How Big Do Bunny Ear Cactus Get

A Cactaceae plant is the rabbit ear cactus (Opuntia microdasys). It can be recognized by its segmented pads, which have bristly hairs on them known as glochids and resemble bunny ears. Native to dry regions of northern Mexico, the rabbit ear cactus matures at a height of 16 to 24 inches. The rabbit ear cactus, a relative of the prickly pear cactus, is also known as the polka-dot cactus and angel’s wings.

The growth rate of the bunny ear cactus.

These succulents have barbs (spines) that are finer than human hair and can separate from the pad with just the slightest pressure. These cacti grow slowly and require between 10 and 20 years to reach their full height.

Can you grow bunny ears cacti inside?

As with most succulents, a pad removed from the cactus can be used to start new rabbit ears plants. When removing a leaf, proceed with the utmost care because the glochids are prone to dislodging and are challenging to remove from the skin.

Pick up the pad with newspaper or heavy gloves. Insert into the cactus soil after allowing the end to callus for a few days. For cultivating bunny ears cactus, use a quality cactus mix or create your own by mixing potting soil, sand, and peat moss in equal parts. Usually, the pad takes a few weeks to root.

For indoor use, bunny ears cactus needs a container with good drainage. The primary killer of these plants, excess moisture, can evaporate in an unglazed clay container. Although they can also be grown outdoors, they are only hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11.

Do I need to prune my rabbit ear cactus?

The dry deserts of Mexico and Arizona are where bunny ears cactus were first discovered. They prefer these circumstances to be recreated when it comes to humidity and won’t thrive in areas with a lot of prevailing wetness.

Houseplants that enjoy wetness should be kept away from your cactus because they demand extremely different humidity levels. Using a dehumidifier in your “cactus room” can be a good idea if your house tends to get extremely humid.

Fertilizer

Only during the growing season do you need to fertilize your bunny ears cactus. To feed your plant, dilute a cactus fertilizer in the water every other time you water it.

Your bunny ears cactus needs very little water, and the roots can be very delicate.

I advise utilizing liquid fertilizer that has been diluted to half or a fourth of the advised strength. Fertilizer accumulation in the soil from infrequent watering can burn the roots.

Don’t fertilize your bunny ears cactus throughout the winter or for a month following repotting.

Repotting

The bunny ears cactus grows slowly in general. To promote fresh growth, they just require repottering every few years. When the bloom has faded by late summer, repot the cactus.

Repotting them is simple, but you should handle the pads with extra caution. To avoid touching the sharp needles, wrap the pads with many sheets of newspaper or heavy gardening gloves.

Never water right away after repotting (totally counter-intuitive, I know). The ideal time to water for the first time should be after around a week.

To avoid overwhelming the root system, repot into a container that is only marginally bigger than the original. Make sure the pot has adequate drainage holes and is filled with a sand-heavy soil mixture.

Pruning

No pruning is necessary if your bunny ears cactus is still in good health. Rarely, excessive watering may cause the base stem to develop some mushy areas. It will be impossible to prune the damage away because it is the base.

Instead, you can save the plant by removing all of the sound, completely developed pads so they can grow into new plants.

Make sure to follow along since growing bunny ears cactus differs greatly from growing other types of indoor plants. Any completely developed pad can be multiplied and ought to have its ends trimmed off in the summer.

To avoid touching the pad directly, cover it with a newspaper or a pair of thick gardening gloves.

The first step is to cut away a pad from the cactus using a sharp, clean knife. Clean up your cut so the plant will heal quickly.

For a few days, until the wound has healed, leave the pad you just removed in a bright location on a clean surface, such as a plate or newspaper.

The next step is to place the cactus pad into the proper cactus potting mix and bury the end approximately 1 inch deep. The pad should develop roots and get established in its new container over the coming weeks.

If you put numerous cuttings in the same pot, the success rate of propagating pads will be increased. To promote a strong root system, give the plant a week to rest before watering regularly for the first year.

Blooms

Rarely, a bunny ears cactus will begin to produce buds in the late spring from the tips of completely developed pads.

