- Indeed, Cactus has changed over time, User Dave. Now she fires a thorn for ranged damage, but hides for ground damage when zombies approach.
- — Penny
Cactus is a combative, projectile-based plant. In Plants vs. Zombies, it is essentially a Peashooter that shoots spikes, with the distinction of being able to stretch up high vertically to pop Balloon Zombies' balloons. The damage it deals is the same amount as a Peashooter.
On the other hand, in Plants vs. Zombies 2, where it is a premium plant, it is a mixture of Bloomerang and Spikeweed. It shoots a spike that goes through two or three zombies and it hides when zombies are close to it like a Scaredy-shroom and then deals ground damage like Spikeweed. Each spike deals 1.5 normal damage shot piercing up to three zombies and the ground damage is the same as Spikeweed. However, its projectiles can be deflected by Jester Zombie.
Suburban Almanac entry
In Plants vs. Zombies
Cactuses shoot spikes that can hit both ground and air targets.
Range: ground and air
She's prickly, sure, but Cactus' spikes belie a spongy heart filled with love and goodwill. She just wants to hug and be hugged. Most folks can't hang with that, but Cactus doesn't mind. She's been seeing an armadillo for a while and it really seems to be working out.
In Plants vs. Zombies 2
Sun cost: 175
Cactus fires a penetrating thorn that can damage multiple enemies!
Special: hides and does ground damage when zombies are near
Things have really changed for Cactus lately. Book deals, movies, truck show appearances... she's just trying to focus on staying humble and launching thorns like always.
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Cactus' spikes become blue, increasing its projectiles' pierce by one and making its attacks twice as strong for the remaining duration of the level or until it gets killed. Ground attack damage is also doubled.
Plants vs. Zombies: All Stars
Weakness Detection: Shoots some spikes to the enemy with the lowest health, and when that enemy's health is lower than 30%, it does 2.5x damage. It needs Brave Plant Food to be activated.
Plants vs. Zombies
Cacti are best used in a column to keep the lawn safe from Balloon Zombies. They also make a good substitute for the Peashooter on any level Balloon Zombies could appear. Although the cost difference is negligible, as there is a disadvantage that if even a single Balloon Zombie comes into the lane, all of the Cacti will rise and fire at it. If there are no Balloon Zombies, however, the slightly more expensive cost makes Peashooters more useful, and Peashooters are affected by Torchwoods. It is cheaper in pool levels to use two Cattails instead of six Cacti. The Cactus is a good candidate for getting the Don't Pea in the Pool as an alternative to Peashooters, but Cabbage-pults and Kernel-pults are a good idea too, as they can attack Snorkel Zombies that are underwater and cost less sun.
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Cacti are good with defending Zombie Chickens and Ice Weasels as they can pierce through many Zombie Chickens and Ice Weasels at a time. Cactus is also a good counter for Shield Zombie, Barrel Roller Zombie, and Pianist Zombie as Cactus' spikes can pierce through each of the zombie's barricades. Because when it hides it acts like a Spikeweed, it can instantly kill Barrel Roller Zombie's barrel and Pianist Zombie, however, Cactus will be sacrificed. On the other hand Cactus cannot damage Excavator Zombie even if its spikes bypass him, because the spikes will hit the shovel without doing damage, glance off and continue attacking without damaging the zombie.
Cactus works well in the front lines as its ability to hide often prolongs its survival rate, due to normal zombies being unable to eat it.
Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Cactus.
Specific to Plants vs. Zombies
- Cactus is one of the four plants in Plants vs. Zombies that are mentioned as female. The other three are Sunflower, Twin Sunflower, and Marigold.
- It is the only female plant in the original Plants vs. Zombies to attack zombies.
- If stretching, the Cactus has the height of a Tall-nut, and it can even block vaulting zombies if stretching at the right time.
- Cactus, Cob Cannon, Cattail, and Sea-shroom are the only projectile-shooting plants having a projectile which has a color not similar to the plant's color.
- Interestingly, the Cactus appears in the first trailer for the game and the very first screenshots, however, the Peashooter has less appearances.
- Cactus cannot work on the slope except for the fifth row on Roof levels. This is strange, because the Cactus can stretch to the height of a Tall-nut, but does not do that to shoot at approaching zombies on the roof, unless they are Balloon Zombies.
- Cactus is the only plant that stretches in Plants vs. Zombies.
- Cactus is one of the twelve plants that appear in the seed selection screen after you get the Grave Buster on the online version, the others being Ice-shroom, Lily Pad, Potato Mine, Threepeater, Tangle Kelp, Jalapeno, Spikeweed, Torchwood, Tall-nut, Doom-shroom, and Blover.
- On the loading screen, its pollen balls are red, but during gameplay, they are yellow. In I, Zombie, its pollen balls are orange.
- In Portal Combat, when a Cactus shoots at Balloon Zombie, it will not float over a portal which is strange because the spikes seems to be high enough to pass over it.
- Cactus has a narrower mouth than most other shooting plants.
- In Cactus' online picture, it just shows its neck rising up.
- Cactus, Tall-nut, and Garlic are the only plants that appear in I, Zombie but do not appear in the Endless level.
- The plural of Cactus is represented as "Cactuses" rather than "Cacti."
Specific to Plants vs. Zombies 2
- Cactus costs 175 sun instead of 125.
- It is the only plant returning from the first game with significantly different abilities.
- Although the spikes penetrates various zombies, Excavator Zombie is immune to it, as the spikes hit the shovel, glance off (missing the Excavator completely) and continue to the next zombie.
- It is the second plant with a Plant Food effect that lasts until it is destroyed, the other being Torchwood.
- In Cactus' case, it cannot be eaten (unless a Zombie Bull attempts to); it can only be killed by rolling or smashing attacks, lasers from a Gargantuar Prime or Turquoise Skull Zombie, or if a Jester Zombie can damage it as fast as possible with the "help" of other straight-shooting plants. Additionally, MC Zom-B can kill it in some cases.
- Cactus, Coconut Cannon, Citron, Guacodile, Strawburst, Red Stinger, and Fire Peashooter are the only projectile-shooting plants that do not shoot multiple projectiles at once when fed with Plant Food.
- An advertisement for Summer Nights in July accidentally leaked the return of Cactus.
- With Cactus' return, all Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare plant classes appear in both Plants vs. Zombies and Plants vs. Zombies 2.
- For unknown reasons, Cactus does not hide when only Zombie Bulls are near, therefore Zombie Bulls can eat cacti like normal plants. It is currently unknown whether this is a glitch or intentional.
- Cactus is one of the seven plants that make vocal noises. The others are Squash, Banana Launcher, Sweet Potato, Chard Guard, Dandelion, and Strawburst.
- The vocal noise Cactus makes is from its Garden Warfare appearance.
- Cactus, Strawburst, and Toadstool are the only premium plants to cost $4.99.
- It is the third flower to attack zombies. The others are Snapdragon and Red Stinger.
- This, Celery Stalker and Potato Mine are the only "underground" plants that can't be planted directly on Lily Pads in Big Wave Beach.
- These plants can technically be planted on Lily Pads if you plant them on wet sand first and plant Lily Pads on them.
- Cactus' spikes can destroy Surfer Zombie's surfboard in one hit.