Where To Find Prickly Pear Cactus

Opuntia engelmannii, also known as the Englemann Prickly Pear Cactus, is a cactus that can be found in the Arizonan counties of Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai, and Yuma. It may grow between 1,000 and 8,000 feet above sea level.

Where can one find prickly pear cacti?

The Cactaceae (Cactus) family includes the eastern prickly pear. There are around 1,800 species in this family, all native to the New World with the possible exception of one or two. With over 150 species in the genus Opuntia, the prickly pears are regarded as an ancient subgroup of the cactus family. It can be found from New Mexico and Montana east to Florida and Massachusetts, and it has the broadest distribution of any American cactus. Additionally, Ontario has it. Eastern prickly pears can grow in a region in big colonies or as a few lone plants. It is frequently referred to as Opuntiacompressa in older botanical manuals.

This species is a typical cactus with a stalk that performs photosynthetic leaf function. Water is also kept in this stem. It can endure the subfreezing conditions of the northern and middle states thanks to specific antifreeze compounds in its cells. The stems, or pads as they are more commonly known, can range in size from 4 to 12 centimeters (1.5 to 5 inches) in width and 5 to 17 centimeters (2 to 7 inches) in length. Pads can be joined in a branching or linear pattern.

Typically, the plants stretch out on the ground and grow little taller than 19 inches (0.5 meters). Some shrub-like plants in Florida can grow up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall.

Areoles, which resemble little dots, are scattered throughout the pads. Each areole has glochids (tiny barbs that hurt and irritate the skin when inserted), and the middle of the areole may or may not have a spine. At the tip of newly formed or actively expanding pads, there may occasionally be a little green structure paired with each areole. These are genuine leaves, but they will soon disappear.

Early summer sees the production of flowers at the ends of the pads. They are typically yellow, although the center of them is frequently crimson to orange east of the Appalachian Mountains and on dunes. In contrast to some other species, including the Indian Fig, Opuntia ficus-indica, the flesh of the reddish fruits is edible but typically not very sweet.

This cactus typically grows on calcareous rock or thin soil in wide-open, arid environments. It grows in or on fencerows, roadsides, prairie, rocky glades, rock outcrops, cliffs, abandoned quarries, and dunes. Well-drained grounds are essential since the roots need to remain dry during the winter to avoid decay.

The best places to grow prickly pears are?

The house landscape should include drought-tolerant plants. In USDA plant hardiness zones 9 to 11, prickly pear plants make wonderful specimens for dry gardens. In colder regions, prickly pears can be grown in containers that can be brought indoors when the weather turns chilly. The easiest way to answer the question “How to grow prickly pear?” is to provide some background information about the plant.

Where can I acquire prickly pear cacti from the East?

In Indiana, such as the Kankakee Sands and the Lake Michigan shore dunes, the prickly pear cactus can be found in open sand and arid places. The arid sections and hilltops at The Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands restoration in Newton County provide ideal growing conditions for prickly pears.

How are prickly pears obtained?

Fruits that slimes can consume can be found across Far, Far Range’s vast landscape. Prickly pears are one such fruit that can be difficult to find. The Slime Rancher 0.6.0 update included the addition of the fruit.

The Glass Desert, often known as the end-game area in Slime Rancher, is where you can find the prickly pear. You will require a specific number of Plorts to enter the Ancient Ruins, which are located between the Moss Blanket and the Indigo Quarry, in order to get to the Glass Desert. The warp to the Glass Desert is near the end of the ruins, and entry to it requires five Quantum Plorts. You may find detailed instructions here.

Once in the Glass Desert, you can find the Prickly Pear on a variety of trees. Its fruit is oval in shape, purple, and has a few short, green spikes protruding from it. Dervish slimes, which can only be found in the Glass Desert, prefer the prickly pear. These purple slimes can create cyclones that suck up anything in their path and are typically found riding atop whirlwinds. Turbines and generators may receive an energy boost from the plorts in these slimes.

Is California the home of the prickly pear?

