How Long Does It Take For Cactus To Grow?

Cactus is a plant that has adapted itself to drought and extreme temperature conditions. The prime reason that makes it a great option for the native desert conditions can be the slow growth that it offers you. If you look at it, Saguaro cacti is a cactus that grows just an inch in eight years! 

How long does it take for a cactus to grow? Cactus does grow slowly and takes around 6 to 12 months to sprout to a large-sized marble and grows just around a few centimetres in two to three years. They grow at just around 1 to 3 cm height per year. Except for a few species, most of the cacti grow at 1 to 3 cm per year.

How Long Does It Take For Cactus to Grow?

To understand how long does it take for cactus to grow, you need to understand the concept right from the seeds stage to a plant stage. 

Let us check out each of the stages to understand how long it takes to grow a cactus. 


Germination itself can take several weeks to place if you are trying to find how long does it take for cactus to grow from seed. In certain cases, it may even take several months for the germination to occur from the seed. 

You would need to keep waiting even if you find that the sprouting does not take place even after a month. Keep watering the plant every time the soil gets dry. Take care not to overwater it. Covering it during the night and uncovering it during the day can be one of the best options. 

Seedling stage

The seedling should appear in just around a month or so. When it is of the size of a marble, take it out from the propagation plant and transfer it to its own pot. Do note that it stays in the size of the marble for more than 12 months. 

The next stage will be extremely slow. Based on the cactus species you have opted for, you should ideally find the cactus grow at the rate of 1 to 3 cm per year. 

How Fast Do Cactus Grow?

Most of the cactus do grow slowly. Most of the cactus plants grow at the rate of around 1 to 3 centimetres per year. There may be a few exceptions where cactus can grow at the rate of 15 centimetres per year. 

If you are looking to grow a cactus in your backyard, you will find it taking years for them to grow to its full size. Under ideal conditions, cactus takes around 35 years to begin flowering and can branch out after 75 years. In essence, Cacti can be a low investment plant, but they are never known to be faster growers.

In a month
  • Germination can take several weeks or even months
  • You may notice the growth of spines on the cactus in a month.
  • Seedlings may begin popping up from the soil
  • You will need to ait if the seedling does not appear even after a month
In Six Months
  • The cactus would be slightly bigger than a marble
  • You will notice an abnormally slower growth
  • You need not panic at all as it is quite normal.
In a year
  • Cactus will remain marble-sized even after 12 months
  • Move it from propagation pot to its own pot
  • Moe it to a bigger container
In 30 years
  • The growth may vary depending on cactus species
  • Species such as Saguaro can grow to 75 feet
  • May begin flowering
In 75 years
  • Begins to grow side arms

How Long Does It Take For Cactus to Grow From Seed?

Ideally, growing a cactus can be achieved through two methods – from seeds and cuttings. Growing a cactus from seed can be rewarding if you are a cactus enthusiast. But, growing cactus from seed will definitely need a lot of patience. 

The time taken for the cactus to grow from seed can depend on a huge range of parameters such as species of the cactus and the climate it gets for growing. In most of the cases, seeds may need protection from direct sunlight and it may be worthwhile to keep them indoors until they grow enough. 

How long does it take for the seeds to germinate?

The seed germination would depend on the species and the location you are growing it in. Growing them indoors can be helpful in letting them germinate faster. Growing it outdoors will make the cactus wait for the right moisture and temperature to help it develop in three months. 

It will take proper care and attention to grow the cactus seedlings. They need to be protected from the sun until it is about three inches long. Placing your cactus seeds in shade should be the right option to help the cactus seeds grow faster. 

How to Make Cactus Grow Faster?

There are a few key parameters that you need to pay special attention to when growing cactus. In fact, cactus would not grow as fast as the other plants, but providing certain conditions for a better growth can prove to be effective in making the cactus grow faster. 

Some options that would help you get access to the best options can include 

Choose the right container

Use a cactus container that is quite larger than you would think it would require. This will provide the seed and seedling to grow enough. The larger container will ensure that the roots will be able to grow farther. Repotting or replanting the cactus to the right container can prove to be helpful enough. 

Use well-draining succulent soil

Cactus retains the water and thus does not need much watering. You are likely to overwater it if you are not careful enough. If you know enough about how to care for cacti, you would understand the harm that can be caused as a result of overwatering. Potting the well-draining soil can help you avoid the risk associated with overwatering. 

Provide it enough Sun

The cactus needs enough of bright light. Since they grow in desserts, they need bright sunlight. Do note, however, that in the seedling stage, you will need to ensure that they do not suffer from heavy bright light. 

Maintain an optimum temperature

Cacti grown indoors can ideally grow better in a temperature range of 65 to 80 Fahrenheit temperature. Make sure that you keep the temperature as much consistent as possible. 

Use the succulent fertilizer

Using the right type of fertilizer can be one of the excellent options for ensuring that the cactus plant grows in a more positive environment. Ensure that the fertilizer you use is in liquid form and is of low nitrogen level. 

What Factors Can Stop a Cactus Growth?

It is a well-known fact that a cactus grows quite slowly. However, there may be a few factors that can further impede the growth of a cactus. 

A few factors that can impede the growth of a cactus and stop it from growing faster can include a few of the following: 

Leaving it in a smaller container

When your cactus grows into the size of a marble, you need to shift it to a new pot. A smaller container can make it struggle to get nutrients. The cactus does need to survive can grow and this can only be possible if it can grow enough and has good growth potential. 

It is quite practical to rehome it quite frequently. Depending on the growth parameters of the cactus, you can change the pots quite enough. 

Overstressing the cactus

When the cactus is shifted to the new home, you need to take care that it is not overstretched. Soon after shifting it, make sure that it does not get any direct sunlight for a few days. The cactus will need a little time for the roots to catch with the new soil. You can expose the cactus to sunlight by increasing the time gradually. 


Overwatering the cactus can be a serious concern in many cases. In fact, underwatering may not be a huge issue as such, and even when your cactus is underwatered, you should be able to reverse the bad effects by properly watering it once you notice the symptoms of under watering. 

Overwatering a cactus can even kill a cactus. Even in the cases where it does not kill the cactus, it can impede the growth of the plant. 

Why Does Cactus Grow Slowly?

The major reasons that can result in making the cactus can include a few of the reasons here below. It may be worthwhile to check what makes the cactus grow slowly.

  • Cactus is designed to survive in climates that are quite unpredictable. It would survive infrequent rainfall and thus focus primarily on retaining energy. That is exactly one of the reasons why cactus grows slowly. 
  • A cactus needs to go into a survival mode quite frequently and the time period taken for the survival mode can extend for a longer period of time. That is why the cactus prioritize survival. 
  • Lack of leaves is yet another reason why cacti tend to grow slowly. On the other plant varieties, leaves consist of chlorophyll and produce energy with the help of sunlight. Since there are no leaves, the growth of the plant is consistently reduced.

The Closing Thoughts 

Well, growing a cactus is indeed a task that needs a lot of perseverance and effort. In case you are patient enough and can handle the prime factors that we have explained here thoroughly, you definitely stand a chance to grow your cactus in a very positive manner. 

Follow the discussion here and ensure that you have taken an acute care of the cactus growth to ensure that you are in for the best experience ever in taking care of the cactus to the best possible extent. 



Nikita is a Succulent lover. She really enjoys planting and nourishing them. She loves to share information about various Succulents on this blog to aware people more about these awesome plants.

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