21 Large Cactus For Your Outdoor Garden

Are you a large cactus lover. Today in this article I am going to describe the most popular large cactus in the world. 

These cacti range from 2 feet to 60 feet. Do you think you can grow them in your home garden?

large cactus

Popular large cactus

01. Rattail Cactus / Aporocactus flagelliformis

Rat Tail Cactus is a fine large cactus which grows up to 3 feet to 6 feet. 

Aporocactus flagelliformis is there scientific terms. They would be great picks for hanging baskets as well as for the head planters. Rat Tail Cactus are native plants to Mexico and to central America. 

Further these Cactus blossom with flowers in spring to early summer. Those flowers would tend to take a violet, red or pink or orange color. 

Moreover, those flowers would tend to take a tubular shape as well. The trailing stem is the highlight of these plants. They would usually grow on the ground or under the massively grown trees.

Large cactus

02. Eve’s Needle Cactus / Austrocylindropuntia subulate

Eves Needle Cactus goes by the scientific name Austrocylindropuntia subulate. This large cactus would usually reach a maximum height of 3-5 feet when you cultivate them in pots. 

However, they would reach a maximum height of 13 feet when they grow in the wild. If someone wishes to have a spreading specimen, Eve’s Needle Cactus would be a great pick for them. 

These are hailing from Peruvian Andes. The leaves of these plants would be awl like and green, yellow in color. They would be 5 inches in size. They bloom with red to orange-colored flowers.

Large cactus

03. Saguaro / Carnegiea gigantea

The saguaro cactus is a columnar cactus. Their scientific name is Carnegiea gigantea. They look like a tree. 

These large cactus originate from the Sonoran Desert. However, when saguaro cactus grow in their natural habitats, they reach a maximum height of 40-60 feet

Moreover they blossom with white showy flowers. This is one of the most famous large cacti. Further they produced an egg-shaped fruit as well. 

The saguaro cactus stem would be green in color and would be about 30-75 cm in diameter. Their stem would usually grow in an unbranched direct manner.

Large cactus

04. Old Man Cactus / Cephalocereus Senilis

Old Man Cactus go by the scientific name Cephalocereus Senilis. Old Man Cactus originate from central Mexico. 

This large Cactus would get as tall as 6 meters ( 20 feet ) . Further, their flowers would arise from a mass of long wool structures of the plants. 

In fact the immature Old Man Cactus would consist of more white hairs and you could commonly spot these in the tips of their stems. 

Old Man Cactus further comprises sharp spines under the wooly hairs. Moreover their flowers would be pink and white.

Large cactus

05. Golden Barrel Cactus / Echinocactus grusonii

Golden barrel cactus go by the scientific name Echinocactus grusonii . They would rise up to three feet once they grow to their best potential. 

These cacti originate from North America and from South America. This large cactus is such a cheerful cactus. 

They would tend to take a round shape, and they would reach a maximum height of 3 feet ( 1m). Further, these cacti would be about 3 feet ( 1m) widespread as well. 

Golden Barrel cactus carry some dangerous spines. Once they mature the cactus tends to take an oblong shape.

Large cactus

06. Cowboy Cactus / Euphorbia acruensis ‘Cowboy

Cowboy Cactus goes by the scientific name Euphorbia acruensis ‘Cowboy. These large Cactus would reach a maximum height of 3-6 feet when you cultivate them in pots. 

These large cactus originate from Southwest Africa and they would make an attractive potted specimen as well. 

Cowboy Cactus is renowned as a cactus which tends to come up with a cartoon style. They would carry branching fleshy stems. Moreover, those stems would consist of sharp spines as well.

Cowboy Cactus 1

07. Baioensis / Euphorbia baioensis

Baioensis’s scientific name is Euphorbia baioensis. This large cactus would grow as tall as 3-7 feet when you grow them in pots. 

They are endemic to Kenya. Many people tend to grow them as houseplants as they produce some attractive flowers.

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The Euphorbia baioensis flowers would be canary yellow in color. Euphorbia baioensis produces flowers in spring and summer. 

Furthermore, Euphorbia baioensis stems would be cylindrical in shape. They would tend to grow as shrubs, and they would be prominent in gray-green in color. 

They would also carry spines and beware when you are interacting with these plants.

Large cactus

08. Candelabra Cactus / Euphorbia ingens

Euphorbia ingens go by the common name called Candelabra Cactus. In fact, this is a succulent type and not a cactus despite you calling them Candelabra Cactus. 

This is also yet another famous large cactus type that many people tend to grow. They would usually grow up to a maximum height of 36 feet( 12 meters)

However, they would be taller than that when they grow in the wild. You could spot the young Candelabra Cactus carrying spines. 

Euphorbia ingens are flowering plants and those flowers would be green, yellow in color. Their flowering season would fall in autumn through winter. These are native plants to South Africa.

