34 Sharp Cactus Garden Ideas

Here's our guide on cactus garden ideas, featuring an extensive gallery of different types of these fantastic backyard additions.
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A cactus garden

Welcome to our guide on the fresh world of cacti gardens!

If you are looking to spruce up your yard with plants there are many things to consider, one of which is your climate and location. This can be frustrating for many that live in dry and hot places, as many flowers are sensitive to heat and require a great deal of water.

One option for people in areas such as this is a cactus garden. Cacti are known for living in harsh environments and can be quite versatile and forgiving. Many cacti can also be quite beautiful, and bloom stunning flowers.

However, a cactus garden can be for anyone – not just for those in dry, arid climates. A cactus garden can bring a western flair to your yard and home, if that is a look you want to cultivate.

Pro

  1. Less water required – Cacti are plants that require far less water to grow and flower. If you live in a dry and hot region, you can get by with a bit of supplemental water during long droughts or particularly hot summers.
  2. Edibles – It is not very well known, but there are a number of different cacti that produce fruits which can be used to make different candies and jams. There are also a number of cacti that can be eaten themselves.
  3. Easy to care for – Cacti are often very easy to care for. Not only do they need little water, but they don’t require much attention in general.

Con

  1. Sharp – It is widely known that cacti are sharp. While not all cacti will hurt you when touched, many will. This can make it painful to interact with, so be careful.
  2. Specific appeal –  A garden of cacti has a very specific appeal. A cactus garden has a very western look, and will make almost any space resemble a desert. The comparison to the sandy and sunny desert can’t be helped, as the cactus has become nearly synonymous with that atmosphere and aesthetic.

A garden of cacti would cost similar to your average garden on most fronts. When it comes to construction, you can make a bed from a variety of materials. Wooden beds are simple to construct and the materials are easy to find. A wooden bed can cost between $150 and $300. Concrete beds are sturdy and long lasting, and cost between $270 and $600. (Source: Red Beacon)

The one area that you will save money on is your water bill and irrigation systems. There is no need for an irrigation system in a cactus garden, and you will use far less water than you would for your typical garden.

Find more gardens and backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!

By mixing a number of different kinds of cacti, you can give your garden a wild and natural look. A loose stone path is a way to keep your rugged and natural look, while building a walkway.

By mixing a number of different kinds of cacti, you can give your garden a wild and natural look. A loose stone path is a way to keep your rugged and natural look, while building a walkway.

Adding a cactus to a flowerbed can accentuate a garden. It is a way to punctuate the garden. A cactus has an interesting look that can contrast against other plants.

Adding a cactus to a flowerbed can accentuate a garden. It is a way to punctuate the garden. A cactus has an interesting look that can contrast against other plants.

A cactus pairs well with stone and stucco. The colors of a cactus add a contrasting splash of vibrancy and life against the sandy warm colors of the desert.


A cactus pairs well with stone and stucco. The colors of a cactus add a contrasting splash of vibrancy and life against the sandy warm colors of the desert. Source: Zillow Digs™

Some cacti have a nice blooming look that makes them amazing for a centerpiece of an arrangement. Even in standalone arrangements, cacti make for great companion plants for other flowers.

Some cacti have a nice blooming look that makes them amazing for a centerpiece of an arrangement. Even in standalone arrangements, cacti make for great companion plants for other flowers.

With a few well placed boulders you can really build that desert look with your cactus garden. The stones in the picture above are a sandy and reminiscent of the west, which plays well with the colors of the cacti.

With a few well placed boulders you can really build that desert look with your cactus garden. The stones in the picture above are a sandy and reminiscent of the west, which plays well with the colors of the cacti.

Here is a small collection of various cacti. There are so many different kinds of cacti, that you can build any combination of textures, shades of color, and shapes to make your garden look dynamic and interesting.

