Prickly Pear Cactus Propagation

DawnH

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View attachment 133055

These were all started by just sticking a large pad about 1/3rd of the way in the ground and forgetting about them. Optunia without thorns.

They've been in ground about 9 mos.

Wow - I am so glad to see this. I have been worried about babying these (making sure I plant them right) and this gives me a bit more confidence!
 

Pearly

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Wow - I am so glad to see this. I have been worried about babying these (making sure I plant them right) and this gives me a bit more confidence!
Hi, just found this thread. I'm in Central Texas and Prickly Pear cactus grow like weeds all over. I have the spineless variety in my garden that I started from just couple of pads 16-17 yrs ago and the thing grew so big in my least controlled part of a garden that I had to seriously reduce it by breaking off huge branches. I piled the broken off branches on the ground where they were out of view and didn't have the time to get to them (to dispose of them) for several weeks. They all sprouted bunches of healthy looking roots! No one around here seemed to be needing/wanting them in their lanscape so I ended up throwing them out. It made me sad though to trash perfectly healthy, strong plants. I wish I knew back then to look for some tortoise lovers to give those away to
 

DawnH

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Hi, just found this thread. I'm in Central Texas and Prickly Pear cactus grow like weeds all over. I have the spineless variety in my garden that I started from just couple of pads 16-17 yrs ago and the thing grew so big in my least controlled part of a garden that I had to seriously reduce it by breaking off huge branches. I piled the broken off branches on the ground where they were out of view and didn't have the time to get to them (to dispose of them) for several weeks. They all sprouted bunches of healthy looking roots! No one around here seemed to be needing/wanting them in their lanscape so I ended up throwing them out. It made me sad though to trash perfectly healthy, strong plants. I wish I knew back then to look for some tortoise lovers to give those away to
GAH!! I don't want to hear this...LOL. :) I have heard quite a few people say how they have ran them over with mowers and they just pop back up. We had them growing as a child... STILL looking for some locally!!
 

Pearly

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GAH!! I don't want to hear this...LOL. :) I have heard quite a few people say how they have ran them over with mowers and they just pop back up. We had them growing as a child... STILL looking for some locally!!
You don't have them in your area? Guess you guys get a lot more humidity than we do in Austin area. The wild prickly pear here is the thorny one and it plagued the ranchers pastures, they hate it! It is quite beautiful in a Spring when they put out those gorgeous "yellow roses". The flowers are so bright and showy, just stunning! Mine didn't bloom all the years I've had it. I thought it was just a nonblooming kind, but the stinker started blooming this spring. Same "yellow rose" type of flower like her thorny cousin. Mine is supposed to be spineless it looks that way until you touch the sucker with bare hands. It has those tiny short needles that embed in your hand and hurt like a devil. I burnt them off with a torch and keep a pad in my veggie crisper for the babies. They haven't taken interest in chewing on the slivers of it I put in there food, but they eat it blended with their greens, fruits, veggies, mazuri. If you ever come this way, we'll dig you up a couple of old stems
 

Anyfoot

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Prickly Pear Cactus Propagation View attachment 92899 View attachment 92900

From a very old cactus, cut a pad that is at least six months old, the older the pad the faster you will get new pads, flowers and fruit. Allow the cut part of the the pad to form a callous. This will take a week or two in warm weather but longer when the air is moist. Be sure to allow more time rather than less, to avoid rot. Sit the pad upright while it forms callous so that it will not curl.
When planting the pad, settle it upright only about an inch deep in a mixture of equal parts of soil and sand. We have found that any soil that drains well works fine. Planting the pad too deeply will encourage rot. Water the pad. Let the soil dry between future waterings. Wait several months before beginning to harvest either pads or fruit, or future harvests will lessened. Generally, the second or third pad to form will bear flowers and fruit, but a pad from an older plant may flower and set fruit sooner than a section from a younger, immature pad.
Remember to plant the oldest pad that you can find. The pads from the grocery store are harvested for human consumption and are young and tender and aren't old enough.
If you prefer more flowers and fruits, give the plants a no-nitrogen fertilizer once a month, even through the winter. During this dormant period, the plants require a bright situation and enough water only to keep the pads from shriveling. The cactus will bloom and set fruit from early spring through the summer, depending on the variety. Each pad can support numerous flowers, each yielding one fruit. Up to 30 blooms have been counted on mature pads, but 8 to 16 is a good number to allow for development of good-sized fruits. The fruits are ripe enough to harvest when the glochids fall off. Twist, rather than pull, the fruit from the pad to avoid tearing it.
These pads were harvested from a plant that is over 30 years old.
These were planted in May 2014.


