Are you searching for a flowering cactus in Florida? The USDA growing zones for Florida range from 8 to 11. So, most growers have a hard time making their cacti flower.
Well, your search is over! Here are four native cacti that will blossom in Florida and only need well-draining soil!
Pick Your Favorite Flowering Cactus In Florida
1 – Acanthocereus tetragonus
The dildo cactus is a columnar member of the Cactaceae family. More importantly, it is native to Texas and South Florida. And this species is the easiest flowering cactus in Florida to grow.
Their spiky white flowers announce delicious, sweet fruits. But these cacti cannot pollinate themselves. So, be sure to get more than one if you want to taste the flavorful pods. On a side note, you can also hybridize them with other cacti like the Cereus peruvianus.
2 – Cereus peruvianus
The genus Cereus is synonymous with long, unforgiving spines. Please note that wearing long sleeves and leather gloves for safely handling such a bad boy is highly recommendable. Especially when dealing with a young flowering cactus in Florida.
This variety does not change much over the years. But it grows a little faster in Florida because it receives more rain here than in its natural habitat.
In the garden, the Peruvian apple cactus is vertically oriented. Additional branches can eventually emerge from the bottom, but they will point upwards nonetheless. And with time, they can grow 10-12 feet tall.
This cactus does well both in a container and in the ground. As long as the soil is well-aerated and well-drained, the Cereus peruvianus will thrive and eventually make a big pod—that looks like a Dragon Fruit—from which a stunning, big, night-blooming flower will emerge.
3 – Mistletoe Cactus
The Rhipsalis Baccifera produces small, lovely white flowers on each of its elongated stems.
The State of Florida listed this species as an endangered plant after a hurricane spirited the last specimen away from the Everglades National Park in 1992.
On a side note, this cactus might be the only one native to America and Africa. Experts wonder if migratory birds might have carried a flowering cactus in Florida or if its origin is way more ancient, dating back to supercontinents.
4 – Prickly Pear
The Opuntia (also known as paddle cactus) is available in different colors. What is more, some varieties are even color changers! At first, it blooms yellow. And the next day, it turns pink!
The prickly pear can produce cherry-red flowers. But also petals with sunset colors. And yes, not every variety is so fond of tropical Florida. But the Opuntia Humifosa and the O. Compressa do well in Florida’s climate. Even though the blossoms may not appear with regularity.
While these cacti need good drainage, they love water. So, the secret is to make sure the soil dries completely between waterings. And give them some liquid fertilizer every once in a while to let them grow as wide as they can. After a year, the cactus will flower and make so many blooms it will look like a tulip field!