Captivating cacti species to grow this year

Cacti have plenty of personality. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures, but all of them have similar needs: They need direct sunlight with no drafts. They’ll thrive under LED grow lights.

If they don’t receive sufficient light, they tend to get leggy and unattractive.

Cacti are some of the easiest plants to add to your houseplant collection. These plants survive drought by storing water in their leaves, stems and roots, so they’re the ultimate in easy-care plants!

They grow in-ground in warm climates, but they also make fun houseplants if you give them a sunny windowsill.

Cacti are resilient and forgiving if you’re—ahem—a little forgetful about watering. But they should be watered only when the soil feels dry to the touch. A sure way to kill them is to overwater, so always err on the side of too dry rather than too wet!

It’s worth noting that some types of cacti aren’t the best choices around kids or pets. Those with sharp spines are better grown outdoors, away from curious kids and pets. Or choose types of cacti, such as holiday cacti, that don’t have dangerous prickly spines.

Read more: 29 Pet-Friendly Houseplants You Can Grow Without Worry

Ahead, the best cacti you can grow at home:

types of cactus thanksgiving cactus

Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata)

Thanksgiving cactus is a long-lived type that doesn’t have prickly spikes, so it can be grown around kids and pets. It can live for decades with the right care.

It’s related to Christmas cactus, which is more difficult to find because it’s more fragile to ship, and Easter cactus, which has more star-shaped flowers.

All three types need similar care with bright light and total darkness for 12 to 14 hours, starting in the fall, to rebloom.

types of cactus thimble cactus

Thimble Cactus (Mammillaria gracilis fragilis)

This adorable little cactus has short spiny stems and yellow flowers in spring or summer. It’s a good choice for new plant parents because it’s not too fussy.

small potted echinocactus grusonii plants, a type of barrel cactus, in greenhouse

Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

This type of cactus is fast-growing and keeps its cute rounded shape. They can grow up to five feet tall outdoors, though they make a fun windowsill plant indoors.

types of cactus peanut cactusBilal photos//Getty Images

Peanut Cactus (Echinopsis chamaecereus)

With a name this cute, you simply have to grow this type of cactus! Peanut cactus is an adorable clumping cactus with stems that can curl up to 10 inches long.

types of cactus mistletoe cactus rhipsalis horrideYulia-B//Getty Images

Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera)

Pencil-thin, trailing stems make this cactus a real showstopper as it matures! It’s a tropical epiphyte, like orchids, which adapts well to indoor care.

ric rac cactus plant epiphyllum anguliger

Ric Rac Cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger)

How could we not love a cactus nicknamed after one of our favorite country trims? They grow especially well indoors in a sunny window. It also has night-blooming flowers, though they rarely occur indoors.

tall, perfectly shaped three arm saguaro cactus alongside a path in a desert landscape

Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)

The tree-like saguaro cactus is native only to the Sonoran Desert and can live for 200 years! Its super-slow growth rate (about an inch per year for the first eight years of its life) keeps it petite if grown indoors.

potted fairy castle cactus with orange flowers

Fairy Castle Cactus (Acanthocereus tetragonus)

Who knew a cactus could be charming?

The varied stems resemble the turrets of a castle, making it the perfect addition to any whimsical garden. Heads up: It’s a very slow grower.

mammillaria plumosa, a ball shaped type of cactus covered in white feathery spines in potSubtawee Srijaroen//Getty Images

Feather Cactus (Mammillaria plumosa)

The white “feathers” on this cactus look fluffy and soft, but be warned: the younger, shorter spines below that innocuous-looking facade are super-sharp!

Its cute rounded shape and sweetly scented flowers that appear in late summer make it worth growing.

ball shaped old lady cactus in a green glazed flower pot

Old Lady Cactus (Mammillaria hahniana)

The funny name may not be the most flattering, but it’s a cute cactus that is easy to grow!

It may develop a ring of hot pink flowers in late winter to early spring.

opuntia microdasys, a type of cactus with flat elliptical leaf segments resembling bunny ears, dotted with orange prickles

Bunny Ears Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)

The bunny ears cactus is a popular choice for its cute shape. This plant does not have spines like a traditional cactus, but that doesn’t mean it’s cuddly! The glochids (tufts of short, hairy spines that give it a polka-dot appearance) can still stick you.

orange moon cactus, a type of cactus featuring a colorful orb shaped cactus growing on a green cactus base, resembling a moonLpcornish//Getty Images

Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii )

Moon cactus is a popular addition to a succulent garden thanks to its bright color. The hybrid plant is actually two types of cacti grafted together, and its lifespan is short compared to other cacti.

potted easter cactus, with plump round leaf segments, covered in bright pinkish red flowers

Easter Cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri)

Easter cactus blooms in early spring, but even without the bright flowers, the green segments make for an attractive plant year round. Like other holiday cacti, Easter cactus prefers bright light but not direct sunlight, which will burn its leaves, which technically are flattened stems.

miniature potted cactus mammillaria elongata or gold lace cactus isolated in a pot

Ladyfinger Cactus (Mammillaria elongata)

Ladyfinger cactus is a sweet addition to a succulent garden. This petite cactus has clusters of cylindrical stems and yellowish spines that give it an overall golden appearance.

types of cactus rat tail cactus

Rat Tail Cactus (Aporocactus flagelliformis)

The distinctly unattractive name isn’t really fair to this plant! Rat tail cactus has long trailing stems and pretty pink flowers, so it’s a fun addition to any cactus collection.

small, ball shaped parodia cactus, covered in spines with a single yellow flower sprouting from the top, in a pot

Parodia (various species)

This ball-shaped cactus boasts showy flowers, which may be yellow, red, orange, or pink, depending on the species. This type of cactus prefers a little afternoon shade, especially if grown outdoors.