10 Best Large Cactus Plants to Grow Indoors

Round spiky cactus in tall black pot on white surface indoors

The Spruce / Danielle Moore

Cacti are low-maintenance, interesting houseplants that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Introducing a large cactus into your living space as a statement piece can add some spice, flair, and style to your home.

Because cacti are usually slow-growing, you will likely need to buy a mature plant rather than grow it to size if you are looking to add a large cactus to your houseplant collection. Some cacti don’t reach maturity until they are 150 years old. Thus, a young cactus could easily outlive you before reaching the size you are looking for.

For an eye-catching and dramatic impact, bring a bit of the desert into your home with these ten large cactus plants.

General Care

Surprisingly, cacti can be tricky plants to keep happy indoors - especially for those who are prone to ‘loving’ their houseplants too much (we’re looking at you, over-waterers!).

Keep in mind that cacti are desert plants, and they can survive months (yes months!) without water if needed. It is always better to underwater a cactus than to overwater it.

To thrive indoors, large cactus require at least six hours of direct sunlight every day which usually means a south-facing location.

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  • 01 of 10

    Blue Myrtle Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans)

    Close up view of Myrtillocactus geometrizans, it is a large shrubby cactus growing to 4"u20135 m tall, with candelabra-like branching on mature plants.

    JJFarquitectos / Getty Images

    The blue myrtle cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans) is a fast-growing, columnar cactus that becomes treelike with age. It can grow to be over 16 feet tall at maturity but remains shrubby as a young plant. When grown indoors, ensure that the blue myrtle cactus is planted in gritty, well-draining soil and receives at least six hours of direct sun every day.

    • Light: Direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water conservatively once the soil is dry
  • 02 of 10

    Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea)

    Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) cactus in the desert.

    Cavan Images / Getty Images

    The saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is a columnar, tree-like cactus that is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran desert. They are extremely slow-growing but can grow up to 40-60 feet tall in nature. They work well as houseplants, however, in order to grow a sizable cactus, you will likely need to purchase a well-established plant.

    • Light: Direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water once the soil is dry
  • 03 of 10

    Mexican Fence Post Cactus (Pachycereus marginatus)

    Mexican fence post cactus (Pachycereus marginatus) from above.

    Zozulya / Getty Images

    The Mexican fence post cactus (Pachycereus marginatus) is a stunning blue-green columnar cactus that can grow up to 20 feet tall at maturity. Fortunately, this species of cactus is relatively fast-growing, so you may be able to start with a smaller plant and wait for it to grow to a decent size if you wish.

    • Light: Direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water once the soil is dry
  • 04 of 10

    Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

    Large golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) close up shot.

    Boy_Anupong / Getty Images

    Also commonly known as the mother-in-law’s cushion, the golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) can reach over three feet in height and width at maturity. They might not rival some of the larger cacti cultivators in height, but will reach an impressive size for barrel cacti. However, these plants are extremely slow-growing so finding a mature plant for sale is probably your best bet.

    • Light: Direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water when the soil is dry
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Candelabra Cactus (Euphorbia ingens)

    Candelabra cactus (Euphorbia ingens) close up shot of mature green stalks.

    hanohiki / Getty Images

    While the candelabra cactus (Euphorbia ingens) is technically a succulent and not a cactus, it is one of the most popular indoor cactus-like varieties and still deserves a mention. For those who don’t have very many bright sunny windows in their home, this cactus-like succulent might be the best choice for you because it can do well in bright indirect light conditions.

    • Light: Bright indirect light to direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water once the soil is dry
  • 06 of 10

    Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

    Large prickly pear cactus sitting against a white wall in a black pot.

    Adriana Duduleanu / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Prickly pear cactus plants (Opuntia) plants are some of the most popular indoor cactus varieties - often sold as small three to six-inch plants - and they can spread from 12 to 18 inches in width. As with most cactus varieties, ensure that your prickly pear is placed in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight to keep it happy.

    • Light: Direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water once the soil is dry
  • 07 of 10

    Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi)

    Organ pipe cactus stalks against a deep blue sky.

    AdShooter / Getty Images

    The organ pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi) got its common name from the way its multi-limbed growth habit resembles grand organ pipes. Organ pipe cacti are characterized by green skin with several ribs and small spines adorning the entire stem. They can grow up to 16 feet tall and 12 feet wide but are very slow-growing. 

    • Light: Direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water once the soil is dry
  • 08 of 10

    Mexican Giant Cardon Cactus (Pachycereus pringlei)

    Mexican giant cardon cactus growing outdoors in a grove.

    Adel Bekefi / Getty Images

    The Mexican giant cardon cactus (Pachycereus pringlei) is the tallest cactus in the world and can grow up to 63 feet tall with a diameter of 39 inches. However, this cactus is also popular as a houseplant due to its unique appearance and ease of care, and its size is usually far more contained. This cactus is slow-growing and requires desert-like conditions in order to thrive. Choose the brightest spot in your home for this cactus and water sparingly!

    • Light: Direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water only when soil is dry
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Mexican Lime Cactus (Ferocactus pilosus)

    Mexican lime cactus against black volcanic rock.

    Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Getty Images

    Another barrel cactus that can reach impressive size is the Mexican lime cactus (Ferocactus pilosus). This cactus is characterized by prominent ribs adorned with areoles sprouting bright red spines. Similar to most other cacti varieties, the Mexican lime cactus is extremely slow-growing. So, if you are looking to add a sizable specimen to your home, you will need to search for a well-established plant.

    • Light: Direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water once the soil is dry
  • 10 of 10

    Blue Columnar Cactus (Pilosocereus pachycladus)

    Topview of cactus Pilosocereus pachycladus or tree cactus.

    miriam-doerr / Getty Images

    This blue-skinned cactus is a relatively common houseplant and can be found at most nurseries and garden centers. Its delicate blue flesh is complemented by bright yellow spines, and it can grow up to 33 feet tall - becoming treelike and branching with age. This fast-growing cacti variety requires lots of bright light, regular fertilization, and occasional watering to reach its full potential indoors.

    • Light: Bright indirect light to direct sun
    • Water: Minimal water, water once the soil is dry