Opuntia update

Remember the Opuntia cuttings I received a while ago? I potted them up about 5 weeks ago, so I thought it was time to take a look and see how they are doing.

They all seem to be quite happy, although they're experiencing different levels of happiness.


I'm not going to bother listing the species and varieties here -- you can see the original post for that. I just want you to experience the visual thrill I get when looking at all of these prickly beauties.

Hey, that's not an Opuntia! You caught me -- it's a Cholla.

I never thought I'd be so attracted to Opuntia (prickly pear) species like this, but I love sitting on the deck and looking at them.

I suppose it's the variety of colors, shapes, and textures that attracts my eye. Or perhaps it's the danger factor? I love the fat new "spines" that give the young pads such a vicious look. In most cases these will fall off though -- they're not permanent features.

I mentioned differing levels of happiness -- some of these are doing better than others. None of them are doing badly (none of the cuttings rotted), but some are producing new pads much faster than others:



They all show signs of growth though, so I'm happy.

I originally had their pots under the eaves of the roof so they wouldn't get any rain -- I knew that it was important to keep them on the dry side while they were rooting -- but have since moved them out so they can drink in the rain when it falls. The pots dry out quickly so I'm not concerned about too much water.

At some point later this summer I'll have to decide if they will be put into the ground, or if that project will wait until next year.

For now I just get to enjoy them all from the comfort and convenience of the deck.

So although the plants may be experiencing different levels of happiness, I'm feeling just one: elation! I love these plants!


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (May 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM)  

Great to see so much progress! I couldn't agree with you more on how fascinating it is to watch new growth on opuntias. I was taken aback the other day when I looked at one of my prickly pears and thought a new bud was completely covered by large aphids. Not so, it was just the developing spines :-).

danger garden  – (May 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM)  

I love this post! So many people don't appreciate the beauty of these plants. I've heard them referred to as "trailer park"...sure overgrown old masses of them can look a little ratty but they can also be stunning in their color variation and growth patterns. Glad you've got the bug.

Matthew  – (May 12, 2012 at 7:26 PM)  

Awesome pictures, Alan! It's amazing how quickly those are taking off!

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