How old is a cactus?
This is how you can know!

Do you want to know the age of your cactus? Read this post to know how you can measure the age of a cactus.

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Jimena Bolívar

July 05, 2021


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Introduction

Have you been wondering what the age of your cactus is? Or are you curious to know a method by which you can tell the age of any cactus in the world? Well, this is a difficult question, but we will try to answer it today.

There are over 2000 different species of cacti, and each one has its unique growing pattern, size, and reproducing ability. So how can there be just one method to know the age of any cactus in the world?

While some cacti grow only a few millimeters tall, others can grow up to 75 feet in height. So it is impossible to calculate the age of a cactus by its size. Moreover, some cacti have the ability to become dormant for many years and start growing when the environment becomes feasible again. So, their age varies even among the same species.

There is no single method that you can apply to every type of cactus to calculate its age. This is because cacti have numerous species with some of them having the ability to become dormant for years. However, you can measure its height to make a fairly accurate guess.

A small indoor cactus in a pot

How to Calculate the Age of a Cactus:

There are various methods that you can apply to different types of cacti to calculate their age. You cannot know the exact age, but you can make a close guess.

Measure the height:

The simplest way to know the age of a cactus is to measure its height in inches. Take a measuring tape and measure the height of your cactus in inches and then divide it by 10.

Measure only the body of the cactus.

Do not measure the side arms of the cactus. They will not tell you about its age. Measure from the tallest part of its body to the soil.

A cactus usually grows 1 inch in 10 years. This is usually alarming to hear because when people buy cacti they expect them to grow quickly. If you have a cactus and it is not growing, just wait a few years…or a decade!

You must have heard that the Saguaro cactus grows to be up to 70 feet tall. Now calculate the number of years it must take for it to grow that tall. Surprising and mind-blowing, isn’t it?

However, keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate. It is close to impossible to find out the exact age of a cactus, especially one that is living in the desert under its natural environment.

Fun Fact:

The tallest cactus that has been recorded is a cactus from the Saguaro species in the Sonoran desert. Its height is 78 feet and it must be growing for hundreds or even thousands of years.

A large number of cacti growing outdoors

Can you tell the age of a cactus by measuring its arms?

No, the arms of the cactus play no role in giving an estimate of its height. Many people believe that they can tell how old a cactus is by measuring its arms. That is not true.

The arms of a cactus arise from its trunk and can help in its propagation. You can cut and reroot them to get a new plant. Some cacti start producing arms when they have to blossom fruits or flowers. However, these arms cannot give you even a rough estimate about the age of a cactus.

Conclusion:

It is extremely difficult to calculate the age of a cactus plant due to its numerous species. Measuring the height of a cactus can give you a rough estimate of its age since a cactus usually grows one inch in ten years.

The age of a cactus also depends upon its environment. To read about how cacti thrive in the desert, click here.

How Does a Cactus Survive in the Desert? 6 Stunning Reasons Why Cacti Thrive!

Read ahead as we will be discussing all of the ways cacti have evolved to beat the odds and become the ultimate survivalists.

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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