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Prickly Pear Snow Cactus OR''

Prickly Pear Snow Cactus OR''

Prickly Pear Snow Cactus

Opuntia snow cactuses are somewhat prone to wilting, because of their tall, slim bodies. Indoor Opuntia can be particularly prone to drooping, mainly because of low light levels. The most problematic drooping comes from the root system of the plant being affected by a rotting fungus. The only solution in this case is repotting, cutting back or in extreme cases – sacrificing the whole plant and reviving it from the collected leaf cuttings.Over-watering (which means watering too frequently) is one of the worst things you can do to your Opuntia snow cactus. Always let the top of soil dry between each watering. Frequent watering can lead to root rot, which is often a death sentence for the plant, unless it is properly repotted and given good recovery conditions.

Cactus

The prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) is among the most widespread cactus genera in the U.S. With over 100 species, this plant is characterized by its spiny, flat, club-shaped pads. Many varieties have large, round spines, while others have tiny, hair-like barbs that detach upon contact. While cacti are generally known as warm-weather desert plants, there are some prickly pear species that are hardy as far north as USDA zone 4. Prickly pear is best planted outside in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. Some prickly pears produce fruits that are prized for their edibility, but the plant's growth rate is fairly slow and it can take three or four years before a new plant starts fruiting.It's not necessary to prune these cacti for the health of the plants, but you can do it to control the size of the plants—which can a good idea for indoor plants that threaten passers-by with their spines. Hold individual pads with tongs, then cut the pad away along the joint that links it to the rest of the cactus. These removed pads can be rooted to propagate new plants.

To propagate by seed, cut open a ripe fruit, scoop out some seeds, and rinse the pulp from the seeds. Let them dry thoroughly. Sprinkle the seeds into a pot of moist (not wet) and well-draining potting soil. Lightly cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or sand. Then, cover the pot in clear plastic wrap, and place it in a warm, sunny spot. Seed germination can take several weeks or even months. Sprouted seedlings can then be transplanted into pots with cactus potting mix.Animals that eat Opuntia include the prickly pear island snail and Cyclura rock iguanas. The fruit are relished by many arid-land animals, chiefly birds, which thus help distribute the seeds. Opuntia pathogens include the sac fungus Colletotrichum coccodes and Sammons' Opuntia virus. The ant Crematogaster opuntiae and the spider Theridion opuntia are named because of their association with prickly pear cactus. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

 

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