Sent from Rodney Earl Pettway's iPad using TortForum
Hi there. Just brought some pads back from Spain. I've read your post and now think I know what I'm doing.
I had to rip these off the plant, does that matter or do I need to cut them before planting?

Thanks and great thread.
 

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Tort Love

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Prickly Pear Cactus Propagation View attachment 92899 View attachment 92900

From a very old cactus, cut a pad that is at least six months old, the older the pad the faster you will get new pads, flowers and fruit. Allow the cut part of the the pad to form a callous. This will take a week or two in warm weather but longer when the air is moist. Be sure to allow more time rather than less, to avoid rot. Sit the pad upright while it forms callous so that it will not curl.
When planting the pad, settle it upright only about an inch deep in a mixture of equal parts of soil and sand. We have found that any soil that drains well works fine. Planting the pad too deeply will encourage rot. Water the pad. Let the soil dry between future waterings. Wait several months before beginning to harvest either pads or fruit, or future harvests will lessened. Generally, the second or third pad to form will bear flowers and fruit, but a pad from an older plant may flower and set fruit sooner than a section from a younger, immature pad.
Remember to plant the oldest pad that you can find. The pads from the grocery store are harvested for human consumption and are young and tender and aren't old enough.
If you prefer more flowers and fruits, give the plants a no-nitrogen fertilizer once a month, even through the winter. During this dormant period, the plants require a bright situation and enough water only to keep the pads from shriveling. The cactus will bloom and set fruit from early spring through the summer, depending on the variety. Each pad can support numerous flowers, each yielding one fruit. Up to 30 blooms have been counted on mature pads, but 8 to 16 is a good number to allow for development of good-sized fruits. The fruits are ripe enough to harvest when the glochids fall off. Twist, rather than pull, the fruit from the pad to avoid tearing it.
These pads were harvested from a plant that is over 30 years old.
These were planted in May 2014.


Sent from Rodney Earl Pettway's iPad using TortForum
Thank you where can you get the pads can sulcatas eat the flowers and fruit
 

Tactical Tort

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Spotted these today, they are the first seedlings from one of my new hardy spine-less. They are from last years seeds, hopefully many more will pop up.

So cool! :D
Probably a stupid question BUT I'm going to ask anyways ;)
Where did you get seeds???????
 

Turtulas-Len

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So cool! :D
Probably a stupid question BUT I'm going to ask anyways ;)
Where did you get seeds???????
Not stupid, I usually find a pad or two of a different type of opuntia than the ones I grow already. If I'm lucky the pads will grow and survive our winter weather, and in a couple years will bloom and have viable seeds in the fruit. Then I plant the seeds in different manners at different depths to see what happens, and what works and what don't .These seeds were left in the fruit, cut open longways and just pushed into the soil with my finger very early this past spring.
 

Tactical Tort

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Not stupid, I usually find a pad or two of a different type of opuntia than the ones I grow already. If I'm lucky the pads will grow and survive our winter weather, and in a couple years will bloom and have viable seeds in the fruit. Then I plant the seeds in different manners at different depths to see what happens, and what works and what don't .These seeds were left in the fruit, cut open longways and just pushed into the soil with my finger very early this past spring.

Thanks! Very cool! My cactus haven't made it big enough to have fruit yet. I've cut the pads and replant to grow my herd of cactus plus feeding some. Seems smarter to wait for fruit and harvest/plant the fruit-seeds! Going to switch focus to the seeds! Thanks again for the info! May even snag some fruit from neighbors who have gladly given me access to their cactus just haven't taken them up on it. Yet..... ;)
Thanks again!
 
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