When do Cacti Bloom – 5 Interesting Facts about Cactus Flowers

The cactus flowers are a real wonder. When they sprout, although they remain open for a very short time, they brighten up the place where they are with great ease. However, once we buy one and give it all the necessary care, we hope to be able to enjoy them soon, but … the wait can be very long.

Getting them to flower is not difficult, although it does require patience. Let’s find out when do cacti bloom.

Do All Cactus Bloom?

The first thing to know is that not all cacti produce flowers, but it is only some varieties that bloom.

Keep in mind, if there are no certain conditions necessary for them to flourish, they won’t either.

When do Cacti Bloom

The cactus family is much larger than you might expect: it is estimated that there are more than 200 genera, with about 2,500 species. Each of them is, although it has very similar characteristics with the rest, unique, and therefore, not all of them flower at the same time. The flowering season will depend on the climate of its habitat, the age of the cactus itself and its genetics.

Thus, there are species that bloom in summer, which are the majority, others in autumn, some do it at night (such as Carnegiea gigantea ), and others during the day (Rebutia, Mammillaria, Copiapoa, etc.).

cactus flower color
“Flowering Cactus” by tara marie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When do prickly pears bloom

In April to June, the prickly pear cactus will bloom with yellow flowers with an orange/red core. The flowers are about 7 cm wide.

After flowering, the fruits grow on the cactus leaf. These can grow up to 10 cm in size. If the fruits are orange/red in color, usually in August, then they are ripe and can be eaten.

How to Make a Cactus Bloom

Making a cactus bloom can sometimes seem like a mission impossible. However, cactus flowers are considered one of the most spectacular plants in nature for their vivid colors. At Succulent Alley we want to make you enjoy these particular plants and, therefore, we show you some tips so that you can make your cactus bloom.

Steps to follow:

  1. It is essential that you know well the type of cactus you have at home since not all its varieties bloom. There are even some cacti that only open their petals for a few limited hours.
  1. If you want to make your cactus bloom, it is important that you inform yourself well when purchasing it and know when it blooms so that you can fertilize it a month or two before with a fertilizer high in potassium.
  1. During the winter, it will be important that you keep your cactus away from the cold and that you place it in the part of the house where it receives the most sunlight. It is during this time that the cacti rest, so you should reduce their watering to one or two times a month.
  1. In spring and summer you should ensure that your cactus is sufficiently watered, although it is important to avoid any waterlogging. It is advisable to locate the cactus in a place where it receives many hours of sun.
  1. During the fall, the cactus will hardly need water as it will have stored enough during the previous months. If you see that your plant is too dry, water it a little, but never in abundance.
  1. Do not despair if you see that your cactus does not bloom, since they are very slow growing plants and some can even take years to offer their first flower. You will have to be patient to enjoy this wonder of nature.

9 Cactus that Grows Flowers in Spring

Cactaceae are characterized by their ability to adapt to survive in adverse conditions and with very little water. But, in addition, many species display showy flowers from spring to winter. Cacti from seed take 2 to 5 years to flower, although this period can be shortened by generating new specimens from cuttings of adult plants. By this method the juvenile stage is suppressed and, in a year and a half, its flowering can be obtained. Thus, it is possible to enjoy beautiful flowers from spring to winter.

Depending on their genus and species, the flowers can remain open showing their splendor for only a few hours or remain for several days, closing only at dusk. In general, the flowers have a short opening time, enough for pollinating insects to act.

Its petals are modified leaves from whose surface part of the plant’s reserve water evaporates. Within the wonderful world of these flowers, there are them small, large, perfumed or not, opening day or night (in larger species, whose flowers can be up to 25 or 30 cm in diameter), of showy colors: from white to yellow. glittering reds, through a wide range of pinks, oranges and yellows.

Gymnocalycium ragonesei

Origin: North of Argentina

It is a small solitary cactus, slow growing, with a rather flattened stem, up to 7.5 cm in diameter and 1 to 2 cm in height, dark gray in color and in certain cases may appear olive brown. The spines are short, pale, and flat against the cactus, making it easy to handle. Flowering is diurnal, occurs in late spring and can remain open for up to 12 days. Its flowers are white with a reddish throat, up to 5 cm long and 4.5 cm in diameter.

It is grown in half or total shade, it does not resist intense light. It tolerates a minimum temperature down to -5 ° C, while the substrate remains dry. Requires low pH; (earth, peat, coarse sand). In winter it must remain totally dry; in spring and autumn it is watered every 20 days, avoiding wetting the stem; in summer it must be watered weekly, provided the substrate is dry. It is propagated from seeds.

Parodia leninghausii

Origin: Brazil and North of Argentina

This species grows slowly, reaching up to 80 cm in height and 10 cm in diameter. It blooms from the beginning of autumn, when the plant reaches about 20 cm. Its flowers are large, yellow-orange in color, with silky spatulate petals; the floral tube and pericarp are thickly covered in brown “wool” with bristles. The fruits are spherical, with bell-shaped seeds, reddish-brown in color.

It is grown in partial shade on a substrate of earth, surf and coarse sand. In winter it is not watered, in autumn, every 15 days; in spring, every 10 days and in summer, once a week. It is propagated from seed or stem cuttings.

Echinopsis arachnacantha

Origin: South America

It is a cactus with a flattened to spherical body, dark green in color, with weak ribs. It has white, yellow or brown spines, hard, curved and short. It grows in a cluster of several flower heads, each of which is 2 to 4 cm in diameter and can reach 7 to 10 cm in height. Flowering is diurnal and occurs in the spring-summer period. The flowers are showy, up to 5 cm long, with colors ranging from white to dark red, they are generally golden yellow or orange with reddish-green fruits.