These buds will blossom into stunning 2-inch creamy flowers in the early summer. A spherical, purple fruit will replace it once it blooms. The fruit looks like a prickly pear but has far less sugar, making it tasteless.

Why is the cactus on my rabbit ear getting long and skinny?

Regarding the bunny ear cactus’ thin offshoots That is etiolation brought on by darkness. Consider moving the cactus back outside where it may receive several hours of direct sunshine each day during the summer if the window is too dark. The cactus is renowned for its devotion and submission.

Common Problems of Bunny Ears Cactus

Overwatered

A Bunny Ears cactus that has been overwatered will typically begin to wilt, shrink, droop downward sharply, develop brown spots, and, if left in the damp for too long, may even develop root rot. Therefore, once you realize that your Bunny Ears are already drowning from too much water, stop watering it for a bit until the soil feels fully dry. &nbsp

The best thing to do is to make sure the soil you are using for your Bunny Ears drains. It’s likely that the soil can no longer drain the water quickly or effectively enough to keep water from pooling too long around your cactus. &nbsp

Underwatered

A Bunny Ear Cactus may droop or get shriveled as a result of dehydration. But unlike a cactus that is overwatered, this one can dry out and finally die if it is not given enough water. Just keep in mind that despite being a cactus, this plant still need occasional hydration, especially if you notice that the soil is getting close to being completely dry.

Again, though, saving an underwatered Bunny Ears is simpler than saving an overwatered one because you only need to give it a big drink repeatedly until it stands straight again rather than leaning.

Etiolation

Lack of exposure to light is another factor in the sagging, bending, or stretching out of a bunny ear cactus (or also known as etiolation).

A plant will typically start to literally stretch toward the closest light source if it doesn’t get all the light it needs each day.

Put your plant in a location where it can receive at least 6 hours of full to partial sunshine each day to prevent this from happening.

Pests

Unpleasant white spots on the cactus pads are typically a sign of bug issues. Bunny Ear is susceptible to pest infestations like mealybugs and aphids, which can cause this cactus to lose fluids, just like any other plant. If not stopped right away, these pests not only cause your plant to droop, wilt, or shrivel up, but they also have the potential to kill this cactus.

You can use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip to remove any pests you spot and then use neem oil to spray your cactus as a remedy. Additionally, it is advisable to keep the contaminated plant separate from your other plants during this period and then simply reposition it once the pests have disappeared.

Once more, Bunny Ear cactus are not frost-tolerant and susceptible to harm from the cold, which could cause them to droop or get wilted.

Bring your cacti inside as it starts to get really chilly outside, or even before that. Just be sure to give them the daily amount of sunlight they require, and keep them away from windows that are likely to freeze.

If your Bunny Ears are in the ground, you might choose to offer protection in instead of defense. Burlap, frost blankets, or bed sheets are all options for covering it.

Should my rabbit ear cactus be replanted?

Due of their simplicity of maintenance, bunny ear cacti are a favorite among novice gardeners. Use these procedures to plant a rabbit ear cactus, and use caution when touching the plant due to its thorns.

  • 1. Position your rabbit ear cactus in full sun. Make sure the cactus receives 14 hours or more of light per day. White fluorescent lights are an option if you don’t have access to the full sun in your home. Move your cactus to a location with only partial sunshine throughout the winter.
  • 2. Control the growth environment’s temperature. Keep the temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain the health of your bunny ear cactus. Frost is harmful to this cactus plant.
  • 3. Sow sand around your rabbit ear cactus. To aid the plant in retaining moisture and dripping away extra water, it is crucial to choose a sandy or loose potting soil mixture. You can use a potting mix that includes perlite and peat moss.
  • 4. Insert the bunny ear cactus into the clay pot. The extra water will be able to drain from a porous clay container with drainage holes, preventing mealybugs and root rot.
  • 5.Avoid watering the soil until it is totally dry. When the top inch of potting soil on your bunny ear plant feels dry, water it. Soak the potting soil mix completely, and then wait to water again until the soil is absolutely dry. Overwatering is sensitive to the rabbit ear cactus. In the winter, the cactus doesn’t require watering.
  • To promote development, pot your bunny ear cactus. As the roots of the bunny ear cactus expand the pot, it should be transplanted every year or two. Just before the plant’s growing season in the warmer months, repotte the plant.
  • 7. Keep pests away from your cactus. Mealybugs and scale insects are among the pests that could harm this succulent. If you notice an infestation, wipe your cactus with a cotton cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

If so, do they have flowers?

