These cactus quotes about life remind us that just because something takes a while doesn’t mean it’s not worth the wait.
What is it about cacti that make them such an inspiration to the rest of us, often being used as a metaphor for life? Well, a cactus actually blooms with a beautiful flower, but it can take up to 30 years sometimes! That can be a long time to wait for something prickly and kind of plain and ugly to grow into something pretty. However, that’s exactly where the beauty of a cactus lies.
Another inspirational message we can learn from these cactus quotes is that lovely things can come from some of the toughest environments. The poor cactus plant barely receives any water, something that would kill another plant, and yet it adapts to the brutal sun and dry soil.
In fact, it does more than adapt and even thrives in a space that looks like it is out to make sure the cactus does just the opposite. That sounds a little like life sometimes, too!
So, if you are having a day where life seems especially challenging maybe some of these cactus quotes will help you make it through.
Cactus quotes are also a lot of fun and do not have to be so heavy! Some of these are great to use when captioning your Instagram photos. There are even some for teachers that might keep both them and their students motivated.
Don’t forget to also check out these bloom quotes about beauty and growth that will make you smile.
Inspirational Cactus quotes about life for making it through the prickly times
1. “A cactus doesn’t live in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn’t killed it yet.” — Hope Jahren
2. “Hope is not a resting place but a starting point – a cactus, not a cushion.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
3. “The cactus thrives in the desert while the fern thrives in the wetland…. The florist will sigh and add a wall divider and proper soil to both sides…The child will turn it around properly so that the fern is in the shade, and not the cactus….” — Vera Nazarian
4. “Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.” — Joyce Meyer
5. “During your struggle society is not a bunch of flowers, it is a bunch of cacti.” — Amit Kalanithi, ‘Wealth of Words’.
6. “If one can see beauty in the strength of how a cactus blooms in the desert. They would see beauty in the thorns it displays.” — Reena Sharma
7. “Deserts are very dry places, but plants can still grow there. Desert plants collect and use water in special ways.” — Julie Penn
8. “Nothing’s all bad. There are very beautiful flowers in the desert amidst the spikes and thorns. Just don’t let them take over. In the garden of love there is little room for prickly things.” — Kate McGaha
9. The canyon country does not always inspire love. To many it appears barren, hostile, repellent – a fearsome mostly waterless land of rock and heat, sand dunes and quicksand, cactus, thornbrush, scorpion, rattlesnake, and agaraphobic distances. To those who see our land in that manner, the best reply is, yes, you are right, it is a dangerous and terrible place. Enter at your own risk. Carry water. Avoid the noonday sun. Try to ignore the vultures. Pray frequently. — Edward Abbey
10. In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll begin to see something, maybe. Probably not. — Edward Abbey
Cactus quotes packed with great life advice
11. “Very often, people are obsessed with what others think of them. It’s like if a flower wants to be a cactus or a palm but it’s not. A flower is a flower, and that’s enough. That’s all you have to do is be a flower.” — Stjepan Hauser
12. “It’s also the place where an 8-ft. cactus, the century plant, produces a huge yellow flower every great once in a while, like a robot proffering a bouquet. After the plant flowers, it dies.” — Unknown
13. “Take the rose—most people think it very beautiful: I don’t care for it at all. I prefer the cactus, for the simple reason that it has a more interesting personality. It has wonderfully adapted itself to its surroundings! It is the best illustration of the theory of evolution in plant life.” — Charles Proteus Steinmetz
14. “People trample over flowers, yet only to embrace a cactus.” — James Joyce
15. “Anger was simple, self-sustaining as a cactus. You couldn’t look too closely at it, lest the spines get you in the eye.” — Rebecca Scherm, ‘Unbecoming’
16. “Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is like hugging a cactus. The tighter you hold on, the more it’s going to hurt.” — Unknown
17. “You can’t learn anything from saguaro cactus, from ocotillo. They are just passing through; their roots, their much-heralded dormancy in the dry season, these are only illusions of permanence. They know even less than you do.” — Barry Lopez
18. “The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beavertail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil’s fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.” — Jerry Spinelli
19. “‘You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as cactus,’ Catarina said, her voice flat. ‘Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy.’” — Cassandra Clare
20. “What are plants doing? What are plants all about? They serve human beings by being decorative, but what is it from its own point of view? It’s using up air; it’s using up energy. It’s really not doing anything except being ornamental. And yet here’s this whole vegetable world, cactus plants, trees, roses, tulips, and edible vegetables, like cabbages, celery, lettuce – they’re all doing this dance.” — Alan Watts
