Propagated Opuntia Plant
This genus is often known as 'Prickly Pears' and they range in habitat throughout most of the Americas. Many varieties produce large branching mounds four or five feet high, and some sprawl out along the ground in long chains of pear shaped pads. These varieties have been and are still often used and food and for medical purposes. Their flower colors are mostly yellows, but also range through magentas, oranges and reds and sometimes green. They have some of the most impressive flowers, but the plants need lots of space to grow in and receive plenty of direct sun before they are willing to bloom. They tolerate cool weather very well and are best set outdoors in the growing seasons to get full sun. They need to have plenty of water in the spring when they are growing and will tolerate heavy rain all summer long. In the fall they begin to shrink and lower their pads close to the ground to make themselves ready for the winter. It is best to keep them cool and dry all winter long until they are ready to grow again in the spring.
Note, there are a few species exceptions to the requirement for dry winters. The fragilis offered for sale on this page are species that tolerate very wet conditions in all seasons including winter.
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