It was discovered sometime before 1972, initially described as P. bahiensis, but is only distinguished from var. grandifolia by color.

Pereskia nemorosa

pereskia nemorosa

Pereskia quisqueyana

pereskia quisqueyana

The Rose of Bayahibe (Pereskia quisqueyana) is one of the rarest cactus, it is a dioecious species, meaning that the sexes are in different individuals. It is one of only several cactus species which contain leaves.

The plant was named quisqueyana, in honor of the Dominican Republic, which is also referred to as Quisqueya by the Taínos on the island of Haiti (Hispaniola).

Read also:
1,000 Types of Cactuses with Pictures


The unique positioning of Pereskia makes it a crowd favorite. The flowers are completely gorgeous and are also a bit of a rarity that adds to their charm and appeal. It incites a lot of curiosity in people. Here are two of the most commonly asked questions about Pereskia answered just for you!

How Do You Pronounce Pereskia?

Most cacti usually have a name that is difficult to come around and pronounce. This is perhaps why they have a common name. Pereskia can be pronounced as ‘per-es-kia’. If you still have doubts, you can listen to the recommended pronunciation here.

What Is Unusual about the Cactus Pereskia?

Everything about the cactus Pereskia is unusual. To begin with, one look at the plant and you will be convinced that it is not a cactus.

This is because it looks like any regular plant with full, beautiful leaves and blooming flowers. It doesn’t have those waxy, hairless, stout leaves with small flowers that is usually the case with most succulents and cacti.

Pereskia has broad leaves that only have a slight resemblance to succulents and cacti. It will take a trained eye and someone who has knowledge of plants to tell the difference. The cup-like, overpowering flowers of Pereskia are the only defining feature that hints at it being a cactus.