mtburt
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:33 am

Propagating prickly pear cactus

Hello everyone,

I have a beginner question. I'm interested in propagating a new prickly pear cactus from some pieces of a mature prickly pear I found on the ground during a walk today. I was doing some research on how to grow new plants from clippings and now I'm not sure if these parts will grow. It looks like I had a pad bud and the other is a pod (I've linked a picture below). I'm not sure if that's correct and/or if these parts will grow if I let them callus over and root them like any other succulent.

[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/1zydemc.jpg[/img]

If anyone knows if I'm gong to be wasting my time with these or any tips, I would appreciate it.

Thanks,

mtburt

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Kisal
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Location: Oregon

I've only propagated them from leaves (pads), which was very simple. Just be sure not to overwater the start. I make the potting mix wet, plant the cut end of the leaf, which has been allowed to dry for a day or two, just deep enough so it stays erect. Then water it again to eliminate any air pockets. After that, allow the soil to become quite dry before watering it again. :)

https://extension.colostate.edu/4DMG/Xeris/pearcact.htm
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

thanrose
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Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

Your best bet at this time would be to let the tuna, the egg shaped fruit, continue to mature on the kitchen counter, then slice it open and pull out any black seed to sow on barely damp sand.

The tiny bud will be dead by now, and the fruit itself will not grow roots as I recall. You'd need the pad or some part of it to have the right type of tissue to send out roots.

That said, I might give the base of the fruit a try on damp sand. It could have meristem cells that will sprout roots.

thanrose
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Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

Where are you mtburt? If you were in an area where Opuntia spp. are prolific, I guarantee people will roll on the floor and laugh at you when you ask if you can pluck a few pads from their pastures or lawns. Don't expect them to help you, but they'll be happy to see them go. Get your tetanus shots up to date first.

I know twenty places easily where I could scavenge pads and plants without anyone caring and maybe some applauding. I used to put on heavy workboots just to mow my lawn in St Augustine's piney woods, and I'd still have to pull the darn thorns out with pliers.

Just don't expect to get pieces of lovely or lonely specimens from maintained gardens. It takes a good while for them to grow so wide and lush.

mtburt
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:33 am

Sorry about disappearing for long. I didn't realize you don't get emails on subsequent posts, (I'll be sure to check more often!)

I'm in Oakland, CA. I don't see them everywhere, but you do run into them every now and then. Maybe my best bet would be to get a more mature pad to root.

Thanks for all the advice!

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Gary350
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Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Mix 50/50 potting soil with child play sand. Plant your cactus in the soil in a well drained pot or outside. Plant about 1/3 of your plant below the soil and keep it in full sun. I does not need much water a tiny squirt about once a week in dry weather. Your cactus should sprout roots in a week and make new growth within another week or two.

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