Where To Buy Spineless Cactus

The spineless prickly pear is a kind of evergreen cactus that isn’t armed and dangerous like other prickly pear cacti. An Ellisiana cactus might be the right plant for you if you’re seeking for a succulent that resembles a cactus but lacks long, pointed spines.

The absence of spines is just one of many alluring qualities offered by the plant, according to material on spineless prickly pears. It produces sizable, bright yellow blooms in the summer that draw hummingbirds. Additionally, it makes bright red fruits known as tunas.

What is the name of the spineless cactus?

The terms “spineless cactus” typically refer to several variations and hybrids of Opuntia with scientific names like O. boldinghii, O. gosseliniana, and O. nuda. Many cactus species, such as Lophophora and Astrophytum, lack obvious spines.

Opuntia species, often known as flat cacti, thornless cacti, and spineless prickly pear cacti, feature distinctive branching pad-like stems that are studded with sharp spines and glochids (barbed bristles). The name comes from the fruit’s appearance, which resembles a pear but is covered in prickles.

By breeding and growing O. ficus-indica and O. tuna, renowned plant breeder Luther Burbank created hybrids in the early 1900s that were meant to increase food production and improve cactus flowers (1).

All of the over 60 types that were created had no spines, which led to the genus of cactus being known as the Spineless Cactus becoming well-known.

How are spineless cacti grown?

Despite their difficult past, spineless prickly pears are still in existence and are a suitable source of nutrition for both people and animals. In contrast to a larger planting, which can be a fantastic source of drought-tolerant fodder or yield a commercial quantity of fruits and pads, a single specimen can produce enough pads and fruit for the table.

preparing the soil and planting. The optimal conditions for spineless cacti growth are sunny, warm summers and mild, dry winters with an average annual rainfall of 12 to 24 inches. Many can endure temperatures as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit, and some cultivars can.

Although you can start the cacti from seeds, using cuttings from the pads, which rapidly take root, is considerably simpler. The spring or summer are the best seasons to start spineless cactus outside, though you can start them at any time in a greenhouse. Cactus pads without spines can be taken from an existing plant or purchased from a nursery (don’t worry, they are no longer fake). Ask around to see whether a friend or neighborhood gardener might be able to give you a cutting if you’re having difficulties finding one. Choose fresh, green pads that are at least six months old if you’re taking pads from an established plant. Even if the cactus don’t have sharp spines, they may still contain little glochids that can be a pain. When handling the cacti, use gloves and long sleeves. (The plant produces microscopic bristles that resemble hairs called glochids.) Cut pads off at the base, where they connect to the parent plant, using a clean, sharp knife. So that they develop a callus on the cut end, allow cuttings to cure for several weeks in a shaded, well-ventilated place.

Although they can be cultivated in a variety of soil types, spineless cactus should not be planted in thick clay or damp soil. Choose a sunny location with loose or loamy soil that drains well if at all possible. Before planting, clear the area of any weeds and cultivate the soil to a depth of 20 inches. Apply fresh compost or manure that has been composted to the soil.

Place pads upright so that the soil covers one-third of the pad. To help protect young cuttings from the noon sun while they receive the more favorable morning and evening rays, orient the slender side north to south. A stake or a few stones might be used to support the cuttings. When planting many plants, line them up in rows that go from north to south. Depending on how much time you want to spend caring for your plants, you can adjust how far apart you space the cuttings. Because there are more fertile pads concentrated in one location, spacing them closely together will provide much better yields, but the plants will need more attention. Predict 313 feet between pads and 13 feet between rows in general. Place your plants farther apart if you don’t want to prune them frequently. After several months, the cacti will begin to develop pads that can be harvested; flowers and fruit will follow in two to three years.

Watering. The cuttings won’t require immediate watering because they will use the moisture they already contain to grow after they are planted. Only water the pads once they have developed roots and can stand upright without assistance, which should happen about a month after planting. Once established, spineless cactus can survive only on rain, though regular watering will increase the amount of pads and fruit they produce. In the summer, water every two weeks, and once a month the rest of the year. In between waterings, let the soil to dry. Spineless cactus may withstand considerable amounts of water if there is proper drainage.

Fertilizing. If you’re cultivating your spineless cacti for fruit, fertilize them once a month all year long with a 0-10-10 fertilizer. Productivity will rise as a result. Additionally, organic fertilizers like manure or compost work well for the plants. When the plants are cultivated for pads rather than fruit, organic fertilizers are frequently employed. Apply an organic fertilizer every other year if you’re using one. Plan your fertilizer application to coincide with anticipated rainfall because water makes nutrients more accessible.

thinning and pruning. Pruning your spineless cacti will help them grow as much as possible, control pests and illnesses, and produce more fruit. In general, the more pruning you need to do, the closer the plants are to one another. Maintain a stable balance between 1-year-old pads (for fruit and flowers) and 2-year-old pads to ensure a steady supply of both new pads and fruit (for new pad growth). Pruning best practices include leaving no more than two new pads on a parent pad. Prune 1-year-old pads that have new growth, as well as 2-year-old pads without new development. To prevent the spread of fungus and infections, prune only when the temperature is high enough for the cuts to dry rapidly. Always clean and sanitize your pruning equipment as well.

