How to Grow Cactus from Seeds + Best Cacti for Seed Propagation

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Don’t know How to Grow Cactus from Seeds? We’ve got you covered with all the basics—plus the Best Cacti for Seed Propagation!


Did you know you could start a cactus from seeds with just a few cents? We’re not kidding; they’re cheap, easy to grow, and make great gifts! Here’s How to Grow Cactus from Seeds.

Getting Cactus Seeds

If you’re going to start a cactus from seeds, the first thing you need is the seeds themselves. They’re not hard to find–you’ll find these in garden supply centers, nurseries, online, and maybe even for free if you have a gardening circle.

You can also pick them. Once the cactus flowers have fallen off, only the seed pod remains, which you can pick for the seeds. But don’t do it from someone’s property without asking.

How to Grow Cactus from Seeds?


Growing a cactus from seeds takes quite some time, so you’ll have to be patient. Once you have the seeds, take a shallow container (one with drainage holes) and fill it with a well-draining cactus mix. Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil, but don’t leave any standing water.

Now scatter the seeds on the surface and cover them lightly with a thin sand or vermiculite layer (Cacti seeds don’t need to be buried deep). Once you’re done with this, all you need to do is keep it in a warm and bright place. You can also cover it with a plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse. This is where you have to be patient because the seeds may take a few weeks to a few months to germinate.

Best Cacti to Grow from Seeds

1. Barrel Cactus

Botanical Name: Echinocactus

The Barrel Cactus can reach 5-10 feet tall with a 2-foot spread, producing a 3-inch wide orange-yellow flower on each tip in summer.

2. Ball Cactus

Botanical Name: Parodia magnifica

It can reach a mature height of 3 feet and is covered with hair-like spines. It displays yellow flowers in summer.

3. Pincushion Cactus


Botanical Name: Mammillaria

It looks like a round pincushion and will tolerate heat and light frost. In the spring, this cactus offers clusters of bright pink funnel-shaped flowers.

4. Prickly Pear

Botanical Name: Opuntia

This cultivar has round, flat joints called pads with small, barbed spines. It does great in indirect light, too.

5. Rebutia

Botanical Name: Rebutia

Rebutia is quite easy to grow and maintain. In the right growing conditions, it produces cute clusters of small flowers.

6. Acanthocereus


Botanical Name: Acanthocereus

This sprawling cactus plant has long stems. It stays compact if grown in pots, making it a good indoor specimen.

7. Astrophytum asterias

Botanical Name: Astrophytum asterias

These are slow growers but they’re worth it because they reward you with large flowers that are as big as it’s body.

8. Gymnocalycium baldianum


Botanical Name: Gymnocalycium baldianum

You can propagate these from seeds or offsets. But do it in early spring as the temperature is favorable.

9. Blue Barrel Cactus better


Botanical Name: Ferocactus glaucescens

They’re named so because of their blue-green foliage that stands out. You can grow them indoors easily.

10. Golden Barrel Cactus


Botanical Name: Echinocactus grusonii

With golden spines, deep ribs, and a spherical shape, how can you not love this cactus variety?

11. Sulcorebutia rauschii


Botanical Name: Sulcorebutia rauschii

These mini clustering cacti come from Bolivia and have a beautiful pink-purple shade. They also have funnel-shaped flowers.

12. Orange Barrel Cactus


Botanical Name: Ferocactus cylindraceus

Orange Barrels are mostly found in the Southwestern US and have a barrel-shaped body. They’re known for their pink spines and yellow flowers.

13. Mammillaria lasiacantha


Botanical Name: Mammillaria lasiacantha

You might also know this as the Lacespine Nipple cactus. It is small in size and has pretty little flowers.

14. Silken Pincushion Cactus


Botanical Name: Mammillaria bombycina

These low-maintenance cacti are perfect for beginners and grow up to 8 inches in height.

15. Moon Cactus

Botanical Name: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii

Moon Cactus are South American natives with red, yellow, orange, or pink flowers. Their body is a gray-green color.

16. Indian Head Cactus

Botanical Name: Parodia ottonis

It’s a dwarf cactus species with a cute, round shape with sharp-edged ribs and small spines.

17. Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus

rick bonam

Botanical Name: Echinocereus engelmannii

The Strawberry Hedgehog cactus is common in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Sonora. It’s a lovely choice for seed growing.

18. Red Crown Cactus

Botanical Name: Rebutia minuscula

Red Crowns are small, clumping cactus varieties that give beautiful pink or red flowers that are funnel-shaped.

19. Glory of Texas


Botanical Name: Thelocactus bicolor

The quickest and easiest way to propagate these is via seeds. They’re solitary plants and grow 1-1.5 feet tall in the right conditions.

20. Peyote Cactus


Botanical Name: Lophophora williamsii

Peyotes are spineless and are used by North American indigenous people in religious ceremonies. It grows in limestone soils of the Chihuahuan Desert.

21. Mammillaria compress


Botanical Name: Mammillaria compressa

These are ornamental cactus plants that start globular but slowly form large clumps as they mature.

22. Coryphantha macromeris


Botanical Name: Coryphantha macromeris

If you’re growing cactus for small containers, this is the one to go for. Plus it has beautiful pink flowers.

23. Mammillaria glassii


Botanical Name: Mammillaria glassii

The M. glassii is a petite, round-shaped cactus that you can easily grow with seeds, offsets, or cuttings.

24. Easter Lily Cactus


Botanical Name: Echinopsis oxygona

Look at the delicate, soft pink flowers of this one. Pretty, right? These flowers are night-blooming.

25. Eagle Claw Cactus

Botanical Name: Echinocactus horizonthalonius

The tops of these cacti can be flat or rounded. They are solitary cactus and have a blue-green or gray-green color.

26. Townsend Barrel Cactus


Botanical Name: Ferocactus peninsulae

Ferocactus peninsulae is indigenous to the deserts of Baja California Sur in Mexico and gives yellow or red flowers.

27. Old Lady Cactus

Botanical Name: Mammillaria hahniana

It’s called Old Lady because its spines cover it up entirely and make it look like an old lady’s white-haired head.

28. Balloon Cactus


Botanical Name: Parodia magnifica

Balloon Cacti are short and cylindrical in size and shape. They also produce lemon-yellow flowers and golden spines.

29. Finger Cactus


Botanical Name: Mammillaria longimamma

The finger-like stems of this cactus earn it the name. They form a dense clump and give large, bright yellow flowers in summer.

30. Easter Lily Cactus

Botanical Name: Echinopsis eyriesii

Easter Lily cacti have beautiful night-blooming flowers that grow on long tubes even larger than the cactus body.

31. Bishop’s Cap

Botanical Name: Astrophytum myriostigma

This variety is truly gorgeous and has a star-shaped body. It also produces vibrant yellow flowers that add to its allure.

32. Snowball Cactus

Botanical Name: Parodia scopa

You’ll see them growing in rocky grasslands and hillsides of Brazil and Uruguay. They also make great houseplants.

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