Chaparral pricklypear is the popular name for the prickly pear cactus species Opuntia oricola. It is indigenous to Baja California and southern California, where it thrives in chaparral and coastal sage scrub environments. Large, tree-like Opuntia oricola cacti can grow up to 2 meters tall. Up to 25 centimeter-long spherical, flat segments make up the branches. It has clusters of curled, yellowish spines all over it that are typically 2 cm long. Opuntia oricola is a large, cactus-like plant.

Are prickly pears toxic?

The Prickly Pear, Peyote, San Pedro, Echinopsis Peruviana, Saguaro, Barrel, Euphorbia canariensis, and Cholla cacti are among the most lethal cacti.

Can a prickly pear cactus be grown indoors?

A few criteria must be met in order for the prickly pear cactus to flourish and grow healthily when grown indoors in containers. Prickly pear cacti prefer warm, humid environments and direct, bright light indoors. It is best to have a window that faces south or west. Keep the prickly pear cactus away from radiators, fans, and other direct heat sources as well as drafts that could change the temperature.

Because prickly pear cacti enjoy warm climates, they can be cultivated both indoors and in heated greenhouses or conservatories. The plant can be carried outside to a sunny, warm patio or deck in the summer and thrives with 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight. When the autumnal weather start to dip off, be sure to bring the plants back inside because they are not frost-resistant.

Can the fruit be used to grow prickly pears?

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.

Is the prickly pear cactus healthy?

Although it may be too soon to label prickly pear cactus as a superfood, it can still be included in a balanced diet. It contains lots of fiber, carotenoids, and antioxidants. Prickly pear cactus is in fact well-liked throughout the world, especially in Latin America where it is a native plant.

Is the prickly pear cactus edible raw?

Mexican food features a lot of cacti and their fruits. The broad, flat cactus pads, also known as “nopales,” are a common ingredient in many main dishes in Mexico, including salads, eggs, and other cuisines. The cactus fruit, sometimes known as “prickly pears,” is extremely delicious and can be consumed straight from the plant. They can be mildly sweet or syrupy sweet, depending on the degree of ripeness.


Prickly pears don’t need to be pruned, but they can be trimmed back. To keep the pads’ size and shape, take out individual ones as necessary. Holding the pad in place with tongs, cut it off at the junction or line where it attaches to the following pad. Pads can be calloused off and shared with pals or planted somewhere else. Find out more about propagation below.

Amendments & Fertilizer:

Young plants should be fertilized with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. A water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 5-10-10 or even 0-10-10 can encourage more flowers and fruit in established plants. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer if you’re growing for the pads.


Prickly pears can withstand severe droughts. For the first month, don’t water newly propagated pads. After that, water during the first year every two to four weeks—twice a month in the summer and once a month throughout the other seasons. Rainfall will usually be sufficient to keep established plants alive. When there is a drought, you can supplement with the twice-monthly/once-monthly seasonal schedule.

off a pad pruning, a new prickly pear plant has grown. Selma Jacquet/Alamy Stock Photo provided the image.


Since seeds grow slowly at first, it can take your plant three to four years to begin blooming and bearing fruit. The seeds should be maintained moist until they begin to sprout since they require shade.

Pad propagation is considerably easier and produces results more quickly. This is how:

  • By according to the above pruning rules, you can take off pads that are at least six months old.
  • The cut end of the pads should create a callus if they are left to dry out in a spot with some light shade. This can take two to four weeks in warm, dry weather, but it may take longer under cool or humid conditions. It prevents the new plant from decomposing at the base.
  • Plant pads at a depth of 1 inch in a mixture of half soil and half sand once they have fully calloused over. Your plant could rot if it were buried any deeper.
  • For the first month, don’t water it because the pad already has enough moisture to survive.
  • Until roots develop during the course of the following month, support it with rocks or another type of structure. Your plant should be able to stand on its own after a month, but if it’s still a little unsteady, keep providing support.
  • You can water it at this time and follow the previous watering instructions, just make sure to let it totally dry between waterings.

Flowers and fruit normally start to appear on young plants by the second or third growing pad.