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Cactus farming is the systematic planting and harvesting of cacti. Cactus farms are useful for acquiring green dye by smelting the cactus blocks or for storing experience in a furnace due to its high XP output when smelted, though it does not produce nearly as much XP when smelted in Bedrock Edition. Efficient, productive, and interesting farm configurations can be achieved with the creative placement of water source blocks and sand.

Manual designs[]

Manual cactus farms can be a great start to farming cactus. Manual designs are generally cheaper, easier to build, and more lag efficient than automatic designs. However, manual farms are also less efficient and much slower than automatic designs. If you do not need a large amount of cacti, manual farms should be enough.

Cactus rows[]

This design is probably the simplest next to looting a desert biome. To build it, simply place cactus in rows 1 space apart from each other. It may be desirable to space rows 2 blocks apart to make harvesting easier without getting pricked. If you are not careful, there may be some loss from the cactus being destroyed.

Diagonal rows[]

This method of cactus farming allows for the player to harvest cacti without taking damage. It uses a platform and a water canal to collect the cacti. Wait for the cactus to grow and break the upper block while standing on the pedestal. It is not the most efficient nor compact design, but it could do for smaller farms. It has about a 15% loss rate.

Piston harvester[]

Compact piston placement (Bedrock Edition only).

Generally speaking, the use of pistons in a cactus farm is a very laggy and noncompact way of harvesting. However, in a manual design, the use of pistons can be beneficial as they allow the cactus to be more tightly packed and make it easier to harvest without being damaged. Additionally, since all the cactus are broken at once, there is less for broken cactus to be destroyed.

The schematic shows an efficient way of building a farm like this. The redstone and pistons should be built 1 block beneath the sand. Cacti should be placed on every sand block. A block will need to be placed on the pistons or they will not push up high enough to break the cacti. If you are lacking in slime, gravel or another falling block can be used instead of sticky pistons.

Notice how each cactus is only next to 1 piston and each piston except on the edges is next to 4 cacti. When building, make sure it is same if you want to use the least pistons. The first time you build this, it may be helpful to place the sand and pistons first. You could do this on a level surface, digging an extra block lower for each piston. When you are satisfied that the placement of the pistons is correct, remove the sand and ground where the redstone goes.

Automatic designs[]

Automatic cactus farms work on the principle that if there is space available above a cactus, but there is a block next to where the new cactus block will be, then the cactus will grow and immediately break off. This principle can be used to create massive yet lag efficient designs. Note that any adjacent block will break a cactus, not just a full block.

Efficient design[]

The design of a cactus farm is critical to its efficiency. These points can help you to design farms with greater yields than you could otherwise obtain.

  • The more densely packed a cactus farm is, the more cactus will be broken. It is important to not be fooled by the number of cacti fit into a space, but rather to look at the output of cacti based on the space. The best farms balance density and efficiency so that the highest yield is obtained.
  • It is also important to choose a good block to break the cactus growth with.
    • Using a full block such as dirt is inefficient, since the cactus items are likely to land on the cactus (and be destroyed).
    • The best blocks are those with a thin hitbox such as a fence post, iron bar or glass pane. When a cactus hits a fence post, it is much more likely to fall down to the ground rather than onto the cactus plant.
    • Blocks without a hitbox, such as fence gates or even signs, will also work, but the build will be more expensive and/or complex.
  • Items can also hit the block above a cactus. If they do so, they can lose their momentum and fall back down onto the cactus. A half block space above the grown cactus should be sufficient to prevent this.
  • As noted in the video below, there is one exception to the above: End rods will not break an adjacent cactus block, so they can be used to further guide the dropped items.

Advanced designs[]

Additional complexity permits more compact (higher yield per space) designs.

Standard automatic[]


Another common design

A common design, replace the vines with string

A standard cacti farm usually looks something like this. Designs like these are not very efficient, however, when built on a large scale, they can produce thousands of cacti per hour. Usually water streams are placed at the bottom to wash the cacti into hoppers.

Xisumavoid design[]

The basis of the modified Xisumavoid design

This design uses efficient design principles to get higher output per block. Note that the iron bar in the schematic could be replaced with a fence post or glass pane.

To construct this design, first create a large square out of slabs. Next, place sand blocks every other block. Finally, place in water streams so that all the cacti flow into hoppers. Repeat this process above the bottom to stack the farm. As there are no pictures, it will probably be helpful to see the design in the video.

"Modified Xisumavoid design"