Large cactus

09. African Milk Tree / Euphorbia trigona

African Milk Trees grow up to 2-6 feet when you cultivate them in pots. They are renowned for their rapid growth. 

African Milk originates from West Africa and they go by the common name of the African Milk Tree. 

African Milk Tree leaves would tend to take a teardrop shape. Further they consist of a stem which grows upright.

Moreover those stems would carry smaller branches too. African Milk Trees blossom in white or in yellow colors during spring and summer. African Milk originates from Central Africa.

Large cactus

10. Mexican Lime Cactus/ Ferocactus pilosus

Mexican Lime Cactus’s scientific name goes as Ferocactus pilosus

They would reach a maximum height of 60cm – 240 cm when they grow to their fullest potential. On the other hand, Mexican Lime Cactus would be about 30-45 cm in width. 

These are originating from Mexico and they would grow as clumps. Mexican Lime Cactus Would be prominent in deep green in color. 

Moreover these cacti would comprise bright red spines as well. in addition to that they produce flowers in bright red color. They flower from late spring to summer. 

If you wish to add some texture to your garden Mexican Lime Cactus would be a perfect fit here.

Large cactus

11. Senita Cactus/ Lophocoreus schottii

Senita Cactus goes by the scientific name called Lophocoreus schottii. Their maximum height would be 3-5 feet in cultivation. 

When Senita Cactus grow in the wild, they would be about 15 feet in height and 10 feet in width. Senita Cactus are renowned for their unusual shape and many people are fans of these plants due to that characteristic. 

Senita Cactus produces flowers in pale pink during spring. Senita Cactus stem form about 5-10 ribs along with bristle-like gray spines as well. 

Once they complete flowering they produce a red fruit item as well. Senita Cactus originates from Arizona.

Large cactus

12. Organ Pipe Cactus / Lemaireocereus Thurberi

Lemaireocereus Thurberi is commonly called Organ Pipe Cactus. They would rise up to a maximum height of 3-6 feet

Organ Pipe Cactus form branches which tend to look like organ pipes, and they have inherited this name due to that. 

Moreover, many gardeners tend to grow them due to the fruit they produce. Lemaireocereus Thurberi hails from Mexico. 

Lemaireocereus Thurber would usually grow as large shrubs or as large trees. Lemaireocereus Thurberi bloom with lavender colored blooms and they tend to take a funnel shape. 

Their flowering season falls from May to June. In addition to that they produce a globular shaped fruit.

Large cactus

13. Blue Myrtle Cactus / Myrtillocactus geometrizans

Myrtillocactus geometrizans go by the common name called Blue Myrtle Cactus and they usually grow as columnar cactus. 

Once they mature, they tend to look like trees. In fact, they would be about 16 feet in height when they are mature. 

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However, when Myrtillocactus geometrizan are young, they tend to look like shrubs. You could expect them to flower with green, white flowers during February to April. 

Those blooms further comprise a sweet fragrance too. Myrtillocactus geometrizan usually form a green color. However, they would further consist of gray and blue hues as well. These plants are native to Central Mexico.

Large cactus

14. Candelabra Cactus / Myrtillocactus Cochal

Candelabra Cactus, which you could call Myrtillocactus Cochal scientifically, is a large sprawling cactus. 

When it comes to flowering, they produce flowers which tend to take a cup shape in late spring through early summer. 

Moreover, Candelabra Cactus flowers would be ivory colored as well. In terms of the sizes of these plants, they would be about eight to ten feet in width as well as in height. 

In addition to that, the Candelabra Cactus stem would be more like a branched woody trunk. These are endemic plants to Mexico. 

In addition to these characteristics, Candelabra Cactus produce a fruit which is edible. They would be globular in shape and red in color.

Large cactus

15. Old Man Cactus / Oreocereus celsianus

Old Man Cactus is called Oreocereus celsianus in scientific terms. In terms of the sizes, they would reach up to a maximum height of 4-6 feet when you cultivate them. 

They originate from Bolivia and from Peru. Oreocereus celsianus also grows as columnar plants and would usually form in clumps. 

They would reach a maximum height of about 3 m when they grow in the wild. The Oreocereus celsianus plant is covered with silky whitish hair. 

The Oreocereus celsianus stem is cylindrical in shape. In addition to these features, they blossom with flowers in pale purplish to pink dark red colors. Those blooms would be tubular, or funnel shaped.

Large cactus

16. Prickly Pear Cactus / Opuntia

Prickly Pear Cactus, which goes by the common name called Opuntia, is yet another fantastic large cactus. 

These plants are renowned for their wide flat branching pads. They also carry detachable spines and tufts. In terms of the sizes, Prickly Pear Cactus would usually form 6-12 inches in height

Further they would be 18 inches in width as well. Further these plants would get as tall as 10-15 feet in height when they grow in the wild. 

