The Fastest Growing Cacti in the World

Cacti are generally very slow-growing. It takes time for the cactus to build its large stems and in nature, they adapted to play the long game. SO they will grow slowly but steadily but for multiple years without wasting too many precious resources like water. Most other plants are growing because they have a lot more water at their disposal and because they don´t have to build out big stems as cacti do.

But I still found a few cacti that are growing quite fast, for a cactus that is.

In short, the fastest-growing cacti are Pereskia and Pereskiopsis but they don´t look like traditional cacti and they don´t grow to be that big. Echinopsis Terschekii is a fast-growing cactus that can reach heights of 25 feet and more. The Blue Pilosocereus, Selenicereus Chrysocardium, Cylindropuntia Spinosior, and Cereus peruvianus are also very fast growing cacti.

CactusGrowing SpeedMax Height
Echinopsis TerscheckiiFast25 Feet
PereskiaVery Fast20 Feet
PereskiopsisVery Fast15 – 20 Feet
The Blue PilosocereusVery Fast30 Feet
Selenicereus ChrysocardiumFast1-3 Feet
Cylindropuntia SpinosiorFast4 Feet
Cereus PeruvianusFast30 Feet

Echinopsis Terscheckii

This cactus variant is also known as Cardon Grande Cactus or Argentine Saguaro. It is a fast-growing cactus that can reach heights of 25 feet and more.

It can be grown in containers but it will only grow as high as the container size allows it to.

It is probably one of the most well-known cacti in the world because of its iconic form and how widespread it is.

You can find a detailed article by Wikipedia right here.

If you are searching for a fast-growing cactus that is also looking like a cactus is perceived by most people then differently go with this one.

Most other cacti on this list are, by definition, cactus plants but they are mostly not looking like traditional cacti.

Note that this is not the fastest-growing cactus on this list.

Pereskia

This plant might not look like a cactus, it looks more like a regular bush, but it is a cactus plant.

Pereskia don´t have as thick a stems as regular cacti do and they grow more treelike or shrubby.

But they grow very fast and they can grow as tall as 20 feet although most Pereskia will only reach a height of 5 – 7 feet.

Even though they grow fast in the beginning they will stop growing fast after they reached a height of about 2 – 3 feet.

But, unlike most other cacti, Pereskia likes to bloom frequently and their flowers are quite beautiful.

Pereskiopsis

They are very similar to the Pereskia, they are from the same genus.

They are also very fast growing and they look similar to the Pereskia. Pereskiopsis have smaller stems than most cacti and they have leave-like stems that grow along the main stem.

They are quite hardy and fast-growing and they can reach heights of up to 20 feet.

The Pereskiopsis and the Pereskia are both tropical cacti meaning they don´t like long droughts and they don´t look like traditional cacti but they belong to the genus of cacti.

The Blue Pilosocereus

This cactus has the form of a normal cactus and it has thorns like a regular cactus but it is not green like almost all cacti are instead it is blue or grey.

Yes, you read that right. This cactus is blue!

It can grow to a height of about 30 feet and it develops very thick stems that are covered in thorns and hair.

That´s also where its name comes from. Pilosocereus meaning “hairy Cereus”. Cereus is the genus of this cactus.

The Blue Pilosocerus is a very fast-growing cactus that doesn´t need too much care.

Selenicereus Chrysocardium

This is a very special cactus. It has quite thin stems, compared to most other cacti, that form areal roots.

Selenicereus Chrysocardium is also called the Moonlight Cactus because it forms very big flowers that usually bloom at night where they get pollinated by moths and sometimes bats.

It is a fast-growing cactus but it is not looking like a normal cactus because of its thin stems. It is also not very pretty to look at when it is not blooming.

This cactus is quite far spread. It can be found in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

The Selenicereus Chrysocardium is also not known to grow very high. But its flowers are quite big. Depending on the exact variant the flower can be anywhere between 4 inches and 12 inches big. So it differently something to look at.

Cylindropuntia Spinosior

Cylindropuntia Spinosior is also a fast-growing cactus that is native to Arizona and Mexico.

It can grow to a height of about 4 feet and its flowers can have a rose, red, yellow, or white color when they bloom.

Just like many other cacti on this list, this cactus is also not looking like a traditional cactus but it can look very pretty when it blooms.

It has thinner stems than most other cacti which allows it to grow faster than most other cacti as well.

The Cylindropuntia Spinosior cactus is also known as the cane cholla, spiny cholla, and walkingstick cactus.

Contrary to popular belief the Cylindropuntia Spinosior does not shoot its needles. The parts of the cactus are just very fragile and easily come off.

Cereus Peruvianus

The Cereus Peruvianus, also called Peruvian apple cactus. This cactus can get quite tall ( about 30 feet).

It has a lot of smaller segments with smaller stems that tend to grow very fast.

It doesn´t grow like a regular cactus would with one big stem and then smaller buds connected to the main stem instead it grows more like a shrub would.

This cactus is also not quite green. It tends to be more greyish green to blue.

This variant, just like any other variant on this site, can be grown in containers indoors as well.