Saguaro Cactus (All you Need to Know)

Saguaro Cactus is some of the most common cactus plants in the world and the US.

These cactus plants are easy to identify, given that they’re some of the tallest structures in the natural world.

These cacti are generally found near Mexico and can go up to an insane height. Many people are fascinated by these cactus plants as they can serve as structures too.

There is much to be figured out about the Saguaro Cactus if you’re a newbie.

If you are interested in how the Saguaro cactus exists, look no further as we have compiled a list of things you can proceed with.

There are many features that you can use to help you identify whether the cactus in your backyard is a Saguaro cactus or not.

Now, let’s look at everything you need to know about the Saguaro cactus.

Facts About Saguaro Cactus

  • Saguaros are the largest cactus species in the US. They can grow to heights greater than 40 feet tall, so you likely won’t have to worry about the fact that you can’t seem to identify a Saguaro cactus. These are vertical-looking cactus plants that appear tall and beastly.
  • The Saguaro cactus can also live up to several years. They can last for 100 to 200 years, which is a long time. If you’re considering investing in a Saguaros cactus, know that you’ll be taking care of that cactus for a very long time.
  • The cactus plant is quite heavy. Sometimes a full-grown Saguaro cactus can weigh up to a ton.
  • Most of the weight of the cactus comes from the water mass it collects. Saguaros can shrink in girth or grow throughout the year depending on how much water it amasses.
  • Saguaros also have some of the most intricate root systems in the world. They have taproots extending from one root to five feet down into the ground to collect any stored water underground. However, they also have primary sources, extending three inches into the surface to collect the rainwater. This network lets them collect rainwater with relative ease.
  • The Saguaros also have spines that allow them to fend off any animals that could create problems for the growth of the Saguaro cactus. All cactus plants have this mechanism, though. But the Saguaros are different, although they fend off insects or predatory animals.

    They act as accommodations for certain species of birds, especially for birds like Gila woodpeckers that need unique habitats to survive. The survival instinct of a Saguaro cactus is quite remarkable, which helps them identify the species they can help and those that can’t. The Saguaros cactus is also a foundation species at times because they support so many other species through its cycle. This particular cactus species is also remarkable as a habitat because it stays around for a very long time.
  • The Saguaros are mainly found in Arizona and have often been termed the state’s flower.

How Do You Identify Saguaro Cactus Plants?

If you come across a Saguaro Cactus, how would you know how to identify it? Many people aren’t even aware that they have a Saguaro cactus in their backyard.

Locating your cactus is essential because you will know how best to take care of it.

The Saguaro cactus has many different notable features that set it apart. We’re going to explain some of these below:

Size and Shape

The size and shape of a Saguaro cactus are one of its most notable features.

We have mentioned this before, but the girth, body, and length of the Saguaro cactus are some of the features that help you identify it.

Saguaro cactus plants are tall, long, and have a small circumference.

They appear vertical as opposed to rounded like other cactus plants. These cactus plants aren’t just tall in a standard capacity either.

They are elevated because they can grow up to 50 feet in height. Most other cactus plants cannot do this.

A Saguaro cactus will also have branches generally. However, other cactus species don’t. Saguaros are also skinny-looking plants.


Saguaro Cactus is generally found in deserts of North America. You would find them in places near Mexico and Arizona, to name a few.

They also grow in the Sonoran Desert and some parts of California. If you’re outside of this range, then chances are that this isn’t a Saguaro.

However, it could still be a Saguaro. You may want to investigate before identifying a cactus as a Saguaro.


Another way you can identify a Cactus plant is that it has fruit.

A Saguaro cactus’s fruits are red, have spines, and have an oval shape.

Saguaro fruits will also arise from the top of the plant and can be four inches long in size.

The good thing about this fruit is that it’s edible. Whether or not you like the taste is entirely up to you. Many cactus plants have fruits.

So, this particular identification should be something you have as an addition, not as the indisputable evidence of a cactus being a Saguaro; that would not be a reasonable deduction.


Since the Saguaro has fruit, it would also have a flower. The Saguaro flower is pretty and white.

It shines through among flowers of all kinds. It also makes sense then that it’s the state flower of Arizona.

The flowers may arise either at the top of the plant or grow out of the branches of that particular cactus.

The white flowers are pretty prominent, so you can’t miss out on them.

The Roots

Okay, so you may not get a chance to look at the roots of all the cactus plants you have around.

However, you can dig a little and find what system they have. If you want to confirm that a Cactus plant is a Saguaro, look for a thick root system.

The Saguaro cactus systems are massive, meaning it only makes sense they have an equally enormous root system.

They have deep root systems that help support the entire plant and the ecosystem around them.

They are huge containers of water and help maintain the ins and outs of it.

How to Take Care of a Saguaro Cactus?

Once you have identified that the cactus in your backyard is that of a Saguaro, you may have to decide what to do.

If you want to take care of it, you’ve already completed a significant step: identifying the cactus.

Please do note that the procurement of a Saguaro cactus is not legal. As we mentioned before, the Saguaro cactus is not a cute, genteel cactus.

It is a cactus that requires a lot of water and is generally not fit for placing in your backyard.

You can’t get a Saguaro and try to grow it on your ranch because it’s usually not permissible under state law.

Furthermore, if you’re looking to transplant a Saguaro cactus, you should remember that the cactus will likely die as soon as an attempt is made.

So, the best you can do when encountering a Saguaro cactus plant is to keep it as it is.

All you have to do is make sure you don’t move it around and provide it with the nutrients it needs to keep it going.

If you want to care for a Saguaro cactus thoroughly, you can plant a nurse tree alongside it.

The nurse tree can support the Saguaro cactus in several ways.

If there are any Saguaro cactus babies, the nurse tree can provide them with protection that can help the Saguaro cactus thrive.

If you find that the Saguaro cactus has some pests acting on it like mealybugs or scale, you will have to eliminate these issues using mechanical methods.

You can use insecticides and herbicides too. However, they may hurt the Saguaro cactus, which would do more damage than good.

Final Thoughts

Saguaro cactus plants have many qualities that help them stand out. However, these are some of the most notable ones mentioned in the article.

If you want to know more about Saguaro cactus plants, there is a plethora of knowledge and wisdom available on the internet for you to scribe.

You can talk to many botanists to help explain the importance of a Saguaro and what they contribute to a desert ecosystem.

If you feel your interest is piqued after this article, you should continue your search and find more incredible information.

Saguaro cactus are some of the most fascinating cactus plants you can come across. They’re also extremely easy to recognize if you know what you need to look for.

Thus, we hope that the article cleared many of your questions.