Pros and Cons of Having a Cactus: A Comprehensive Guide

Adding indoor plants to your home is an excellent way to create a calming and relaxing environment. Most plants are natural air purifiers; they clean your surrounding air and provide fresh oxygen.

Their vibrant green colors also have a soothing effect on the mind. Some plants bloom flowers, making them ideal for adding color and character to your space.

However, if you are a plant enthusiast with a hectic schedule and travel a lot, you probably understand the struggle behind keeping plants alive. The solution lies in buying low-maintenance plants! One such species of plant is the cactus.

Cactus plants are one of the most popularly demanded houseplants among new and experienced plant parents.

They have unique shapes and designs that allow you to add a touch of the wild to brighten up your indoor space.

Cactus plants are sturdy and super low maintenance. While they have some basic care requirements, these plants thrive on neglect.

The word cactus originates from the Greek word ‘Kaktus.’ This name was given to plants found in Sicily, which have spikes.

Today, we use the word cactus to describe spiked plants with no leaves. Since cactus plants are typically covered with spikes and spines, you must be careful while handling them.

Their leaf pads can easily pierce or dislodge the skin.

Since these plants are found in deserts, they thrive in hot and dry climates. What’s unique about these plants is they store water in their stems and can survive prolonged periods of drought.

For example, a fully established saguaro cactus can store up to 200 gallons of water after it rains. Isn’t that amazing?

Are you thinking of adding these unique plants to your houseplant collection but need to know whether or not it is a good idea?

You’ve come to the right place! There are several pros and cons of having a cactus which we will be covering in this blog post. So, keep reading to find out.

Pros Of Having a Cactus

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that can add some greenery to your indoor space, a cactus might be just what you need. Here are some of the pros of having a cactus in your home:


One of the biggest advantages of having a cactus is that it’s a low-maintenance plant. Cacti are drought-resistant and can tolerate periods of neglect better than other plants.

They don’t need to be watered as often as other plants, which makes them perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time or who travel frequently.

Most cacti are slow growers, so you won’t have to worry about them taking over your home.


Cacti are well-suited to hot and dry environments, which means they’re perfect for people who live in areas with little water or who don’t want to spend a lot of time watering their plants.

They can survive for long periods without water, which makes them ideal for people who travel frequently or who have busy schedules.

Therapeutic Properties

Studies have shown that having plants in your home can have therapeutic properties. Cacti, in particular, can help to reduce stress levels and make you feel happier.

They can also boost your productivity and perseverance. The greenery that cacti provide can help to create a calming and relaxing environment in your home.

Overall, cacti are easy to maintain, can purify the air in your home, are drought-resistant, and have therapeutic properties.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that can add some greenery to your indoor space, a cactus might be just what you need.

They Have Minimal Water Requirements

One of the pros of having a cactus plant is that they don’t need much water. What’s most interesting is how cactus plants conserve water.

They keep moisture in reserve inside the plant cells. The fleshy tissue sections of the roots, stems, and leaves are where they store water.

Therefore, the cactus stores the water each time it rains. These plants can survive in extreme desert-like environments because of this property.

A cactus is an excellent choice if you aren’t used to watering your plants regularly because it can withstand some neglect.

You no longer struggle to determine the ideal watering schedule because you only need to water your cactus when the potting mix is dehydrated.

Some types of cacti can even go without water in the winter months. Cactus is also a great choice if you live somewhere with water constraints or shortages. 

They Are Quite Resistant to Plant Diseases

The majority of plants are vulnerable to plant diseases and pests. Fortunately, cacti seldom face problems with pests or diseases.

You can easily remove mealybugs and other pests using cotton swabs dipped in pesticide.

Moreover, if you take good care of your cactus and provide it with the right growing conditions, bacterial rot and other fungal problems shouldn’t be a problem. 

Available in a Wide Range of Shapes, Colors, and Sizes

Another great thing about these plants is you can choose from over 2,000 species, which means you are bound to find one you like.

Their unique shapes, colors, and sizes make them easy to love. Some popular cactus species include the Bunny Ear cactus, Gymnocalycium, Echinocactus, Opuntia, Mammillaria, and Ferocactus. 

Cactus Plants are Easy to Maintain

Another benefit of having a cactus is they are effortless to maintain. They are incredibly resilient to drought and other environmental factors that could endanger most plants.

