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Solid Block







Blast resistance





Any tool




Yes (64)



First appearances

See History


Smelted: 0.2



Data value

dec: 81 hex: 51 bin: 1010001



A Cactus (plural Cacti or Cactus) is a plant that occurs naturally in dry areas.


Cacti can be mined by hand without taking damage. The tool used to mine the cactus does not affect the speed in which it is mined.

Hardness 0.4
Breaking time[note 1]
Hand 0.6
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.

When the spot a cactus is placed in becomes unsuitable, such as when a solid block is placed next to them or their own sand block underneath is harvested or falls, the cactus block will uproot and will drop as an item.

Natural generation[edit]

Cacti naturally occur in desert and mesa biomes. They mainly generate as one, two, or three blocks tall.


Cacti grow only on sand at a rate of one cactus block every 2–4 minutes, and to a maximum height of three blocks; though, higher stacks can be placed by the player. Cacti can only be placed either on sand, red sand, or on other cactus blocks, with no horizontally adjacent solid blocks. Bone meal does not work on cacti to speed its growth. Cacti do not need light to grow and are non-flammable.


When any entity, including players and mobs, touches a cactus, 1 (Half Heart.svg) damage is taken every 0.5 second. Damage from touching a cactus is reduced by armor, but touching it also damages the armor.

Cacti will also destroy any items that come into contact with them, including cacti blocks harvested above them.

When a minecart hits a cactus block, the minecart is dropped as an item - this item is often destroyed as a result, although a hopper will pick it up faster.

Smelting ingredient[edit]

Name Ingredients Smelting recipe

Cactus Green

Cactus +
Any fuel

Cactus Grid layout Furnace Progress.png Cactus Green
Grid layout Fire.png
CoalCharcoalOak WoodOak Wood Planks

Data values[edit]

Bits Values
0x0 Freshly planted cactus.
0x1 to 0x15 The data value is incremented at random intervals.
When it becomes 15, a new cactus block is created on top as long as the total height does not exceed 3.

Block state[edit]

Name Value Description

0–15 A freshly-planted cactus – and a cactus which has just grown cactus above it – each have an age of 0.
The age is incremented at random intervals.
At age 15, a cactus may try to grow more cactus above it.



Until Beta 1.8, Cacti were somewhat larger than other blocks when dropped.
1.0.6 The cactus was added to the game. Players were hurt 7 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) while breaking them.
The texture was different to what it is now. The cactus was a full block. Cactus-Pre Alpha 1.0.11.png
1.0.7 Players are now hurt 1 (Half Heart.svg) while breaking them.
1.0.11 Cacti can now only be placed on sand, and now have the requirement that the space around it has to be empty. Previously, cacti could be placed to form a damaging floor: both players and mobs take half a heart of damage when they walk on a cactus block. This made it useful for traps, such as a hallway with a cactus block floor that would kill all mobs that walked on it.
Collecting cacti no longer hurts the player.
The model and texture were updated to have spines around the block. Cactus.png
1.8 When dropped onto the world, the Cactus item is no longer slightly larger than most other blocks despite the fact that they were visibly smaller when placed. This was because it used the larger 'item' size, rather than the 'block' size.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.2.0 Added cacti.
0.3.3 Fixed a glitch where putting a door next to a cactus would make the door's bottom half invisible and the door completely unopenable.
Console Edition
TU1 Added cacti.
Pi Edition
0.1.1 Added cacti.


Issues relating to "Cactus" or "Cacti" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • Cacti are not quite a full block wide (78 of a block), similar to chests.
  • The bottom of a cactus block does not damage the player.
  • Cacti can be placed underwater, provided they are placed on sand, and will grow if they break the surface.
  • Cactus can be placed next to saplings, but the cactus will break when the tree grows.
  • It takes about 18 seconds for a player to die from cactus (without armor) if the player has full health and the hunger bar is full.
  • Endermen can move and place cactus. Thus, they can increase the cactus population in deserts by moving cactus blocks as they grow.
  • Signs can be placed on the top of cacti.
  • It is possible for cactus to generate on blocks other than sand due to generated structures; refer to the gallery for examples.
  • Cactus can be used in the desert to see if you are in a newly generated area. If most of the cactus around you is only one block high, then it is most likely new land.
  • Death to a cactus will display "[playername] was pricked to death" in the chat messages.
  • It is possible to sneak off cacti.
  • It is possible to place blocks on top of a cactus.