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Opuntia

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by jsheffield, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member

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    I ordered some fresh opuntia pads from Amazon, and they arrived this afternoon ... my plan is to plant a few of the nicest ones.

    Tonight, I diced one of the smaller ones into tiny cubes for Darwin, and as soon as I dumped them into his bowl, he charged out of the hides and started scarfing pieces of cactus down like he was starving ... he's not.

    He seems to really like it.

    Jamie
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  2. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    I planted some this past summer and it took off. However, my Redfoot won't eat it. So now I have a cactus patch in the backyard to stare at. I do get him to eat it sometimes by chopping it up real fine with other stuff. If you have a Hispanic grocery store near you they usually sell fresh ones there too.
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  3. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member

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    How do you plant/grow it?

    Is it as simple as sticking the raw end in dirt?

    Thanks,

    Jamie
  4. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    Ya it's that easy. Your suppose to plant them upright. I didn't know and I even threw a few pads down flat and they still grew that way.
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  5. daniellenc

    daniellenc Well-Known Member

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    Lmao you planted them flat hehe. Thank goodness cactus is hardy and funny your RF doesn’t like it. Neither does Skurt. He uses his front legs to vigorously wipe his mouth every time I sneak it in.
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  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Let the cut end scar over for a week or two. Plant it in cactus soil, not regular soil. Add sand to regular soil if that is all you've got. Don't water it for at least one month. Put it in window where it will get the most full sun and heat. It probably won't grow much until spring, but some of them just sprout new pads any time of year.
  7. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks Tom. I’ll give it a try but more often than not this time of year, here in Oregon we don’t get much, “hot” sun. LOL.
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  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    No sunny windows? Is it overcast all winter long?
  9. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    48” of rain on average each year. Not all in one day but most winter days. Today bright sunshine and a high of 40° or so.
  10. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If your green thumb is brown, consider the dehydrated Cactus Chips I produce. https://kapidolofarms.com/161-2/ They are well accepted by tortoises, have at least a one year shelf life, and the 8 ounce quantity is about as much as a five pounds of fresh.
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  11. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member

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    I planted the pads I haven't chopped up for Darwin's food ... hoping they take root and start producing in the coming months.

    Jamie
  12. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Tom ,
    I lack sand here. I won’t have any until we get our heavy rains and surface flooding bags of sand from the county. I do have a supply of small, crushed pumice I use with my bonsai soil. Figure this will work? Trust me this is no hopped up soil. Think bonsai =slow.
  13. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    What about reptile sand? Would that work?
  14. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If y’all are thinkin that repti-sand I’d say no. Isn’t that a calci-sand?
  15. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    I think so, but I don't know the name of the sand these pet shops carry that is just regular sand. Home depot, lows, and Menards I think have play sand cheap. Not sure if that would work either.
  16. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    That’s the sand I’d be thinking he’s talking about. Cheap free sand. Nothing you’d buy.
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I wish I knew that answer Ken, but I've got no experience with pumice. In the past I've mixed in the regular "play sand" from Home Depot for starting pads in pots, and that worked fine for me. I'll bet that like so many things, there is more than one way to skin this cat. You could always try planting a few pads in whatever regular potting soil you've got and see what happens. Worse case: If the soil retains too much moisture, the pads may rot at ground level. Many people water their pads and also use regular soil and don't have this problem. You could always give it a try and see.

    As you know, I plant all of mine outside, and for years, I've just been digging a hole, making a basin, and sticking the pad straight into the native "soil", aka: "dirt" here. My biggest problem has been keeping the rabbits, gophers and ground squirrels off of it until it gets going. Most of the areas that I've planted them don't have a high sand content to the dirt. Your milage may vary.
  18. daniellenc

    daniellenc Well-Known Member

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    I planted mine with a sand soil mix to start last winter indoors. They lived but didn’t grow much. Then last spring I moved them outdoors and lost almost all of them due to the wet spring/summer we had in Maryland. A few took off though and are there now. We’ll see how they deal with frost this winter lol. Because my guy really doesn’t love cactus I just buy a pad every few months to mix in. Sometimes its eaten but other times it’s ignored.
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  19. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    I have heavy clay soil and I don't add any sand. There are many, many species of cacti growing here on my property. The trick is how you water. Water once and let the soil dry out before you water again. Don't over water and plenty of sun.
  20. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

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    You can buy a cactus potting mix at the nursery.
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