Moreover, these plants can also tolerate months of neglect. So, if you are traveling, you won’t need to worry about paying someone to take care of your cactus plants while you’re away since they’ll manage perfectly fine.

Cactus plants have modified leaves with a waxy coating to hold onto moisture for an extended period.

Additionally, they have stems that can hold onto extra water until they need it. A small amount of water, light, and some care can help your cactus plant go a long way.

Moreover, at night these plants release oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. 

Purify the Air

Cactus plants have air-purifying qualities like most plants, making them ideal indoor plants. Some varieties of cacti also remove pollutants and toxins from the air.

They can accomplish this because their stems have tiny pores that take in gases from the air. So, to increase the amount of oxygen in your bedroom, think about adding a cactus. 

They Can Survive for Long Periods

Depending on the specific species, desert cacti may live between 10 and 200 years. Although several factors may affect the cacti’s longevity, you won’t need to purchase new plants for many years.

All you have to do is take care of a few basic requirements.

They Are Easy to Propagate

Another advantage of having a cactus plant is that they are easy to propagate. Therefore, you can make several plants using stem cuttings.

Rooting your new cactus is simple as long as you consider its natural growing conditions. You can also gift the new plants to your family and loved ones, as they are an extension of the one you have.

Moreover, if your cactus plants get infected by plant disease, you should still be able to save them by growing new cacti from the unaffected sections.

Many cactus growers and plant enthusiasts who have successfully propagated plants believe it is incredibly satisfying, rewarding, and engaging.

Reduce Stress and Make You Feel Happier

There have been numerous research studies to determine how indoor plants affect the levels of stress among people.

According to a study, indoor plants can significantly reduce and lessen anxiety, stress, exhaustion, depression, and emotions of rage.

You could tell the difference if you had only one or a few of these plants within your home.

Moreover, caring for your cactus plant may also induce positive feelings and make you feel good and proud. Studies show that caring for plants is as fulfilling and rewarding as caring for a pet.

Additionally, the cactus plant doesn’t require specialized care and is easy to care for and maintain.

Boost Your Productivity

Cactus plants can increase your productivity during a typical workday. In addition to improving your mood, keeping a cactus plant may make you feel more spirited and ready to take on the day.

Having cactus plants in your home may also help kids focus better on their homework and feel motivated by their learning subjects.

Children who spend time near indoor plants often study better.

According to several studies, keeping a cactus plant at home may enhance productivity by more than 12% as these plants reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in your home.

Too much carbon dioxide in the surrounding has many adverse effects, including fatigue, restlessness, anxiety, and headaches, all of which reduce productivity.

Cons Of Having a Cactus

Here are some disadvantages of having a cactus:


While most cacti are not poisonous, some species can contain toxins that can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.

It’s essential to research the specific type of cactus you plan to have and make sure it’s safe for you and your family.

If you have pets, you should also be aware of any potential toxicity and keep them away from the cacti.


Cacti are generally low-maintenance plants, but they still require some attention. They need to be watered occasionally, but overwatering can be detrimental to their health.

Additionally, they require pruning to remove dead or damaged parts, and they may need fertilizer to thrive. Neglecting these tasks can lead to a decline in the health of the plant.

Cactus Plants Are Spikey

Most cactus plants have prickly spines, which may be dangerous for gardeners, children, and animals. Therefore, keep them out of children’s reach and wear protective gloves while pruning your cactus.

However, these spines can also be advantageous if you use them as a defense mechanism. Many gardeners plant them below windows or fences to keep thieves from breaking in.

Prone to Sunburns Due to Overexposure

Even though they can survive long summers, cactus plants do not do well in extreme heat.

When exposed to direct sunshine, many species you are meant to keep indoors or in greenhouses may get sunburnt.

When this happens, their leaves turn yellow or brown. Therefore, you must gradually increase their sun exposure to help them adapt.

Also, avoid placing them in a spot that receives direct sunlight.

It May Take a Long Time to Grow Flowers

Everyone wants to see cactus plants bloom because they are so lovely. However, it will take a while before you start to see blossoms on these plants, as they take some time to grow flowers.

Cacti may take several years to bloom (only if you provide them with the ideal growing conditions). You might not even see the blooms if you don’t give them the attention they require.

