The first step in growing prickly pear cactus pads from a cutting is to carefully remove a pad from the main plant. Make an effort to separate as neatly as you can. Then let the cut end of your pad dry and harden slightly. While you are waiting for the cut end to heal, it may start to turn a little brown.
It ought should take a week or so. You don’t have to wait for the roots to sprout like you do with many other plants. The soil will experience this. (However, I believe mine had just started to sprout.) I left mine out on my dining room table for approximately two days because they had just been cut and had been in transit for about four days.
Why do the cut ends need to callus over?
In general, cacti don’t require a lot of water, and too much of it can quickly kill plants. A fresh cutting is comparable to a main line into the plant. If you take a cutting and plant it right away, it should survive without water for a few days. However, by allowing the cutting callus to form first, you increase your chances of success.
The callus serves as a barrier to stop the cutting from absorbing too much water. Other plants that are similar to it, such as succulents and snake plants, can be propagated using the same method. (See also my posts on how to grow succulents from leaves and cuttings and my explanation of how to grow snake plants in four different ways.)
Step 2: Plant the prickly pear cutting
Planting should be done once the cuttings have callused over. If you have access to rooting hormone, you can dip the cut ends of the pads into it before planting them, but it’s not necessary. The prickly pear is not one of the plants that I typically reserve rooting hormone for.
Simply place the cuttings upright in succulent or cactus soil that drains well, and water. Seek out my simple, three-ingredient succulent soil mix or simply get one from the supermarket marked “succulent” or “cactus.” Avoid use common, well-draining potting soils. For better drainage, ucculent/cactus soil contains more additions like sand and perlite.
When the top several inches of soil become dry, water the cuttings. Try to very gently tug on the cuttings after a few weeks. If you encounter opposition, kudos to you! Your cutting’s roots are starting to form. If a few weeks have passed and you are still not experiencing resistance, don’t worry. It may take some time, especially in the colder months of the year.
Step 3: Transplant or water as normal
My prickly pear pads didn’t require transplanting because I put them in the container I intended to keep them in. Wait until the roots are comparatively established before transplanting them if necessary. Make sure to cut back on watering once the roots are established and to wait until the soil has dried up before watering again.
An overwatered cactus will definitely die! Avoid over-watering the soil, as you did during the propagation phase. Since it is now a separate plant, root sprouting no longer requires additional assistance.
Can prickly pear cactus grow in water?
Although prickly pear propagation is rather simple and easy, there are a few additional considerations. Look through for more information.
How do you root a broken piece of cactus?
Good news: the procedure is essentially unchanged. I frequently propagate succulents in this manner. A leaf splits off? I’ll preserve it and spread it! Pads on prickly pears can be removed quite easily. If the plant is in a container outside, it could get knocked over by a storm and the pad could come off. You can save the cactus and pad if they are in good condition.
In fact, you can probably simply place it in the same pot as the plant from which it was broken off. This will also produce a fuller, more fascinating appearance. particularly if the pads have various heights.
Will a cactus root in water?
Absolutely, yes. Cacti can be rooted in either soil or water. Water does not provide nutrients, but it does promote the growth of a distinct type of root. I advise avoiding water rooting entirely and going straight to soil because prickly pear roots so easily there. In soil, it also takes root more quickly.
How fast do prickly pear cactus grow?
Prickly pears grow fairly slowly, based on my personal experience growing them in pots both indoors and outdoors. Every summer, each pad produced 12 new baby pads. However, your plant will probably grow more quickly if you have a longer growth season or more time with warmer temperatures.
If you have the option, prickly pears might, like many plants, thrive better planted in the ground. I have to keep mine in containers or dig them out and bring them inside because they wouldn’t survive the cold where I live. I choose pots!
Can cactus grow in shade?
Yes, but they particularly enjoy strong light. My prickly pears receive light from late morning till sundown when I keep them indoors for the winter in a southeast-facing window. I expose them to full, direct sun all day long for about a week before I take them outside. They flourish there!
They would probably also thrive in the shade, given the quantity of light they receive from a window with brilliant indirect light inside is probably nearly comparable. However, I advise giving them a warm summer vacation if you can.
A prickly pear can you grow a cactus from?
Although it can be tricky, growing cacti is quite simple! The Opuntia genus, widely known as the prickly pear cactus, is a good example of this. You can grow these drought-tolerant plants from seeds or cuttings, and we’ll show you how to do both. Thanks to prickly pear cactus propagation, your one cactus will soon grow into a large garden with a distinct southwest flair!
The huge genus Opuntia contains more than 150 species. You may quickly obtain a sense of some species’ traits by looking through images, such as those of Opuntia microdasys. They have segmented stems, known as paddles, and pink or yellow flowers are typically found at the top. The fruit, known as “tuna,” is frequently consumed raw and Opuntia ficus-indica is farmed for both the fruit and the pads commercially. Glochids, a fancy name for microscopic hairs and bothersome spines, cover the paddles. When handling prickly pears and their thorny fruits, always use heavy gloves since the glochids are uncomfortable to touch and difficult to remove from skin.
Growing prickly pear cactus is just as simple as propagating it. Even though cacti are often associated with hot climates, Opuntia species can be found naturally growing in some places of Canada! This cactus is among the hardiest on the planet, enduring continuous temperatures well below freezing. You shouldn’t have any trouble maintaining your new plants once they’ve been propagated outside in full sunlight.
How much time does it take prickly pear cuttings to root?
