Cute and Prickly – Top 5 Indoor Cacti and Succulents
When it comes to indoor houseplants, there are few that do as well as cacti and succulents, and even fewer that require less care and maintenance. Cacti and succulents come in all shapes and sizes, so there should be succulent house plants for every household. The only thing you really need to do with cacti house plants ensures they get as much natural sunlight as possible, making them a hugely popular windowsill pot plant.
Because there are so many types of indoor cacti and succulents, here is our top 5 list of best cacti and succulents in our opinion!
Best Types of Indoor Cacti
Before we get started, what is the difference between cacti and succulents? When you know, it is quite simple to discern between the two. Succulents have leaves that store water and oils (think Aloe Vera) whereas cacti don’t have leaves. Instead, cacti have thick, bulbous-looking stems that produce hair, spikes, and flowers. So, now you know the difference between cacti and succulents, let’s get on with our list.
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
The Christmas Cactus is one of our favourite types of indoor cacti because it produces a wonderful flower display. The flowers range and Christmas Cacti are known to display pink, red, orange and white tube-like flowers. The Christmas Cactus also lacks the spiny ridges and prickly parts that most cacti plants have so if you have little ones around the house, it might just be the ideal choice.
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea Gigantea)
If you think of cacti, you will undoubtedly be thinking of the Saguaro Cactus which is typically a very large three stem prickly customer that grows in the desert. Cue the tumbleweed and the dust smoke rising from a good ol’ fashioned wild west shoot out. When it comes to cacti house plants, the Saguaro Cactus is a much smaller customer and it doesn’t get enough sunlight to grow to its normal epic proportions –which is a good thing, because they grow very big in the desert.
It means you can bring a little bit of the desert back home and put the Saguaro Cactus on your windowsill without a worry in the world about it growing too big.
African Milk Tree (Euphorbia Trigona)
Rules are made to be broken and the African Milk Tree actually is a bit of an oddball cactus. First, it grows leaves, which is hugely uncommon for cacti, and second, it hasn’t been observed as flowering, which again is hugely uncommon for cacti. This has led researchers to speculate the African Milk Tree is actually a hybrid plant rather than a through and through cactus.
But whatever it is, it is pretty, easy to grow and looks very interesting. You won’t be disappointed with your African Milk Tree purchase at all!
Best Types of Indoor Succulents
Now we move on to growing succulents indoors with our favourite types of indoor succulents. Succulents are known for their ability to retain lots of water and their medicinal qualities too, making them an age-old indoor house plant.
Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller)
Cultivated and used for thousands of years indoors, Aloe Vera is known for its soothing, healing properties and has been used in a wide range of natural cures and remedies. It is particularly effective for treating minor burns and many kitchens have an Aloe Vera plant for that reason. Like cacti, succulents aren’t very water tolerant and prefer dry soils, so make sure you don’t overwater your Aloe Vera, instead, leave it on the windowsill and return to it as and when needed.
Snake Plant(Sansevierio Trifasciata)
Although Aloe Vera is incredibly useful around the home, it is a bit small in stature and it isn’t particularly attractive. The Snake Plant however is a bit more substantial and striking in appearance, making it a great showy style succulent to have. They also manage to grow in low light conditions, which is unusual for cacti and succulents, but it is best to place them in reasonable light to get the best results.
Snake plants grow quite happily and you will soon find your pot is full and that you need to repot in order to give the newer plants space to grow.
How to Care for Your New Prickly Friends
And that last morsel of information leads us nicely onto our last section, caring for succulents indoors, and indoor cactus care.
Here are our three top tips for looking after your prickly (and not so prickly friends).
- Don’t overwater them, but also, don’t let the leaves turn or wilt on succulents, instead set up a watering regime through trial and error and stick to it. If the soil is dry and the plant looks healthy –it is likely a very happy plant
- Sunlight isn’t the be-all and end-all, but you should try to ensure that your cacti and succulents are placed in sunny locations around the house. We all have that one window that gets a little bit more sunlight –that is where to place your plant!
- Temperature is a big factor in cacti and succulent health, they like warmth, so don’t leave them in the colder areas in your house. Also, don’t go crazy, a cacti or succulent placed on or by a radiator is likely to get fed up pretty quickly.
A general rule is that cacti and succulents are tolerant plants and that they don’t need too much fuss once you have found the perfect place to grow in your home. If leaves drop or stems turn to darker colours it is a sign that your plant needs watering. Re-watering a cactus or succulent should be done with care as you don’t want to flood them with water.
Did we miss your favourite cacti or succulent? Let us know in the comments below and tell us why you love it!