The majority of gardeners struggle to care for their expensive plants. The effect is that the succulents don’t thrive. The bunny ear cactus is the ideal indoor plant if you want something low maintenance that can survive neglect. It is a low-maintenance succulent that is attractive and suitable for beginners. This lovely type is a close relative of the prickly pear cactus and is indigenous to Northern Mexico. This comprehensive guide to the care and propagation of the bunny ear cactus includes repotting advice as well as other helpful information.

About Bunny Ear Cactus

Opuntia microdasys, often known as the bunny ear cactus, is a well-known species from the Cactaceae family that can reach heights of 2 to 3 feet (61-91 cm). It is distinguished by having large pads that resemble rabbit ears and are coated in small bristles. These cacti, also known as Angel’s wings or Polka-dot cacti, lack spines in favor of fluffy, whitish-brown glochids that are easily detachable from the pads. The pad-like stems can spread up to 3 inches and increase in height from 2 to 6 inches. Since they grow slowly, rabbit ear plants can take up to 20 years to reach their full height. One of the bunny-like succulents is Monilaria obconica, also known as Monilaria moniliformis. Despite having adorable nicknames, the Opuntia microdasys plant can be dangerous if safety measures are not performed. Therefore, it is best to use gloves when touching it and to plant your cactus in an area that is out of the way of your children and dogs.

Bunny Ear Cactus Flowering

Early spring is when the polka-dot cactus blooms. The plant blooms profusely once it is planted in the ground. Flowering is not frequently observed in plants cultivated in containers, though. Bunny ears produce 2 inch wide, creamy yellow flowers with a bowl shape. Red to purple fruits that are 2 inches long grow from the blossoms.

Bunny Ear Cactus Care

In arid environments with ample of sunlight and little watering, the bunny succulent thrives. Therefore, if you provide them dry, low-humidity circumstances, they will flourish magnificently.

Light Requirements

Sunlight is good for growing angel’s wings. Place your plant in a west or south-facing window if it is being cultivated indoors. A grow light with a white fluorescent tube can also be used for 14 to 16 hours per day. When growing succulents outside, make sure they receive 6 to 8 hours per day of bright, direct sunlight. The plant prefers a little bit of shade during the winter.

Watering

The drought-tolerant bunny ear cactus is adapted to receive less rainfall. The plant prefers routine irrigation while it is developing in the spring and summer. Between waterings, let the soil completely dry out. Overwatering can cause root rot.

Soil

Planting these cacti requires sandy, well-draining soil. A commercial cactus potting mix is an option. The suggested soil mixture aids in the plant’s ability to expel extra water. Furthermore, you can create your own soil mix by mixing normal potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand.

Temperature and Humidity

Succulent plants called bunny ears prefer warm, dry environments. It cannot tolerate frost and needs lower humidity levels to survive. This plant requires humidity levels between 10% and 30% and is hardy in zones 9a to 11b. Make sure the pot has drainage holes so you can drain any extra moisture. Make sure your cactus is growing actively in a temperature range of 70 to 100F. In addition, it can withstand temperatures as low as 50 to 65F.

Fertilizer

Frequently fertilizing the Opuntia microdasys plant is not necessary. For the plant to grow quickly, fertilizer additions made once a year during the growing season are sufficient. Be careful not to fertilize too frequently or during the dormant period.

Repotting

When the Bunny plant stops blooming at the end of the summer, you can repot it. Every one to two years, repotting should be done. Repotting your cactus should be done in a pot that is one to two inches larger than the previous one. In addition, handling the succulent is best done with covered hands or a piece of old fabric because the glochids can be painful. Give your plant a week to recover after repotting, then begin watering and position in direct sunlight. For a month, refrain from using fertilizer.