Cacti are giving mini succulents and fiddle-leaf fig trees a run for their money, popping up in the corners of living rooms and bedrooms all over the internet. With their spiny skin and twisty shapes, they aren't just plants, they're mini living sculptures. Oh, and cacti are easy to care for too. Sold on the idea of bringing one home? Don't just pick any species or location in your house. Certain varieties thrive better indoors than others—and even then, only when they're cared for properly. Carlos Morera, a co-owner of the cacti store Hot Cactus LA, says it best: "If a corner needs filling and the light sucks, use a lamp, not a cactus."
Unsurprisingly, given the parched nature of their natural environment, cacti need direct light. "Near south- or east-facing windows is always the best," says Carlos. Although they'll constantly be in the sun, the plants should only be watered sparingly, when the soil is dry; Carlos suggests investing in a moisture meter for accuracy. He also recommends giving the cacti fresh air every once in a while, or, even better, leaving them outside during spring and summer, their growing seasons. (However, keep them away from rain and air conditioning.) It's during those months that your care routine should change slightly. "You can water them more then, and fertilize once a month," says Carlos. "We recommend our own brand, which is the only collector-grade cactus fertilizer on the market."
Ready to go shopping? Here are the cacti that Carlos finds to be "best all around for indoors":
"This hardy Mexican cactus has a quite a few interesting species under its belt, most notably Myrtillocactus fukurokuryuzinboku."
"These compact cacti from Argentina have been heavily collected and kept indoors by many around the world, with surprising results. If you're doing things right, they will bloom a few mind-blowing flowers in the spring and summer."
"You will never find one, but if you do, mine loves it inside. Hang it, or let it crawl along the window sill."
"A great hardy hanging cactus. A mature specimen will have both black and gold arms."
"This is the go-to cactus for indoors. It's not the most unique, but it has proven to be a strong contender in suboptimal conditions. Make sure not to water it when it's too cold—they can get stem rot."
This originally appeared on AD CLEVER | Lindsey Mather and Zoë Sessums