How to knit a cactus

Prickly plants are all the rage. Get in on the succulent trend by knitting your own cactus using our easy tutorial from Gang Ambassador, Kat Borchat.

Kat Borchat Cactus

There are SO many reasons that a knitted cactus should be at the top of your ‘to-knit’ list – here are just a few:

They make great pin cushions for all the needles you’ve been collecting – both knitting and sewing needles.

cactus icon

They’re a great use of your scrap yarn. 

cactus icon

They’re as easy or as complicated as you want to make them!

cactus icon

For this tutorial we’ve used a single circle-shaped cactus as an example for the pattern, but you can easily adapt the pattern to grow a whole family of cacti!

Ready? Let’s get our knit on!

How to knit a circular cactus

You’ll want to choose your needle size according to your yarn – the size of your finished cactus will vary depending on this! The cactus in our pics was made in Wool and the Gang’s Shiny Happy Cotton in Army Green, using 5mm needles.

1. Cast on 24 stitches. Leave a tail of approx 30cm to use at the end for sewing up your prickly pal.

2. Knit 18 rows in 1×1 rib – knit one, purl one.

3. You’ll now begin your decreases.
On the 19th row, knit two stitches together to the end of the row – you’ll be left with 12 stitches.
On the 20th row, knit two stitches together to the end of the row – you’ll be left with 6 stitches.
On the 21st row, knit two stitches together to the end of the row – you’ll be left with 3 stitches.

4. Cut the yarn leaving a 30cm tail and thread it through the remaining stitches on your needle.

5. Bring the 2 ends together and sew them to make an empty circular cactus. Remove the knitting needle and pull on the yarn tail to bring the top of the cactus together.

6. Use the invisible vertical seam technique to sew up the sides of your cactus.

5. Stuff the pot and the inside of your cactus with spare yarn or soft toy filling. I chose to coordinate the stuffing with my green colour but you can really go all out and make something crazy fun and colourful. Once stuffed, weave the tail at the bottom of your cactus through the bottom row, pulling tightly to close off the base and give it a nice circular shape.

7. Create a base for your cactus with some spare yarn. I made mine from Crazy Sexy Wool in Tweed Grey, knitting in stocking stitch. The size should depend on the size of your plant pot.

7. Attach your cactus to swatch using the cactus yarn. Be sure to weave in all ends, or at least tuck under the swatch so when you ‘plant’ it so the ends won’t be visible.

8. Plant your cactus in your pot!

Make a change

There are so many great ways to mix this project up:


You could make a traditional green cactus with a neutral soil swatch OR go crazy! In their natural environment cacti are often purple, red and orange.

Colourful cacti inspiration


I knitted mine in a 1×1 rib, but you could try garter or stocking stitch too. My other favourite is moss stitch, as the texture looks like kinda like prickles. Or just let your imagination run wild  and get inspired by the real thing!


I bought mine at a local flower shop, but you can jazz up ones you already have, or make your own! Here are some of my favourite links for DIY pot inspiration:

Marrakech pots from Ikea
DIY Dipped Neon Pots from The Proper Blog
Gold Leaf Terracotta Pots from Hunted Interior

Pot inspiration

Happy planting, Love Kat x

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