Your cactus will also benefit from “training,” or selective trimming, to preserve a particular shape throughout the first two years of growth. To accomplish this, prune any pads that are developing downward or horizontally, inward, or that are growing close to the ground. To facilitate the distribution of light and for simplicity of administration, cacti are frequently pruned to take the appearance of a pyramid or globe with three or four main stems.

Spineless cactus can live for a very long time, but 25 to 30 years after planting, they will start to produce less. With careful pruning, older cacti can be revitalized. Cut them down to a height of 1 to 2 feet to accomplish this, taking out any growth that is 4 to 5 years old or more recent. After two to three years, the plants will begin to yield an abundance of fruit and pads.

To promote larger and more consistent fruit on your cactus, you’ll also need to thin the existing fruit. 10 to 20 days after blossoming is the ideal time to carry out this task. Remove the larger fruitlings from the pad while attempting to leave the smaller ones. When there are 9 to 12 fruits per pad, the fruits grow the best.

Weeding. Regular weeding will ensure a larger crop of pads and fruit even though it is not required. If you don’t weed around them, the roots of spineless cactus will eventually compete with most weeds for nutrition and moisture.

Can you eat cacti without spines?

For smallholder farmers in the drylands, this spineless, edible cactus is a highly interesting plant. Growing in dry locations requires the least amount of water and is simple from vegetative paddles. can be applied to reduce erosion and fight desertification. a lovely plant that produces fruit and pads as well as forage for livestock.

Are prickly pears with no spine indeed without any?

Almost spineless, but handle pads gently; no glochids on the pads; round, gray-green, tinged with purple pads; bright yellow blooms in spring.

Is the prickly pear cactus without spines invasive?

An invasive species is the prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica). It has almost no predators and known methods to destroy it are expensive because of its strong spines.

Opuntia ficus-indica var.inermis, on the other hand, is a widely grown plant in Central and South America and is edible to both humans and animals.

As a result, generalizing that the prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) is a noxious invasive species is unfair to its edible and decorative spineless version. Additionally, prickly pear can be utilized to create an intriguing biofuel.

Do Fishbone cacti have spines?

How can I adore it? The fishbone or zigzag cactus, also known as Epiphyllum anguliger, is a lively, non-spiky plant that will bring movement to your home and is also non-toxic to people and pets.

Luminous or shady It prefers the shade, with only a few hours of sunlight each day, like many epiphytes do. To encourage it to produce blossoms, move it to a location that will receive some full sun in the late summer and early fall (but not during the hottest part of the day).

What position should I use? At any time of day, stay away from windowsills that are directly in the sun. Put it on a bookshelf next to a window for some bright indirect light, or hang it in a holder from the ceiling between 50 cm and 1 m away from a bright window.

How can I maintain its life? It needs free-draining soil, much like all cacti, in order to prevent root rot and to let the soil entirely dry out in between waterings. You should fertilize and water your fishbone cactus once per week from April through September; from October through March, you shouldn’t feed it and should only water it every four to six weeks.

Have you heard? In the late summer, it may bloom with sweet white flowers before bearing a fruit that resembles a gooseberry and is edible.

Take a cutting

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.

How should a spineless cactus be cared for?

Luther Burbank introduced more than 60 different types of spineless cacti between 1907 and 1925. They came in two main varieties: fruiting varieties, grown for their colorful and flavorful prickly pears, and forage varieties, grown for their edible pads (properly called thalli), which could be fed raw to livestock or cooked for human consumption. These hybrids were primarily made from the Indian fig (Opuntia ficus-indica) and Mexican prickly pear (Opuntia tuna) varieties.

The pads should be planted upright, with the lowest part of each pad buried in sandy, well-drained soil. If required, short sticks can be used to support the pads as you firm the ground to keep them in place. Until the pads have established, place them in a warm, sunny location and shield them from extremely hot sunshine. Water the pads just when fresh green growth begins to appear; after that, water very sparingly and deeply, allowing the soil to completely dry between applications. There should be no need for fertilizer. While plants can be kept in containers for approximately a year, they ultimately need to have lots of outside, in-ground area to flourish. Strong frosts have the potential to harm young plants, however established examples are quite cold tolerant.

Wooden skeletons can be used to build houses, make rustic furniture, and create souvenirs like fans and other objects.

  • can be utilized as a source of food and water for poultry and livestock
  • can be used in place of a hot water bottle.
  • being soaked in water, they exude viscous liquid that speeds up the healing of wounds and bruises. They can be split apart and applied as poultices to reduce inflammation.
  • can be utilized to create candles
  • similar to petroleum, can be placed on water to suffocate mosquito larvae (lasts up to a year, according to tests in central Africa, reported in Scientific American, 1911)
  • can be boiled down to create mucilage, or mixed with mortar or whitewash to make it more durable (increases stickiness)
  • similar to how eggplant is fried and cooked
  • are mucilaginous, similar to okra, and when prepared with seafood, pig, and eggs after being boiled with garlic and onions, they can be minced. They can also be spiced with chopped tomatoes, chillies, or coriander.
  • can be pickled using seasonings
  • can be dried and pulped for use later.
  • can be served with lemon juice and eaten cold or raw.
  • can be prepared into preserves like apple butter and jams.
  • can be fermented into a drink called “coloncha” or cooked down into a dark red or black paste called “mile coacha.”
  • can be dried for later use or transformed into flour to make “queso de tuna,” which are tiny sweet cakes.