Can You Grow Saguaro Cactus In Texas

I appreciate reading your magazine and do so every week. However, I feel compelled to draw attention to a major inaccuracy in your March 22 publication. Saguaro cactus are depicted in the graphics that go with the article about the Texas cancer researchers. Only in the Sonoran deserts of western Sonora, Mexico, and southern Arizona, along with a few stray specimens in California, do saguaro cactus flourish. Texas does not have saguaro cacti. Contrary to popular belief, the saguaro doesn’t just grow in the west. Because of the cactus’ particularity to Arizona, the saguaro cactus blossom has been designated as the state flower of the state. I believed it necessary to alert you to this error.

Is it permitted to cultivate saguaro cacti?

A neighbor’s camera captures a developer tearing down saguaro cacti on a desert lot in Mesa. The site was being readied for construction of houses.

A dispute between neighbors and a home builder in the calm, gated Las Sendas enclave in Mesa, where dozens of multimillion-dollar homes sit alongside a regional park, created misunderstandings about the laws governing native plants in the city and the state.

After his submitted plans for a residential property were approved, a seasoned builder started building a bespoke home in December, which is when the argument began. The saguaros, barrel cactus, and ironwood trees that may be seen in the desert uplands area have not been touched for many years.

After seeing several saguaros on the land being destroyed, outraged neighbors complained to the city and delivered the Las Sendas Community Association a petition with signatures from 24 homes. Luigi Micela, the owner and builder, claimed that the saguaros were in a wash and that he was unable to save them.

According to the National Park Service, it is prohibited to remove any plant, including saguaros, from federally owned territory like Saguaro National Park. In Arizona, it is unlawful to remove or destroy saguaros from state, tribal, or private property without the landowner’s consent and a permit.

The preservation and protection of native plants on private property is also subject to extra regulations in several towns.

Where can I find saguaro cacti to grow?

Carnegiea gigantea, the saguaro cactus, is found only in the Sonoran Desert. They do not, however, grow everywhere in the Sonoran Desert. This map shows the range of the Saguaro cactus with a crosshatched representation of the Sonoran Desert (solid). Freezing conditions throughout the wintertime restrict the saguaro’s range.

Elevation also places restrictions on saguaros. They typically grow between sea level and an elevation of about 4,000 feet. Saguaros that reach heights of more than 4,000 feet are typically found on south-facing slopes where cold temperatures are less common or last less time.

Texas has large cacti, right?

If you’re a native Texan who has been to any northern section of the country and encountered a local who asked where you’re from, you’ve probably already encountered this inquiry: “So did you ride your horse to school?

I’m a native Texan who attended college for two years in Iowa. You have no idea how frequently people ask me questions like this! “Well, did you ride your tractor to school? “, I would ask. I was shocked to learn that Iowa actually had a “driving your tractor to school day.” Stereotypes are not all made equal.

The Saguaro Cactus

One of the MANY clichés we Texans encounter on a daily basis is that of transportation by horse. There is one Texas stereotype that I guarantee the majority of you reading this have never heard of or even knew existed! The saguaro cactus, that is.

Not Native but Still Here

But the saguaro cactus tale is more complicated than you might realize, and it may be the biggest botanical myth ever. It turns out that Texas is not the saguaro cactus’ native habitat. Professor Kendall Gerdes from Texas Tech University started the campaign to eradicate the use of this well-known stereotype by posing the question, “Why do Texans utilize saguaro cacti as a symbol of all things Texas when they don’t grow here?” to West Texas Wonders.

Only the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona, along with some areas of California and New Mexico, is home to the saguaro cactus. The saguaro, which is pronounced “sah-wah-roh,” is the biggest cactus in the country and has a lifespan of more than 200 years. It’s simple to see why this cactus has gained such notoriety and notoriety throughout the years, particularly when it comes to desert-like environments like West Texas.

Even little Texas towns like Dryden have planted and grown their own private supply of the famous Saguaro cactus! Therefore, even though it is not native to Texas, there are examples of it growing in our lovely state.

A New Prickly Hero Emerges

It might be time, nevertheless, for Texans to honor our actual native cactus companion, the prickly pear!

In addition to making a fantastic margarita flavor, prickly pears are also the most typical cactus in Texas. This cactus, which is sometimes referred to as the “original yellow rose of Texas, blooms lovely yellow flowers that are reminiscent of Spanish roses and eventually develop into tasty red fruit called “tuna.” The fruit and the pads are both edible. The prickly pear cactus was declared the state plant of Texas on May 25, 1995, yet it has yet to gain the respect and reputation it really deserves.

Perhaps it’s time to formally replace the saguaro as the iconic, recognizable cacti for the wonderful state of Texas with the prickly pear, just like we’ve done with the other notorious Texas clichés.

The prickly pear’s “…position as both a vegetable and a fruit make it singularly qualified to embody the tenacious and unique Texas character as an official state symbol,” according to our state senate, best explains it.

Can a saguaro be grown indoors?

The sight of a 40-foot saguaro cactus punctuating the landscape will stay with everyone who has traveled to the Sonoran Desert for any length of time. These magnificent plants can survive for two centuries, and blossoming can take up to 40 years. This cactus’s sluggish growth rate makes it possible to grow one as an indoor houseplant for many years as well. Give your saguaro as much light as you can, and only water it once a month or so.

How much is a saguaro cactus 20 feet tall worth?

Southwest Arizona, western Sonora, Mexico, and even a few locations in southeast California are home to saguaro cacti. They are typically found in the northern regions on slopes that face south, where the sun shines more frequently. The Saguaro Cactus is covered in protecting needles and bears a red fruit in the summer as well as tiny white blooms in the late spring.