It is grown with a porous substrate (soil, hangover, coarse sand) in full sun and partial shade during the summer, to avoid burns. It tolerates a minimum temperature of up to 5 °C. In winter it should be kept dry; during the spring-autumn period it is watered while the substrate is dry and, in summer, every 10 days. It is propagated from seed or by separation.

Mammillaria bocasana

Origin: Mexico

It is a small cactus, 3.5 to 10 cm in diameter and 2 to 12 cm high, with fine enveloping spines, mostly white. It has numerous cylindrical branches.

Flowering: Diurnal, from spring to fall. Its flowers are bell-shaped, white, pink or dark yellow, with pink or red fruits. It is grown in full sun or partial shade with soil substrate, surf, coarse sand.

It is watered every 45 days in winter, every 15 in autumn and spring, and once a week in summer. Propagation is from seeds or by separating their branches.

Parodia microsperma

Origin: South of Bolivia, North of Argentina

It has a globose stem, which can be depressed or short columnar, of light or dark green color, between 6 and 7 cm in diameter and 10 cm in height. It grows solitary or in groups, with 13 to 21 spiral ribs, with small conical tubercles and areolas covered with white wool that disappears with age, 4 central spines, three reddish white, straight and the fourth fully colored, long and hooked. It displays numerous yellow, orange or red flowers during the spring-summer period and is covered with hairs and bristles. It is grown in full sun with soil and coarse sand.

Irrigation: in winter, nothing; biweekly in spring and fall, and weekly in summer.

It is propagated from seeds or by separation of clusters.

Cleistocactus samaipatanus

Origin: Northwest Argentina and Bolivia

It has a green stem, reaches up to 3 m in height and 10 cm in diameter. It has slightly serrated ribs, with areoles covered with a dense brown felt, with brownish-yellow spines, up to 4 cm long.

Flowering: Diurnal, occurs during the spring-summer period, when the plant reaches about 20 cm. Its flowers are bright red with clear edges and violet anthers, they are cylindrical and borne horizontally along the stems. It has reddish and spherical fruits, covered with white or brown wool.

It is grown with a mixture of soil, surf and sand in full sun or partial shade. It tolerates a minimum temperature of up to 5 °C. Water every 25 days in winter, monthly in autumn, biweekly in spring and weekly in summer. It is propagated from seed or by stem cutting, up to 5 cm long.

Echinopsis chamaecereus

Origin: North of Argentina

It is a resistant and prolific species, widespread worldwide, that forms groups that are erect at first, with small, light green stems, with soft and numerous white spines. These have a hanging plant appearance; during winter they turn purplish in color. In its adult stage it reaches a height of 15 cm and 30 cm in diameter. It produces a large number of bright red flowers in spring and summer.

It is grown in full sun with loose substrate (soil, coarse sand) and good drainage. Avoid watering in winter, biweekly in autumn, every 10 days in spring and weekly in summer.

Propagation: From seeds or through branches of the stem.

Leuchtenbergia principis

Origin: Mexico

This strange cactus is a hybrid of long and thin triangular tubers, of bluish green color, 6 to 15 cm long; exposed to high light intensity, the edges turn reddish. At the end of the tuber, long, papery spines grow up to 10 cm. It has large, fleshy roots. It reaches up to 60 cm in height and 50 cm in diameter.

Flowering: Diurnal, it occurs between 4 or 5 years, from the end of spring and during the summer. Its flowers are scented and yellow in color. It is grown in full sun with soil and coarse sand. In winter, it is not watered, in autumn / winter, every 15 days in spring and once a week in summer.

Propagation: From seeds or separation of basal stems.

Thelocactus setispinus

Origin: Southern United States and Mexico

It is a species easily recognizable by its well-marked ribs, without tubers, thin and wavy, with its curved and hook-shaped central spine, 12 cm high and 9 cm in diameter.

Flowering: Diurnal, in spring and summer. Its flowers measure between 3 and 4 cm, are bright yellow, with a red throat. It has red and fleshy fruits, with black seeds. Grown in full sun with soil and coarse sand, it tolerates a minimum temperature of up to -4 °C. Avoid watering in winter, biweekly in autumn, every 10 days in spring and weekly in summer. Propagation is from seeds.

Fun Facts About Cactus Flowers

How long do cactus flowers last?

Cactus flowers will usually last a few hours to a maximum of one or two weeks, the least lasting being those of the Echinopsis or Lobivia, and the most durable those of the Discocactus, Coryphanta or Astrophytum.

Echinopsis flowers bloom overnight and last for only a day. They are at their peak beauty for an hour or two at most.

The flower of a cactus is made to be attractive to pollinators, which are very scarce in their natural habitat, and also to last little.

Types of cactus flowers

Cactus flowers are very beautiful, with cheerful and very decorative colors such as red, pink, white or yellow. But, depending on its shape, we can distinguish three types:


big cactus flower

They are the most characteristic flowers of cacti and some of the most spectacular. The genera Rebutia, Lobivia or Echinopsis are the ones that produce the showiest flowers. They can measure up to 4cm in diameter.


small cactus flower

There are some cacti, like the Mammillaria, that produce very tiny flowers that barely separate a little from the mother plant. They measure less than 1 centimeter, but their ornamental value is very, very high.


tubular cactus flower

Like those of the Cleistocactus or the Oreocereus for example. These types of flowers are kept closed, only the stamens and pistil emerge a little outside. They are the ones that attract the least attention, but they are very curious. And it is that living in areas where at night the temperature drops to close to 0 degrees, and even more if they want to multiply they need the most sensitive parts of the flower to be protected as much as possible.