Here is a small collection of various cacti. There are so many different kinds of cacti, that you can build any combination of textures, shades of color, and shapes to make your garden look dynamic and interesting. Source: Zillow Digs™

Cacti are unlike many other plants and come in interesting shapes, with interesting and fun features. While the spikes may not look inviting they add depth and texture to a garden.


Cacti are unlike many other plants and come in interesting shapes, with interesting and fun features. While the spikes may not look inviting they add depth and texture to a garden.

Planting a variety of cacti between stones and rocks gives an garden a wild and natural look. Your hard can look like the untamed wilds of the west.

Planting a variety of cacti between stones and rocks gives an garden a wild and natural look. Your hard can look like the untamed wilds of the west.

Some variety of cactus can get pretty tall, and if you plant enough of these kinds in your yard, you can have a cactus forest in your yard. It's like a privacy hedge with a bit more security.

Some variety of cactus can get pretty tall, and if you plant enough of these kinds in your yard, you can have a cactus forest in your yard. It’s like a privacy hedge with a bit more security. Source: Zillow Digs™

With so many different kinds of cactus, you can mix, match styles and looks, and give your cactus garden a truly unique look. With a cactus garden you can really show your personality.

With so many different kinds of cactus, you can mix, match styles and looks, and give your cactus garden a truly unique look. With a cactus garden you can really show your personality.

A cactus garden is an opportunity to play with color and design. The cacti shown above are great for patterns, arrangements, and designs.


A cactus garden is an opportunity to play with color and design. The cacti shown above are great for patterns, arrangements, and designs. Source: Les HainesFlickr

Adding some color to a cactus garden is easy. With some colored stone and planters, you can turn a standard cactus garden into a festive and visually interesting cactus party.

Adding some color to a cactus garden is easy. With some colored stone and planters, you can turn a standard cactus garden into a festive and visually interesting cactus party.

Even small cacti can add features to your garden. A small cactus is super cute, and adds character to your garden and landscaping.

Even small cacti can add features to your garden. A small cactus is super cute, and adds character to your garden and landscaping.

One small cactus is cute. Many small cacti? Adorable. If you want to multiply the cute factor of your garden, many many small and adorable little cacti.

One small cactus is cute. Many small cacti? Adorable. If you want to multiply the cute factor of your garden, many many small and adorable little cacti.

Larger cacti grow well on uneven surfaces, and along and uneven landscape can provide a wonderful aesthetic.

Larger cacti grow well on uneven surfaces, and along and uneven landscape can provide a wonderful aesthetic. Source: Hans Splinter / Flickr

If you have a large number of cacti creating a cacti forest, or just a few well placed plants in a stone garden, you can easily build that desert look. There is no need to overload a space with cacti, in fact some times, less can be more.

If you have a large number of cacti creating a cacti forest, or just a few well placed plants in a stone garden, you can easily build that desert look. There is no need to overload a space with cacti, in fact some times, less can be more.

The contrast of a cactus against other flowers makes for an interesting and full dynamic with various textures, and patterns.


The contrast of a cactus against other flowers makes for an interesting and full dynamic with various textures, and patterns.

One large advantage of a cactus garden, is that you don't have to warn someone more than once to not walk through your flowers. A cactus garden does a perfect job defending itself from anything that would intrude into its space.

One large advantage of a cactus garden, is that you don’t have to warn someone more than once to not walk through your flowers. A cactus garden does a perfect job defending itself from anything that would intrude into its space. Source: Pamla J. Eisenberg / Flickr

If you are looking for just an accent to your garden and don't want to dedicate yourself to the cactus lifestyle, even one planter with some cute little guys can bring a fresh and interesting element to your garden.

If you are looking for just an accent to your garden and don’t want to dedicate yourself to the cactus lifestyle, even one planter with some cute little guys can bring a fresh and interesting element to your garden.

Adding some western elements to your cactus garden can drive home that desert look. A wagon, a wooden well, or some worn pots. Anything distressed, unfinished and old fashioned can conjure images of the American west.