Only in the Sonoran Desert does the suguaro cactus, also known as Carnegiea Gigantea, flourish.

A Saguaro will only grow about one to one and a half inches in its first eight years.

Moving a saguaro cactus off of private or public land without a permit is against the law in Arizona.

Saguaro cactus roots spread out like an accordion to take in as much water as they can.

Arizona’s state flower is the saguaro bloom, which blooms only after a saguaro has reached the age of 35.


The saguaro is a unique species of plant that can get rather big yet develops extremely slowly. The saguaro’s weight and height are often astounding, and the plant’s beauty is emblematic and significant to the magnificent state of Arizona.

  • Arizona has rules and limitations on the gathering, harvesting, and disposal of these cactus. To learn more about the rules that apply to your region, get in touch with your neighborhood government.
  • The Saguaro can survive for 150 to 200 years in the appropriate growing circumstances.
  • The cactus has one major root that extends down approximately 2 feet while the remaining roots all extend out till they reach the height of the plant and only go down about 5 inches.
  • Saguaro growth is particularly slow. A saguaro may only be 1.5 inches tall after a whole decade of growth. They can potentially grow to a height of 40–60 feet under the right circumstances! After a rainy season, a completely hydrated Saguaro may weigh between 3,200 and 4,800 pounds.
  • Arizona legislation allows for the collection of saguaro “ribs,” which are used to create jewelry, furniture, roofs, fences, picture frames, and other things. Even the Native Americans used the ribs as water containers before the canteen was created.


According to DFRanchandGardens, the average price of a saguaro cactus in the US for 2020 is between $20 and $2,000 per foot.

The saguaro will cost less the smaller it is, according to osieOnTheHouse. However, if they are merely spears and in good condition, they typically sell for $100 or more per foot. The price of saguaros with arms is higher.

Is it against the law to remove cactus in Texas?

at Texas. Texas state law stipulates that anyone planning to collect cacti on private property must first have the landowner’s prior written consent. Keep in mind that removing anything from private property without permission is considered vandalism at the very least and theft at the very most!

Can a saguaro cactus withstand extreme cold?

In my front yard in Las Cruces, is this a saguaro? Saguaros reportedly grow poorly in this region. It has been growing since I planted it in 2012, adding about 1 foot year. Right now, it’s around 6 feet tall.

The Arizona saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) of the Sonoran Desert is what we mean when we talk about saguaros in the Southwest. Although it resembles the Argentine saguaro or cordon grande, Trichocereus terscheckii (also known as Echinopsis terscheckii) is one of the world’s hardiest columnar cactus, classified as USDA cold hardiness zone 8. (average annual extreme low temperatures reaching 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit).

The Sonoran saguaro can endure extremely low temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees and is classified as USDA cold hardiness zone 9. USDA hardiness zone 8 is usually accepted to include Las Cruces and its environs (same as the Argentine saguaro).

The most recent USDA Cold Hardiness Zone Map, however, was released in 2012 and used data on the 30-year average of cold temperatures from 1976–2005. It’s possible that Las Cruces would go up a zone or at least a half zone due to the average extreme cold weather during the past 30 years. Keep an eye out for the cold front as NMSU geography professor Carol Campbell, graduate student Scott Miller, and I update the hardiness zone maps for New Mexico and forecast where cold hardiness zones will be in the future.

Of course, when we are concerned about achieving the lowest temperatures that plants can tolerate, microclimates become even more crucial. The fact that the saguaro in your yard is snuggled up near to the south-facing stucco wall and encircled at the base by sizable heat-radiating pebbles probably contributed to its rapid growth and longevity. Yours may be a Sonoran saguaro, so if low 20s or lower temps are predicted for your area on any given night, I’d think about covering it. You can cover it with an old blanket, erect a large canopy like they do at farmers markets, put a five-gallon warm water bottle nearby to radiate a little heat, or do all of the above. You’ve heard me say it before: Here today, gone saguaro!

I discovered that there are a few crucial distinctions between Argentine and Sonoran saguaros. Saguaros from Sonora are known to grow much more slowly than those from Argentina, especially during the first few decades. A 10-year-old Sonoran saguaro may only be 1.5 inches tall, according to one source. That led me to believe that yours might be an Argentine. However, a closer inspection reveals that there are more than 20 spines (glochids) at each cluster (areole), which is a sign that the object is a Sonoran saguaro. In addition to having fewer glochids per areole, Argentine saguaros also have longer and more yellow-orange colored glochids. Compared to Sonoran saguaros, Argentine saguaros frequently develop their arm-like stems at a younger age and closer to the ground.

If you ever see it in bloom, be sure to snap a photo of it in bloom to share with us since accurate plant identification frequently needs flower observation. On October 6, I discovered one flowering at a petrol station in San Simon, Arizona. According to the attendant, it had just begun to blossom the previous evening. The period of flowering is another distinction between these two saguaros. The Argentine saguaro is believed to bloom at any time between April and October, while Sonoran saguaros are predicted to bloom in late spring. I went back and looked at the photos I had taken of the flowers, and sure enough (#okbloomer), the spines do indeed resemble those of an Argentine. Visit the blog to see a video of these gorgeous blossoms.

I want to thank the following people for their assistance in my search for saguaro: Jimmy Zabriskie, community forester for the City of Las Cruces, Rachel Gioannini, assistant professor/lecturer of horticulture at NMSU, Lucas Herndon and Raena Cota, members of the Facebook group Las Cruces Gardening Resource, Jeff Anderson, horticulture agent for Doa Ana County Extension, Patrick Alexander, district botanist for the BLM in Las Cruces, Mike Halverson, and Connie Chapman and Elizabeth Schutte,