Life Cycle of a Cactus

When you think of a desert, the first things you think about are cacti. These plants’ ability to grow in difficult conditions makes them interesting.

However, you must also understand how they grow and stay alive. Cacti are angiosperms, and while they may grow at a slow pace, they have a life cycle similar to that of flowering plants.

There are multiple ways in which cacti can grow. Although they may grow slowly, they can reproduce in the ways that any other flowering plant will.

They can reproduce sexually or even asexually depending on which has the better condition to grow.

Cacti reproduce sexually through flower and seed production or asexually through budding or fragmentation and rooting of stems.

Life Cycle

We can divide the life cycle of a cactus in the following ways:


Birds often distribute cactus seeds, and this happens because they are attracted to fruit and flowers. Germination requires enough water and hot temperatures to occur.

Birds do this because they eat the fruit and seed of most cacti. Some of the seeds get digested, and some don’t. When these birds egest, they provide the soil with seeds.

When there’s enough water and temperature, the seeds sprout and grow.


The mature cactus plant produces flower buds in springtime. It is at this time that they receive enough rainfall to flower.


Bees, bats, and birds will come to the extremely colorful flowers of the cactus to eat the pollen and nectar.

Most cacti are self-sterile, and they require pollen from a different plant altogether. The birds and bees, often called pollinators, will travel from one cactus to another to hunt for nectar.

As they complete their journey, they will carry the pollen to the anthers, and the flowers will get pollinated as best as possible.

Fruit Formation

The pollinated flower will then have a swelling at its base, which then develops into a fruit. As is the case in most cacti, the fruit is brightly colored and sweet.

Within the center of the fruits, the seeds are ripening.

The mature cactus will produce flower buds in the spring.  The birds are then attracted to this flower, and more flowering occurs.

Forced Flowering

When cultivating the cactus plant, cultivators keep flowering plants in the dark for a very long time. Then they would introduce them to light and water.

This factor helps to make the plants dormant for a while until they can germinate.

Cultivating Cacti

Knowing the life cycle of a cactus is necessary for cultivating them.

If the cultivators went into it blindly, they wouldn’t have much success in producing the cacti. Thus, you should ensure you’re aware of cacti life cycles before cultivating them.

This way, you won’t waste any resources and your time.

Why Is Cultivating Cacti Important?

It’s important to understand that cultivating cacti is big business now.

Researchers have come across the many health benefits of cacti, and many vegans and vegetarians have slowly climbed aboard the cactus bandwagon.

A cactus is a plant, so you must know its nutrients and its actual health value.

You can eat them raw or cooked. It’s certainly not the most appetizing diet, but given its high nutritional value, we can understand why people would consume them.

We have listed some of the health benefits of Cacti below:

It Manages Cholesterol

What’s mainly edible in the cactus is the cactus fruit and the cactus pad. Both of these parts are highly fibrous. This factor can lower cholesterol levels in the blood.

A study has also found that including cactus in your diet makes you less prone to stroke, coronary heart diseases, or even peripheral vascular diseases.

Eating cacti can reduce body fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is one of the significant killers in the world today, and thus prevention of such a disease seems like the best option for many people.

Eases Hangovers

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up to ringing ears and a parched throat? Well, eating a cactus pad may be the answer to all your troubles.

Cacti contain vitamins C, E, A, Iron, and Calcium. These nutrients all work together to help ease the inflammation in the body.

A study showed that taking cactus extract after a heavy night of drinking will help alleviate some of nausea you feel.

It Controls Blood Sugar

With the recent rises in the price of Insulin in the market, people are looking for organic and cheaper alternatives.

High blood sugar is representative of diseases in the body such as diabetes, stroke, or heart disease.

Mexican researchers conducted a study among two groups of people. One group was given cactus pads in their diet, and the others weren’t.

The people who were given cactus pads showed lower glucose levels.

Final Thoughts

The life cycle of a cactus is necessary for cultivators to know as it helps to give them a timeline of the best time to sow cactus seeds or help cultivate them.

It’s a significant achievement to know the life cycle of cactus as it helps us meet the rising demand for cactus plants.

Cactus plants have many health benefits, which is why the demand for them is so great.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Succulents be Grown in Dirty Water?

Yes! A lot of succulents are adapted to grow in low-nutrient poor soils such as clay or soil with high salt levels.

They can also tolerate dry conditions and drought very well. If you’re growing any type of succulent plant for the first time, try planting them in pots filled with peat moss instead of regular dirt. It keeps water from evaporating too quickly.

Do Succulents require special Water?

Cacti are succulents and non-toxic, so they can be planted in the same pot of soil as your normal houseplants.

Succulents are drought-tolerant plants, so they’ll be fine in a container with a large opening to allow for plenty of drainages.

Grow succulents in water or soil, which is better?

Succulents survive in soil, as well as water, so both methods are viable. However, it is better to grow succulents in soil, because it provides better drainage and more stability than water.

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