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Indeed, Cactus has changed over time, User Dave. Now she fires a thorn for ranged damage, but hides for ground damage when zombies approach.


Plants vs. Zombies
Cactuses shoot spikes that can hit both ground and air targets.
Almanac statistics
Sun cost 125 sun (100 in Versus Mode)
Recharge Fast
Toughness Normal
Range Ground and air
In-game statistics
Direct damage 1 normal damage shot every 1.5 seconds
Unlocked After beating Level 4-2
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.

Cactus fires a penetrating thorn that can damage multiple enemies!
Almanac statistics
Sun cost 175
Recharge Fast
Damage Normal
Range Multi-Hit
Special Hides and does ground damage when zombies are near
Rarity (China) Legendary
In-game statistics
Direct damage 1.5 normal damage shot every 1.5 seconds for 2 to 4 targets (normal)
0.5 normal damage shots every 0.526 second (hiding)
Unlocked NA: $4.99 · BRL: R$10,00 ·
EU: €4.99 · TR: ₺12.99 ·
PL: 20,66zł · SG: $5.98 ·
UK: £3.99 · ID: Rp75,000
Unlocked (China) Collect 10 Cactus Puzzle Pieces
CactusCostume CactusCostume2
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.

For other uses, see Cactus (disambiguation).

Cactus is a combative, projectile-based plant that was first introduced in Plants vs. Zombies. In Plants vs. Zombies, it is essentially a Peashooter that shoots spikes, with the distinction of being able to stretch upwards 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 which is advertised alongside Neon Mixtape Tour Side A, it shoots a spike that goes through two or three zombies, and then hides when zombies are close to it while dealing ground damage similar to Spikeweed. Each spike deals 1.5 normal damage shots, piercing up to three zombies, and the ground damage deals the same damage as the Spikeweed's. Jester Zombies can deflect shots from the Cactus, but still be damaged from her ground attack.


Cactus could be inspired by any number of members of the genus Cactacae, but it most resembles a saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), albeit with a red flower instead of a white one.

Almanac entry

Plants vs. Zombies

New Cactus almanac

Almanac entry of Cactus


Cactuses shoot spikes that can hit both ground and air targets.

Damage: normal
Range: ground and air

She's prickly, sure, but Cactus's 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.

Cost: 125

Recharge: fast

Plants vs. Zombies 2



DAMAGE: Normal

RANGE: Multi-Hit
SPECIAL: Spike Damage

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.


2,147,483,647 feet
This is a long section. Click show or hide at the right of this template to display or hide the text.


Plant Food effect

Cactus PF2

Cactus after being fed Plant Food in Plants vs. Zombies 2

When fed Plant Food, Cactus' spikes become supercharged with electricity, increasing their maximum penetration capability by two. Cactus will also deal doubled damage for the remaining duration of its life, whether it is shooting or hiding underground.

Level upgrades

Level Seed packets Coins Upgrades
Sun Cost Recharge
(Spike Damage)*
Normal Powered** Normal Powered**
1 0 0 175 5 seconds 3 bites 1.5 nds 3 nds 0.5 nds 1 nds Normal Multi-Hit
2 10 1,000 175 4.5 seconds 3.5 bites 2 nds 4 nds 0.5 nds 1 nds
3 75 5,000 175 4.5 seconds 4 bites 2.5 nds 5 nds 0.75 nds 1.5 nds + 1.6x
4 200 10,000 175 4 seconds 4.5 bites 3 nds 6 nds 0.75 nds 1.5 nds
5 400 20,000 150 4 seconds 5.5 bites 3.5 nds 7 nds 1 nds 2 nds
6 750 30,000 150 3.5 seconds 6 bites 4 nds 8 nds 1 nds 2 nds
7 1,000 40,000 125 3.5 seconds 6.5 bites 4.5 nds 9 nds 1.25 nds 2.5 nds + 2.2x
8 1,000 50,000 125 3 seconds 7 bites 5 nds 10 nds 1.25 nds 2.5 nds
9 1,500 60,000 100 3 seconds 8 bites 5.5 nds 11 nds 1.5 nds 3 nds
10 2,000 75,000 100 2.5 seconds 9 bites 6 nds 12 nds 2 nds 4 nds

*This column shows its ground damage when hiding.
**After being fed with Plant Food, both its spike and ground damage are powered.