The Prickly Pear Cactus flowers would form in yellow, red or in purple. Further they may also produce fruits in a wide array of colors as well.

Large cactus

17. Totem Pole Cactus / Pachycereus Schottii

Pachycereus Schottii originates from Mexico. They usually do not carry a trunk and tend to grow in columnar shapes. 

Pachycereus Schottii would grow up to 3 – 4 m in height in general. Having said that, they can grow up to 7 m in height as well. 

The stem tips of the matured plants would consist of gray bristles. The Pachycereus Schottii flowers are mainly green, white in color. 

However, those flowers release a somewhat unpleasant odor. They further produce some fruit in red and those are edible too.

Large cactus

18. Golden Ball Cactus / Parodia Leninghausii

Parodia Leninghausii originates from Brazil. Parodia Leninghausii are commonly called Golden Ball cactus. 

Besides these plants produce flowers in silky yellow color. Their flowering season would be summer. Their stems would be globular in shape at the beginning. 

Once they mature, they would be columnar in shape. They would rise up to a maximum height of 1 m when in maturity. Further Parodia Leninghausii are golden bristly spines.

Large cactus

19. Mexican Giant Cardon Cactus / Pachycereus pringlei

Pachycereus pringlei are called Mexican giant cardon cactus in common. 

In fact, these are the tallest cactus species, and they would grow up to a massive height of 63 feet. Moreover, Pachycereus pringlei would be about 39 inches in diameter as well. 

Having said that, many people tend to grow them as houseplants as they have a unique appearance and due to the easy maintenance they require. 

These plants are originally from Mexico and from the USA. Their stems would tend to take a blue-green or dark green color. 

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However, as they mature, they become yellow-green in color. Further, Pachycereus pringlei produce funnel or bell-shaped flowers, and they are white in color. 

Spring is their flowering season. Besides these features, you could spot them forming a yellow brown globose fruit item as well.

Large cactus

20. Mexican Fence Post Cactus / Pachycereus marginatus

Pachycereus marginatus is a spectacular columnar cactus which you can spot in blue green in color. 

They would grow up to 30 feet when they mature. Pachycereus marginatus originates from Central Mexico. 

Pachycereus marginatus stems would be dark green in color and they would form in an erecting manner. Pachycereus marginatus produces pink to green colored flowers during spring. 

In addition to these factors, they produce a yellow reddish fruit item which is spiny too.

Large cactus

21. Blue Columnar Cactus / Pilosocereus pachycladus

Pilosocereus pachycladus are native plants in Brazil. When they grow in their natural habitat, they would reach a maximum height of 10 m (3.3 feet)

However, when you cultivate them, they will only reach a maximum height of 6-12 inches. Their stems tend to take a sky blue or light blue green color. They would further consist of 19 ribs as well. 

Apart from that Pilosocereus pachycladus comprises white bristles too. Moreover, their spines would be translucent and would be yellow in color. 

However, once they mature, they will be gray in color. Besides they produce flowers in white and they would be funnel shaped. 

Pilosocereus pachycladus is a fruit which you could spot in a flattened or globular shape. Those fruits would be red and purple in color too.

Large cactus

How to take care of large cactus

Water requirement

In general, cacti do not require a lot of water. Hence if you forget to water them once or twice it would not create a greater impact on the plants. 

Having said that it is important that you water them in moderate levels also, particularly during spring and summer. 

Many of the cacti grow vigorously during spring and summer and you need to water them moderately during this period. 

As such, if you spot the soil is dry to the touch, you need to resume watering it immediately. When it comes to watering them in winter, you may water them only if their soil is completely dry.

Refrain from misting the plants. If you end up misting them, it will lead to rot and for other bacterial infections as well.

Soil requirement

Cacti are usually adapted to grow in drought conditions. Since they have a narrow short root system, they usually conserve their food and the nutrients in their trunks. 

Hence, I encourage you to choose a well-draining soil mix to grow them as you need to mimic the same conditions they get in their natural habitats when you cultivate them too. 

You may simply go ahead with a commercially made cactus soil or with a succulent soil mix for this purpose as they fulfill this requirement.

Alternatively, you can make a soil mix on your own by mixing 2 parts of organic potting soil and 01 parts of sand and lava rock mixture into one part of bonsai mix. 

Moreover, you may also use charcoal if you wish to further better the drainage of the soil mix. Additionally, you need to proceed with a pot which has ample drainage. 

In terms of the right pot material, the ideal thing you could do is to choose terra cotta pots as they have a high porosity.

Sunlight requirement

Cacti are so much fond of sunlight. Hence when you cultivate them you need to expose them for at least four hours in full sunlight on a daily basis. 

It is very unlikely that large cacti will survive if they run short of direct sunlight. However, if you wish to further supplement the light, you could place grow lights closer to the plants so that it would be beneficial for the plant’s growth.

Credit to : Tropical Gardening
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.