Favorite Cacti from My Garden

dwarf white lace hedgehog cactus

Dwarf White Lace Hedgehog Cactus.

I have a very wide range of interests when it comes to plants. Perennials, trees, shrubs, succulents, rock garden plants, native plants, South African plants; I’m fascinated by all these plant groups and many more. Having lived and gardened in New Mexico for the 30 years, one group of plants I have been growing since I was a teen, the cacti, have a special place in my garden.


As the climate and growing conditions in New Mexico have gotten drier and hotter, these native plants (found only in western hemisphere) have thrived and become the stars of my various xeric gardens. Here are some photos of my home xeriscape taken over the past few weeks. And the cacti have been especially stunning this spring. The colors of the flowers, the geometry of the spines and the musculature of the stems are as fascinating to me now as they were 40 years ago.

white sands giant claret cup cactus

This is a spineless form of Claret Cup (Echinocereus triglochidiatus v. inermis) grown from seed originally collected in the mountains that straddle the Utah and Colorado state borders. Very rare in nature, this spineless form is highly sought after by collectors and cacti aficionados. But even gardeners with little experience growing cacti outdoors will be delighted to experience how easily it is grown in western xeriscapes. And the intensity of the red flowers is nothing short of breathtaking to any lover of flowers.

Behold, one of the gems in the Hedgehogs from Texas and Oklahoma, the very small clumping, white spined form of Reichenbach’s Hedge Hog (Echinocereus reichenbachii v. albispinus). Found In only in two limited areas in the world (near Troy and Tishoming, OK) this exquisitely rare cactus is also one of the most stunning plants you’ll ever grow. Like the spineless Claret Cup, this beauty is also easily grown in western xeriscapes.

Both these species are cold hardy to USDA zone 5 and require “lean” (infertile), well-drained soil. For best success, cacti should be planted bare-root, even in the heat of summer.* Like all our cacti, I grow these two from seed in our Santa Fe greenhouse facility. Hopefully, even those gardeners who thought they have no interest in cacti will try these native wildflowers a try in their dry gardens. Mix them together with other smaller growing xeric perennials and enjoy the show!

Cacti and Succulents >> View All

  • Straight Up Red Texas Yucca Hesperaloe parviflora Straight Up Red PPAF

    Starting at $11.99

    Sale: $10.19

    Per Plant - 5" deep pot

  • Common Sotol Dasylirion wheeleri

    Starting at $10.99

    Per Plant - 5" deep pot

  • Nodding Texas Yucca Yucca cernua

    Starting at $12.99

    Per Plant - 5" deep pot

  • Autumn Fire Stonecrop Sedum Autumn Fire


    Sale: $9.34

    Per Plant - 5" deep pot

  • Purple Emperor Stonecrop Sedum Purple Emperor


    Sale: $9.89

    Per Plant - 5" deep pot

  • Creeping Shrubby Ice Plant Ruschia pulvinaris

    Starting at $8.99

    Per Plant - 2.5" deep pot

  • Garnet Dwarf Iceplant Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Garnet


    Sale: $6.79

    Per Plant - 2.5" deep pot

2 thoughts on “Favorite Cacti from My Garden”

  • Akalagha

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge about plants and helping to conserve water by teaching about xeric plants and garden techniques.

    Since High Country Gardens is such a leader in the Green Industry, I am suggesting that you need to look at your packaging. Go Green with this and set an example for the industry. Use biodegradable pots, skip using the rubber bands and do something other than styrfoam. Be innovative with packaging as you have with plants and design.

    Thanks so much.

  • Anita Broyles
    Anita Broyles 07/24/12 at 12:39 pm

    I am looking for shrubs like this. I was very surprised you would talk about two items with such high regard and then not offer them in the HCG catalog. Please do let us folks know where we might purchase them...thanks

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