Growing prickly pears is simple. Once planted, they can thrive on rainfall and require well-drained soil. The plant has to be watered every two to three weeks while it is rooted. Consider the size the cactus will reach when selecting one, and plant it far from walkways and other places where people will come in contact with it. A warm, dry climate is necessary for successful prickly pear cultivation.
Prickly pears are simple to grow in your own garden. Quick and easy propagation from pads is possible. In reality, the pads are flattened, specialized stems. Six-month-old pads are taken out of the plant and placed in a dry location to allow the cut end to develop a callus for a few weeks. For prickly pear pad planting, a soil and sand mixture should be used in equal parts. Within a few months, the pad will develop roots. It need assistance at this time and shouldn’t be watered. After the pad is able to stand upright, it can be watered.
How are prickly pears sprouted?
Choosing a location for your cactus to grow is the first step in growing prickly pear cactus. Both containers and the ground can be used to grow prickly pears. Choose a succulent and cactus mix for your soil if you’re growing in a container, and make sure the container has drainage holes. Start by adding a layer of pebbles to the bottom of the container for improved drainage. When growing prickly pears in containers, you must transfer them anytime the cactus becomes root-bound into larger pots.
Opuntia cactus can grow in less-than-ideal soil, but they favor well-draining, sandy or loamy soil and may not thrive in some coastal Southern California areas with thick clay soil unless the soil is improved with drainage amendments. Consider adding some peat moss or sand to your soil mix if you are working with thick, clay soil that drains slowly and absorbs moisture. This will help the soil’s structure.
You must choose how you want to start your cactus after determining whether it will grow in the ground or in a container. Starting from seed, growing from a cutting, or buying a young plant at a nursery nearby are your three possibilities for doing this.
The simplest option to get started is to buy a young plant at a nursery; all that’s needed to do is move your cactus to a sunny location with well-draining soil. Established plants can tolerate all-day direct sunlight and little water. Prickly pears should be transplanted in the spring, but if you live in Southern California’s dry, arid region, you should be able to do so at any time of the year.
Growing Prickly Pear Cactus for Cuttings
The simplest method for starting your own cactus is by propagation using a cutting. You must first gather your cutting, which you can do by foraging or by contacting someone who already has a mature plant. Pick a healthy pad, hold it with gloves on, and cut it free from the plant by cutting above the point where it connects to the plant. Avoid cutting into the plant below the area where the pad is attached because this could harm the plant.
Once the amount of pads you want to multiply has been trimmed, spread them out in a dry, shaded place far from kids and animals. To allow the cut to heal and develop a callus, leave them outside for about a week. Then, to assist the pad stand upright, bury the callused end of the pad one to two inches deep in a container. You can use small rocks to support it if it is teetering or tumbling over, which is a problem.
Before moving your cactus into your garden, it is advisable to let it grow in the container for about a year. This will enable you to have more control over the growing environment, allowing the plant to establish itself and begin to flourish. The majority of the year, you can bring the planted pad outside as soon as it is planted, however you may want to keep it out of the mid-afternoon sun until it starts to establish. Keep your opuntia indoors till spring if you reside somewhere with exceptionally harsh winters.
Early on, your cactus will need a little more water, so when the soil starts to dry out, water it by about an inch. At initially, you might just need to do this once or twice per week. Once you notice new growth, your cactus is considered established. At this point, you can cut back on watering to roughly a quarter inch of water each week in the summer and a quarter inch every other week in the winter.
After your plant becomes established, you can relocate it to its permanent home because it can withstand full sun all day.
Growing Prickly Pear Cactus from Seeds
It is possible to grow prickly pear cactus from seeds, although the process is more time-consuming and labor-intensive. Although it is considerably simpler and more practical to grow your cactus from a cutting, here are some recommendations to get you going if cuttings are not readily accessible or you prefer to grow from seeds.
You must first obtain the prickly pear cactus seeds. You can get seeds from prickly pear fruit, buy them online or in some nurseries, or both. If you pick them from fruit, make sure all bits of the fruit are entirely removed before drying them up and planting them.
One seed should be placed in each little pot or portion of the seed tray after the succulent and cactus mix has been added to the container or tray. Opuntia seeds should not be pushed too far into the soil because they need sunshine to sprout. To promote germination, place your pots on a sunny windowsill or beneath grow lights.
As you wait for them to germinate, keep the soil moist but not damp. Once you have seedlings, keep an eye on their color to see whether they want more or less light. Move them to an area with more sunlight if they appear yellow. They require a location with less light if they appear red or brown. If they are green, they are content with their surroundings.
Your seeds can grow in the pot they are planted in until they outgrow it if you start them in containers. Before transferring them from seed trays to pots to continue growing, check sure they are mature and healthy.
General Tips for Growing Opuntia Cactus
Pruning your prickly pear cactus is only necessary to remove damaged pads. These cacti don’t need fertilizer either, but you can promote the health and development of young plants with a monthly application of 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer. Use a 5-10-10 or a 0-10-10 fertilizer to promote the growth of more flowers and fruits.
How are prickly pear puppies reproduced?
It’s time to pot up offsets from cacti after removing them and letting them callus. The ideal medium is grippy and well-draining. You can buy cactus mixes or make your own by mixing 50 percent peat or compost with 50 percent pumice or perlite.
Cuttings only require a pot that is slightly larger than their base diameter. In order to prevent the offset from toppling over, cover one-third to one-half of the base with the medium. Keep the medium mildly moist and place the pup in indirect but bright sunlight.
Although some cacti can take months to root, most do so in four to six weeks. By observing any fresh green growth, which shows that the roots have taken hold and the plantlet is receiving nutrients and water, you may determine when it has rooted.