Funny Cactus flower quotes
21. “I have learned the difference between a cactus and a caucus. On a cactus, the pricks are on the outside.” — Mo Udall
22. “If you get struck by a cactus, consider it a cactus kiss. Because we all know Love hurts.” — Jessica Anna Jones
23. “Be sharp like a cactus, people are afraid to touch and not a sort of rubbish.” — Sophia
24. “I’m like the trunk of a cactus… I take in a dose of culture and time with friends, then I retreat and go live on it for a while until I get thirsty again.” — Nancy Horan
25. “I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, Damn. I am less nurturing than a desert.” — Demetri Martin
26. “I remember very clearly someone saying, ‘Don’t shake hands with the cactus,’ and I thought, ‘Well, why not? What could possibly go wrong?’ Shaking hands is a friendly gesture.” — Benedict Cumberbatch
27. “Don’t jack off a cactus, you’ll only hurt your hand and the cactus’ feelings.” — Tre Cool
28. “Thanks a heap coyote ugly. This cactus-gram stings worse than your abandonment.” —Diablo Cody
29. “‘I had forgotten that talking to you is like trying to pet a cactus.’ Saiman said dryly. ‘Thank you for reminding me.’ ‘Always happy to oblige.’” — Ilona Andrews
30. “I consider it the highest compliment when my employees go out and start their own companies in competition with me. I always send them a plant to wish them well. Of course, it’s a cactus.” — Unknown
31. “My dad is like a cactus – introverted and tough.” — Gary Vaynerchuk
32. “In a world full of flowers, be a cactus.” — Kul Bhushan Negi
33. “Deserts never believe in cactus; seeds do.” — Deepak Gupta, ’10 Principles to Love Yourself’.
34. “If a flower can flourish in the desert, you can flourish anywhere.” — Mashona Dhimaya
35. “Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.” — Leigh Bard Ugo, ‘The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic’.
36. “The thorns are worth bearing for a flower.” — Kalinin
37. “If seeds waited for perfect conditions to grow, there would be no plants in the desert.” — Mashona Dhimaya
38. “Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul.” — Linda Solegato
39. “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy succulents! And that is pretty much the same thing.” — Unknown
40. “Be a cactus in a world of delicate flowers.” — Unknown
Positive cactus quotes for teachers to motivate students (and themselves when they need encouragement)
41. “Adolescence is like cactus.” — Anais Nin
42. “Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus.” — Unknown
43. “Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.” — Enid Bagnold
44. “A whale is as unique as a cactus. But don’t ask a whale to survive Death Valley. We all have special gifts. Where we use them and how determines whether we actually complete something.” — Max De Pree
45. “The secret of improved plant breeding, apart from scientific knowledge, is love. While I was conducting experiments to make spineless cacti, I often talked to the plants. . . . ‘You have nothing to fear,’ I would tell them. ‘You don’t need your defensive thorns. I will protect you.’ Gradually the useful plant of the desert emerged in a thornless variety.” — Luther Burbank
46. “A creative person has to create. It doesn’t really matter what you create. If such a dancer wanted to go out and build the cactus gardens where he could, in Mexico, let him do that, but something that is creative has to go on.” — Katherine Dunham
47. “Rearing three children is like growing a cactus, a gardenia, and a tubful of impatiens. Each needs varying amounts of water, sunlight and pruning. Were I to be absolutely fair, I would have to treat each child as if he or she were absolutely identical to the other siblings, and there would be no profit for anyone in that.” — Phyllis Grissim-Theroux
48. “The one thing that seems to be consistent through all my work that I like, and I experimented a lot, is the viewer is allowed to meditate on something that normally we don’t stop and stare at, whether it’s people or a cactus.” — Richard Misrach
49. “The cactus thrives in the desert while the fern thrives in the wetland. The fool will try to plant them in the same flowerbox.” — Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
50. “Every cactus blooms, some with little rooms, some give flowers that grow, others so small it won’t show!” ― Ana Claudia Antunes, Pierrot & Columbine
What did you learn from these cactus love quotes?
Does the cactus have a symbolic or spiritual meaning? It might not surprise you to learn that the cactus symbolizes endurance and strength. It goes back to that whole ‘growing where you really shouldn’t be able to’ thing, but it is also a little more than that.
The cactus is also protected by its hard exterior and little spikes. It is a good reminder that we can protect ourselves and thrive despite what obstacles we face. Everyone has days when that message can be a great reminder to persevere.
My daughter is a fan of cacti and has a few in her room. She also has some adorable little stuffed cactus items, and it had me wondering if there was a name for people who are true cactus lovers, and it turns out that there is.
A cactus fan is called a Xerophile. It is derived from two Greek words; ‘xeros’ meaning dry and ‘philos’ meaning lover. Who knew? If you have a Xerophile in your life, a little cactus plant might be the perfect gift!
Do you have any other cactus quotes or facts you would like to share? Leave them in the comment section below.