Adding some western elements to your cactus garden can drive home that desert look. A wagon, a wooden well, or some worn pots. Anything distressed, unfinished and old fashioned can conjure images of the American west.

On a hillside, in rich red dirt, this combination of round and spiny cacti delivers a desert appeal, but still provide ample green to liven up the space.

On a hillside, in rich red dirt, this combination of round and spiny cacti delivers a desert appeal, but still provide ample green to liven up the space. Source: Adrian Tritschler / Flickr

Nothing has that old fashioned appeal like the sun shining through a tall set of cacti. The cactus look is perfectly paired with stone as well as unfinished, natural tone wood and anything dusty and rugged.

Nothing has that old fashioned appeal like the sun shining through a tall set of cacti. The cactus look is perfectly paired with stone as well as unfinished, natural tone wood and anything dusty and rugged.

Here we see a number of vibrant, colorful and visually interesting little cacti. It shows the range of patterns, colors and appeal that a cactus can have, and the different elements that they can bring to any home garden.


Here we see a number of vibrant, colorful and visually interesting little cacti. It shows the range of patterns, colors and appeal that a cactus can have, and the different elements that they can bring to any home garden.

Some cacti have stunning flowers, and in vibrant colors as well. They may not be known for it, but they can have just as beautiful blooms as any other flower.

Some cacti have stunning flowers, and in vibrant colors as well. They may not be known for it, but they can have just as beautiful blooms as any other flower. Source: Julio Martínez / Flickr

Even potted, cacti make great additions to your space. Collecting various styles of cactus is a way to make a dramatic and intriguing garden.

Even potted, cacti make great additions to your space. Collecting various styles of cactus is a way to make a dramatic and intriguing garden.

You can use different kinds of stones and dirt in a cactus garden which gives a great number of options in color and design. You can use stones to make a cool contrast to the cactus as in the picture above.

You can use different kinds of stones and dirt in a cactus garden which gives a great number of options in color and design. You can use stones to make a cool contrast to the cactus as in the picture above.

Using sandy stones and warmer colored soil creates more of a desert look to your cactus garden.

Using sandy stones and warmer colored soil creates more of a desert look to your cactus garden. Source: Woody Hibbard / Flickr

A cactus garden looks great in many situations, even to accentuate pool areas and line walkways, and patios. There are countless places that a cactus garden looks good.
A cactus garden looks great in many situations, even to accentuate pool areas and line walkways, and patios. There are countless places that a cactus garden looks good.
In a minimal design, a small cactus garden can continue the clean sleek and hassle free nature of the cacti fit well. They accentuate the roomy and open nature of modern and minimalist style.

In a minimal design, a small cactus garden can continue the clean sleek and hassle free nature of the cacti fit well. They accentuate the roomy and open nature of modern and minimalist style.
A refreshing pool is the perfect thing for those hot and dry climates, but if you don't want to escape from your client completely, create the oasis feel with the desert aesthetic around your water.
A refreshing pool is the perfect thing for those hot and dry climates, but if you don’t want to escape from your client completely, create the oasis feel with the desert aesthetic around your water.
Here we can see a number of interesting raised garden beds of multiple sizes with cacti in them. These punctuate a walkway, creating an interesting and dynamic yard that is sure draw attention.
Here we can see a number of interesting raised garden beds of multiple sizes with cacti in them. These punctuate a walkway, creating an interesting and dynamic yard that is sure draw attention.
Cacti are perfect for lining areas, as they are easy to control and predict. These Cacti are in a stone bed lining this outdoor patio area, and are a perfect element for bringing a bit of vibrancy and life to a feature like this.
Cacti are perfect for lining areas, as they are easy to control and predict. These Cacti are in a stone bed lining this outdoor patio area, and are a perfect element for bringing a bit of vibrancy and life to a feature like this.
The small and round style of cacti are a popular and fun feature that differ from most garden plants and can elevate a simple rock bed with some life.
The small and round style of cacti are a popular and fun feature that differ from most garden plants and can elevate a simple rock bed with some life.

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