In Plants vs. Zombies, Cactus 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 which is advertised alongside Neon Mixtape Tour Side A, it is a mixture of Bloomerang, Scaredy-shroom 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. Cactus' shots can be deflected by Jester Zombie, but its Plant Food effect shots cannot.
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.
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
Plant Food effect
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.
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
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 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 Cactus 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, 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 frontline 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.
Cacti are good against Zombie Chickens and Ice Weasels as they can pierce through many of them at a time. 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 kill Barrel Roller Zombie's barrel and Pianist Zombie; however, Cactus will be sacrificed, even if it has Plant Food with it. On the other hand, Cactus cannot damage Excavator Zombie, even if its spikes bypass him.
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 respective world. However, the only thing to look out for is Hair Metal Gargantuar's sonic blast, as it will instantly kill Cacti that is not hiding.
Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Cactus.
- Cactus, Celery Stalker, and Scaredy-shroom are the only plants that hide.
- In Cactus's online picture, it just shows its neck rising up.
Specific to Plants vs. 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 cannot work on the slope in Roof levels unless on the fifth column.
- 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 the player gets 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 a 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, 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 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 Zombie 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.
- An advertisement for Summer Nights in July accidentally leaked the return of Cactus prematurely.
- With Cactus' return, all Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare plant classes appear in both Plants vs. Zombies and Plants vs. Zombies 2.
- Cactus does not hide from Zombie Bulls.
- The vocal noise Cactus makes is from its Garden Warfare appearance.
- Cactus, Celery Stalker, and Potato Mine 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 are planted on wet sand first and then Lily Pads.
- It can instantly destroy pianos, despite the fact that they do not have any visible wheels. This also happens to Spikeweed and Spikerock.
- Unlike the first game, the Cactus can't pop Balloon Zombie's balloon. Instead, it will do normal damage.