How Much Does a Saguaro Cactus Cost?

Written by: Staff

The saguaro cactus is one of the larger types of cacti that can be found in your warmer, desert-based climates such as Arizona, New Mexico and California.    Each and every sidearm that grows on the cactus itself can take up to 75 years to grow.  Experts will tell you that the more arms a saguaro cactus has, the more valuable it’s going to be.

Saguaro cactus by SonoranDesertNPS, on Flickr
Saguaro cactus” (CC BY 2.0) by  SonoranDesertNPS

How much does a saguaro cactus cost?

Depending on the size of the cactus, the price can greatly vary anywhere from $30 to as much as $2,500.   The cost will really depend on the size and where it’s purchased from.   For larger saguaro cacti, plan on budgeting at least $80 to $150 per foot.  For those smaller than 24 inches, plan on spending $3 to $6 per inch.

Destination Forever Ranch and Gardens, for example, sells a six-inch plant for $20 and a, eight foot+ Saguaro for $100 per foot.

A pack of 20 seeds can be as much as $3 to $5 for a single packet.

On average, a spear itself can start at $50 to $175 per foot.

A 16-foot Saguaro with one arm will range anywhere from $1,200 to $1,700.

A 24-foot Saguaro with one arm will cost anywhere from $2,100 to $2,600.

Artificial looking cacti can be manufactured for as little as $350 to $500.  Other options are available as well.

Saguaro cactus overview

For smaller purchases,  a nursery may include food and a kit may be included to start the growth.

This cactus can grow more than 50 feet and can live close to 200 years.  It will be covered in a waxy skin and will produce white flowers in the spring and red fruit in the summer.  Depending on the cactus, some can grow up to 20 to 25 arms.  On average, be prepared to see it grow one to two inches every 10 years.

Most Saguaros will have to be purchased at a local nursery since most big box stores won’t have them in stock.

What are the extra costs?

Since these cacti need to be planted appropriately, a contractor may be required to plant them.  This procedure may vary anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on the size of the job.

Food will be required for smaller cactus in order to get them to grow properly.

Tips to know:

If this cactus is planted during the months of April and September, the plant will only have to be watered once to twice a month.  For those who already have a drip irrigation system, it’s best to put this cactus on its own schedule to make sure it doesn’t get overwatered.

Remember a cactus needs to be dry during the watering session.  It’s best to try to imitate the desert to ensure that the cactus grows to its full potential.

If the temperatures are going to fall below 40 degrees, be sure to purchase some sort of frost cloth to prevent damage.

A common problem that happens with a saguaro cactus is that it leans.  The main reason this cactus leans is based on the fact that the soil around the base tends to be loose.  The limbs on its side may also be to side-heavy, causing it to lean as well.  Keep in mind that most can be straightened.  It’s best to consult with a contractor if this problem does persist.

Most nurseries online are able to ship these cacti if they are less than three feet tall.  Anything larger than that will have to be delivered by the company.

When purchasing one in person, pay close attention to the plant.  Look for damaged spines, uneven growth or bruising signs.

If you reside in Arizona, make sure you’re using a broker who is approved by the state.  Since the state has strict laws with transporting, you want to make sure they are compliant with the Arizona Department of Agriculture.  Digging up or transporting one illegally can incur fines as high as $10,000.

How can I save money?

Choosing a company to plant your cactus is going to greatly vary.  Use websites such as to find contractors in your area that can help give you quotes for free.

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Average Reported Cost: $600

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. JOE L. (PAHRUMP,  NEVADA) paid $1000 and said:


    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Anonymous (Cave Creek,  Arizona) paid $200 and said:

    Purchased saguaro ribs. Approximately 15 foot tall. Small arm at top. Ribs are from one saguaro – now in 2 pieces. Don’t know where it is originally came from. Very neat and clean. Heard they can run up to $1,000. Can I sell practically for that price? Thank you.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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