Costumed (China only)

In addition to becoming supercharged, Cactus will shoot a bunch of a supercharged spikes, dealing tons of damage.

Level upgrades (China only)

Level Upgrades Description
LevelIcon2New Cactus Upgrade 1
Electrical Spike
Cactus has a chance to shoot an electrical spike which stuns zombies.
Combat Training
Cactus gains 50% more attack power and health (150% of initial).
LevelIcon3New Cactus Upgrade 2
Strong Puncture
Spikes can pierce through more zombies.
Cell Activation
Cactus gains another 50% more attack power and health (200% of initial).
LevelIcon4New AbilityAwakendIcon
Ability Awaken
Cactus may be boosted when planted.
Fighting Power
Cactus gains another 50% more attack power and health (250% of initial).


Plants vs. Zombies

Cactus' main role in the player's arsenal is to shoot down Balloon Zombies before they can get past through the defense, turning them into normal zombies that can be attacked by any other plants. While it will be sufficient in normal levels, the sheer amount of Balloon Zombies that can spawn in Survival Mode, plus its lackluster performance against other threats makes Cactus not a worthwhile choice later on. Cactus also has to compete with Cattail, which can target zombies from any lane and deals twice as much as damage but suffers from an aiming issue, as well as Blover, which can clear Balloon Zombies from all lanes and ward off the fog in Fog levels.

A column of Cacti should be planted to safeguard the player against potential Balloon Zombies. Cactus is also a possible candidate for getting the Don't Pea in the Pool achievement, but should not be used given its poor damage capability and the lack of Balloon Zombies in Pool levels - most lobbed shot plants and Fume-shroom are much more suited for this task.

Plants vs. Zombies 2

Cactus' main strength is its versatility: It can be planted at the back to shoot incoming zombies, as well as a front-line plant to damage enemies like Spikeweed. Compared to other penetrating plants such as Laser Bean and A.K.E.E., Cactus also boasts a relatively high damage output, which can be further enhanced with Plant Food. However, its unreliable penetration capability makes Cactus not as reliable against large groups of zombies.

Cactus is also a good counter for Shield Zombie, Barrel Roller Zombie, and Pianist Zombie, as its spikes can pierce through each of the zombie's barricades. Because when it hides it acts like a Spikeweed, it can instantly destroy Barrel Roller Zombie's barrel and Pianist Zombie; however, Cactus will be sacrificed, even if it has its Plant Food effect activated. Cactus is also good against Imp Cannon, Zombie King, and Imp Porter as their projectiles can pass through zombies in front of them. It should be noted that Cactus cannot damage Excavator Zombie, even though the thorns bypass the shovel, as well as, Excavator can shovel up hiding Cacti without stepping on it.

In Frostbite Caves, Cactus has a great advantage against Troglobite and Weasel Hoarder as its spikes can hit all ice blocks and multiple Ice Weasels (similar to Zombie Chickens). Watch out for Dodo Rider Zombie as he will fly over hiding Cacti.

In Neon Mixtape Tour, Cactus has an advantage on most zombies encountered in this world, as their jams do not have a major effect on the Cactus: Punk Zombie cannot kick it, MC Zom-B cannot use its microphone attack against Cactus, Glitter Zombies cannot instantly destroy the Cactus and Breakdancer Zombies and the zombies it kicks can still be affected by Cactus's ground attack. This makes the Cactus a great option to use in this world. The only things to look out for are Hair Metal Gargantuar (as even their shockwaves will instantly destroy Cacti, hiding or not), Arcade Zombie's arcade machine (as it can still crush Cacti, hiding or not), and Boombox Zombie's boombox (as it stuns all Cacti not hiding).

In Jurassic Marsh, Cactus works great against pterodactyls and ankylosauruses. Zombies carried by pterodactyls will still be damaged by its spikes. Ankylosauruses cannot fling zombies past the Cactus and will not be pushed.

Like Spikeweeds, Spikerocks, Spring Bean and Celery Stalker, Cactus should not be used in Big Wave Beach levels as zombies will eat the Lily Pad and cause Cactus to fall into the water, wasting 175 sun. 

