I lived in Tempe Arizona for 6 years and never knew cactus grew this fast. We live in Tennessee now and have about 80 varieties of winter hardy cactus growing every where in the yard. Cactus can grow 6" in one week. We cut pieces off the cactus then plant the pieces in soil. It sprouts roots any place soil touches the plant. It makes no difference if it is planted upside down, right side up, on its side or flat on the ground it still grows fine. We mix 30% child play sand with 70% potting soil plus a hand full of 15/15/15 fertilizer. Cut off pieces of the cactus then let the cut area dry in the sun for a week before planting. Plant 1/3 of the plant piece in the soil and water it once a week.
I have been giving cactus away all summer on craigslist we had 2 pickup truck loads and still have one more pickup truck load of cactus to cut down. The mexican people have been coming to get free cactus they eat it. I have ask them how to cook it and this stuff is very good. The new growth has no thorns. Old growth just cut off the thorns. Slice and dice with onions fly in the skillet add tomatoes and cilantro and it is ready to eat. Put in scrambled eggs or meat if you want. Slice the pads down the middle fill with meat, onion, cilantro, tomato bake in oven then scoop out the filling and throw away the cactus pad. Flavor is different than anything I have eaten but it is very very good.
Cactus is very amazing you throw a piece on the cement driveway, squirt some water on it and in 1 weeks time it sprouts roots and tries to grow to the cement driveway.
This is 1 week of new growth.
These pads were planted 3 weeks ago 1 pad has already grown a new pad.
This is a different kind of prickly pear. We never called this prikly pear when I lived in Arizona. I planted this a few days ago.
I planted this yesterday. Some of the pieces are laying flat on the soil. This will grow 100s of sprouts that I can cut off and grow. I should have 500 to 600 sprouts soon that I can plants along the property line of the yard. I want a 3 ft wall of cactus 7 ft tall the full 240 foot length of the property.