Pets and Small Children

Cacti can be dangerous for pets and small children who may accidentally touch or ingest them. The sharp spines can cause injury, and some species can be poisonous.

If you have pets or small children, it’s crucial to keep your cacti out of reach and consider choosing a safer plant option.

Disease and Pests

Cacti are susceptible to disease and pests, just like any other plant. Overwatering can lead to root rot, and pests such as spider mites and mealybugs can cause damage to the plant.

It’s essential to monitor your cactus for any signs of disease or pests and take action promptly to prevent further damage.

Limited Variety

While cacti come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, their overall appearance is relatively similar. If you’re looking for a plant with a more diverse range of appearances, cacti may not be the best choice.

Cactus as a Houseplant

Having a cactus as a houseplant can be a great addition to your home. They are low-maintenance plants that can add a unique touch of greenery to any room.

In this section, we will discuss the various aspects of having a cactus as a houseplant.

Light and Water Requirements

One of the benefits of having a cactus as a houseplant is that they require minimal watering. Cacti are drought-resistant and can tolerate periods of neglect better than other plants.

However, it is important to note that they do require adequate sunlight. Cacti plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive.

If you are keeping your cactus indoors, make sure to place it near a south-facing window where it can receive plenty of sunlight.

Indoor vs Outdoor

Cacti plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors. However, it is important to note that outdoor cacti plants require different care than indoor cacti plants.

Outdoor cacti plants need to be protected from frost and excessive rain. Indoor cacti plants need to be kept away from cold drafts and heating vents.

It is also important to note that indoor cacti plants require more humidity than outdoor cacti plants.

Decorative Value

Cacti plants can be a great addition to your home decor. They come in a wide range of shapes, colors, and sizes, making them versatile and easy to fit into any space.

They can be used as a statement piece or as part of a larger plant collection. Cacti plants can also be used in feng shui, as they are believed to bring positive energy and good luck into a space.

Edible Cactus

Did you know that some cactus fruits and pads are edible? The prickly pear cactus fruit and cactus pad are both commonly eaten.

They are rich in nutrients and vitamins, making them a healthy addition to your diet. They can be eaten raw or cooked and used in a variety of dishes, such as jams and jellies.

However, it is important to note that some cactus fruits and pads can cause allergic reactions or illnesses if not prepared properly.

Wrapping Up

A cactus may be a terrific option for a houseplant since it adds a subtle elegance and provides a breathtaking visual experience, mainly when it blooms.

All you have to do is ensure these plants are in the correct location. Their therapeutic properties make you feel happier and reduce stress. Their pros outweigh the cons!

However, it’s important to keep in mind that cacti can be dangerous if not handled properly. Some species have sharp spines that can cause injury, and others can be toxic if ingested.

It’s also important to make sure that your cactus is not overwatered, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.

Overall, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance, unique, and beneficial plant to add to your home, a cactus is a great choice. Just be sure to handle it with care and give it the proper care it needs to thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about having a cactus:

Do cacti need a lot of water?

No, cacti do not need a lot of water. In fact, overwatering can be harmful to them. Cacti are adapted to survive in arid environments and can store water in their stems and leaves.

It’s important to let the soil dry out completely between waterings and to avoid getting water on the leaves or stem of the plant.

Do cacti require a lot of sunlight?

Most cacti require a lot of sunlight to thrive. They are adapted to hot, dry environments and need plenty of light to photosynthesize and grow.

However, some species of cacti can tolerate partial shade or indirect light. It’s important to research the specific needs of your cactus and provide it with the appropriate amount of light.

Can cacti be grown indoors?

Yes, many species of cacti can be grown indoors. They are low-maintenance plants that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels.

However, it’s important to provide them with plenty of light and well-draining soil. It’s also important to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other problems.

Do cacti bloom?

Yes, many species of cacti bloom. Cactus flowers can be quite beautiful and come in a wide range of colors and shapes.

However, not all species of cacti bloom, and some only bloom under certain conditions. It’s important to research the specific needs of your cactus if you want it to bloom.

Are cacti safe for pets?

Many species of cacti have spines or thorns that can be harmful to pets. If ingested, cactus spines can cause irritation, swelling, and other problems.

It’s important to keep cacti out of reach of pets or to choose species that are less likely to cause harm. If you have pets, it’s also a good idea to research the toxicity of different species of cacti.

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