Prickly pear cactus (Succulent ) are fast-growing cacti with detachable spines, thus they may not be ideal for many gardens. Prickly pear cactus plants are best grown in the garden’s hot location. The cactus plant is made up of wide, flat, thick pads with spines and segmented stalks.
For better Paddle Cactus Care you need to find the hottest place to keep them. Find a spot full of direct sunlight. As they nurture in the dry and hottest place. Also, note to never overwater Paddle Cactus, otherwise, they will become brown and start to develop yellow edges. If you are planning to keep them indoors, try to make sufficient drainage by making holes in the pot, so they never get excess water.
The paddle cactus pears are cactus that are surprisingly easy to grow. It’s easy to cultivate and maintain, with a cheerful, delicate blossom.
The eastern prickly pear cactus, which is native to the northeastern United States, isn’t as tall as its desert cousin Opuntia ficus-indica, but it adds a touch of the southwest to milder regions and makes up for its tiny height with resilience.
Starting the cactus from cuttings in the early summer or seeds in the late spring are the two best cuttings propagation options. Find everything in detail below.
Best 15 Types Of Prickly Pear Cactus (Paddle Cactus Care)
The taxonomic classification ‘Opuntia’ encompasses hundreds of species of Texas prickly pear cactus. Prickly Pears are a wonderful edible fruit that they produce. There are many non-native types, and identifying them might be difficult at times.
Paddle Cactus Care, Prickly Pear (Opuntia Cactus)
1. Indian Fig Prickly Pear
They are often called “ tuna,” a misspelling of the botanical name “ Opuntia.” Commercially, the Indian Fig Prickly Pear is planted in arid settings for its plentiful flushes of sweet tuna pears, which can be found in US and Canadian markets.
2. Opuntia fragilis
This little plant, sometimes known as brittle or delicate prickly pear, grows to be 6 inches tall and 9 inches broad when fully grown. It has pads that fall off easily, but they also root rapidly, as the common name suggests. It thrives in zones 4 through 11.
3. Purple Prickly Pears
There are various types of these varieties, and their pads have lavender to purple flush. Under drought conditions, the blush of some types is reported to intensify.
4. The Spineless Prickly Pears
Outside of their original habitats, spineless prickly pear cactus are best used as decorative plants. They don’t produce well until the conditions are close to ideal.
5. Miniature Prickly Pears
They grow in ground-hugging groupings and bear little pear pads and smaller fruits, making them suitable as a consumable ground cover.
6. Opuntia leucotricha
This species, sometimes known as arborescent prickly pear, is a huge, tree-like shrub native to the desert that can grow up to 16 feet tall. It thrives in zones 7 through 10.
7. Roja Pelona
It’s been likened to a kiwi.
It has a silky texture and a flavour that is honey-like.
9. Puntia aciculata
This decorative cactus is distinguished for its yellow, red spines and a possible height of 4 feet. It is also known as chenille prickly pear and old man’s whiskers. It thrives in zones 8 through 12.
10. Cristalina Prickly Pear
It’s a little bland, like an under-ripe honeydew.
A sour green prickly pear that should not be eaten raw or fresh unless you are one of those people who enjoys sucking on a lemon. It is widely used in sauces and as a spice by Mexicans.
The variety Is tart but the xoconostle variety is more tart or sour than the Juana. Its seeds are also eaten fresh.
13. Yellow Platenera
This variety is very difficult to come by. It produces a taste like a combination of bananas and mangoes.
14. Amarilla Montesa
Has a pleasantly sweet golden flesh with a taste having a hint of acidity.
15. Opuntia basilaris
This species, often known as beavertail prickly pear, has velvety pear pads and vivid purple-red blooms. It is found in zones 8 to 10 and grows up to 36 inches tall and 24 to 30 inches broad.
Paddle Cactus Care Indoor
The following conditions should be noted carefully when planning to grow the cactus plant indoors.
The prickly pear, like most cacti, thrives in full sun for at least 8 hours every day. However, if planted in hotter areas, such as a more classic desert landscape, it may tolerate partial shade. While growing prickly pear cactus, more sun exposure will result in larger plants and more blooms in the mid-to-late spring and summer.
Use a pot with plenty of drainage holes at the bottom if you’re growing prickly pear from seed in a container. Use a potting mix that drains adequately. Then, when you want to plant your new prickly pear in its planter, put on strong protective gloves.
Drought tolerance is high in prickly pears. The prickly pear care requires you not to water newly propagated prickly pear pads for the first month of your life. Water every 2 to 4 weeks for the first year, two times a month in the summer and once per month the rest of the year.
Rainfall will suffice in most regions to keep established plants alive. In periods of drought, supplement with the twice-month/once-month seasonal plan.
The prickly pear cactus should be planted in well-draining soil to grow well. Your best hope is a dry, gritty, or gravelly mixture, but it can also thrive in a clay-based mixture so far it drains well and the soil does not hold much moisture.
Prickly pear doesn’t require a lot of attention when it comes to pH levels, and it will flourish in a neutral-to-acidic pH range of 6.0–7.5.
The prickly pear and the cactus tuna fruits, like any other cactus, prefers warm and dry weather. Despite the fact that it is more cold-hardy than most other cacti and can withstand temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, it will grow larger and flower more if grown in warm temperatures.
When growing nopales cactus use a balanced 10–10–10 fertilizer on the young cactus plants. A 5–10–10 or even a 0–10–10 water-soluble-based fertilizer will encourage more flowers and fruit on mature plants.
Pest and disease
When growing a cactus, the most common concern is overwatering it, overwatering can cause its deep, fibrous roots to decay and the collapsing of the cactus. They’re also vulnerable to insects or pests like scale and mealybug. The pest problem can be treated by rubbing with alcohol, neem oil, or, in more serious cases, usage of pesticides.
These plants are either non-dangerous or have no recognized toxicity.
How Fast Do Prickly Pear Cactus Grow
- Prickly pears are renowned for their edible fruit, which is a fruit that grows on cactus and is popular in Mexico and the American Southwest as a delightful snack.
- The cactus fruit’s characteristic reddish-purple juice can also be used to make drinks, sweets, and jellies.
- However, the plant grows slowly, and it can take 3 to 4 years for a fresh plant to begin bearing fruit.
- After the danger of frost has gone, prickly pear should be planted outside in the spring. Any period in the growing season, you can take a clipping to start a new plant indoors.
Read everything about Prickly Pear Cactus, care, growth and benefits.