However, unlike the first game, it is a bad idea to use this plant against the Balloon Zombie because the Cactus's spikes can no longer pop the balloon instantly.

It is also a bad choice to place Cactus on a Gold Tile close to Imp Porters as this doesn't prevent them from setting up their tent.


Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Cactus.
Visit this page to see it.




Concept art for Cactus in Plants vs. Zombies Adventures.

Specific to Plants vs. Zombies

  • If stretching, it will be equally the same height to a Tall-nut, and it can even block vaulting zombies if stretching at the right time.
  • It cannot work on the slope in Roof levels unless on the fifth column, despite being able to grow taller.
  • It is one of the twelve plants that appear in the seed selection screen after the player gets the Grave Buster on the Web 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, Cacti in the lane of Balloon Zombies will attempt to fire at it even if the spike will go through a portal and end up in another lane. However, Cacti in other lanes that have a portal leading to the correct lane will also shoot at the Balloon Zombie.
  • It, Tall-nut, and Garlic are the only plants that appear in I, Zombie, but do not appear in I, Zombie Endless.
  • The plural form of Cactus is represented in-game as "Cactuses" rather than "Cacti."

Specific to Plants vs. Zombies 2

  • It is one of two plants returning from the first game with significantly different abilities, the second being Explode-o-nut.
  • Although the thorns penetrate various zombies, Excavator Zombie is immune to them, as the spikes hit the shovel, glance off (missing the Excavator Zombie completely) and continue to the next zombie.
  • In Cactus's 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 hit it in some cases.
    • There's also a glitch, in which the Balloon Zombie with its balloon popped is able to destroy it, because it won't hide from it.
  • An advertisement for Summer Nights event in 2015 accidentally leaked the return of it a month in advance.
  • With its return, all Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare plant classes appear in both Plants vs. Zombies and Plants vs. Zombies 2.
  • It does not hide from Zombie Bulls.
  • The vocal noise it makes is from its Garden Warfare appearance.
  • It, Celery Stalker, Potato MinePrimal Potato Mine and Escape Root are the only "underground" plants that cannot be planted directly on Lily Pads in Big Wave Beach. Despite this, they can technically be planted on Lily Pads if they or the plant behind them is pulled by a Fisherman Zombie, which in turn pushes them onto a Lily Pad.
Cactus disably

A Cactus disabling an ankylosaurus' attack

  • Placing it on the third column from the right (seventh column from the left) will disable the ankylosaurus's attack. The zombies will simply be launched on top of it and stop when it hides. It will not be pushed.
    • This only works if it is out of the ground, not hiding. If it is, the zombie will be launched normally.
  • Like White Radish, Potato Mine, Bamboo Shoot, Carrot Missile, Celery Stalker, Primal Potato Mine and Escape Root, it cannot be planted on planks in Pirate Seas.
  • Cactus and Torchwood are only non-defensive plants that have its Plant Food effect lasts until the plant has been destroyed.
    • Coincidentally, they are both returning premium plants and cost 175 sun.

Plants vs. Zombies 2 (Chinese version) (China only)

  • Similar for Red Stinger, its seed packet is different.
    • Cactus's entire body is visible in the Chinese version's seed packet, while its head and one hand is only visible in the international version's.

See also

V · T · E
Plants vs. Zombies
Day Peashooter · Sunflower · Cherry Bomb · Wall-nut · Potato Mine · Snow Pea · Chomper · Repeater
Night Puff-shroom · Sun-shroom · Fume-shroom · Grave Buster · Hypno-shroom · Scaredy-shroom · Ice-shroom · Doom-shroom
Pool Lily Pad · Squash · Threepeater · Tangle Kelp · Jalapeno · Spikeweed · Torchwood · Tall-nut
Fog Sea-shroom · Plantern · Cactus · Blover · Split Pea · Starfruit · Pumpkin · Magnet-shroom
Roof Cabbage-pult · Flower Pot · Kernel-pult · Coffee Bean · Garlic · Umbrella Leaf · Marigold · Melon-pult
Upgrades Gatling Pea · Twin Sunflower · Gloom-shroom · Cattail · Winter Melon · Gold Magnet · Spikerock · Cob Cannon
Others Imitater · Explode-o-nut · Giant Wall-nut

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