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5 Sharp Ways to Garden with Cactus

Home Depot
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Cactus garden

Cacti store water in their stems and roots, are drought-tolerant and can survive almost any dry condition. Every water-wise garden needs at least one.

The architectural forms of cacti add shape and texture to the garden when used as either accent or anchor plants. Extend the natural feel of the desert into the garden today.

Five Ways to Brighten Up a Garden with Cactus


Cactus in sunset

  • Create Focal Points. Focal points draw the eye around the garden. Choose tall, structural cacti, such as saguaro, agave and mangave. Add plants to the end of a walkway or at the center of a long garden bed or border.


Cacti container garden

  • Put in Containers. Choose a mix of plants for your cacti container garden such as silvery echeverias, red African milk tree and Campfire crassula. Use a potting mix made for cacti and water sparingly. For a finishing touch, add pebbles, pea gravel or crushed glass to the soil surface.


Living wall of cacti

  • Build Living Walls. Take advantage of the tall, narrow shapes of cacti to create a living wall. Use saguaro, prickly pear or other columnar varieties to hide a fence, divide outdoor rooms or act as a sound barrier. They need little care and water.


Cacti in a rock garden

  • Design a Rock Garden. Cacti thrive in dry, arid climates where a lawn is hard to maintain. Mimic nature by planting these drought-tolerant choices among crushed pebbles, in a rock garden or arranged among boulders. For a modern look, plant one variety, spaced 2-4 feet apart and in a random pattern.


Cool down with cacti color

  • Cool Down with Color. The cool colors of desert plants balance the sweltering heat. Opt for low-maintenance cacti in muted colors of teal, purple and soft green. For even more pop, plant a columnar cactus in front of a bright accent wall.

Product Checklist:



Succulent and cactus mix

Crushed pebbles, pea gravel or crushed glass

Rocks or boulders


Garden gloves

Garden hose or watering can

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