Prickly pear cactus - how it works

The exotic prickly pear cacti are easy-care plants that make little demands. Even propagating the plant is easy. You have two options.

Cacti have one big advantage: they are easy to care for, undemanding and also look interesting. They also need little water. A very popular cactus is e.g. the prickly pear. It is a shrub-shaped cactus that consists of many large leaf-shaped shoots that can be a good 50 cm long and 25 cm wide. For this reason alone, the prickly pear looks very interesting. But what makes it so special is its fruits. The so-called prickly pears.

First, large flowers form around the outer shoot tips. From these the fruits then develop, the colors of which vary from yellow to orange to red. Under the spiky skin is the delicious pulp, which tastes like a mixture of pear and melon.

If you cannot get enough of these fruits or the plant itself, you can also multiply it. You have two options. On the one hand you can propagate the prickly pear cuttings and on the other hand you can use seeds.

So you can multiply your prickly pear

Possibility 1 - propagate prickly pear cuttings:

❶ Slightly scratch a so-called cactus ear and carefully break it off. The fresh cut or breakage must then dry well. To do this, place the cactus segment in a warm and bright place for two to three days.

❷ Then insert the cactus ear into slightly damp cactus soil. Please no more than two centimeters, otherwise mold or rotting can occur. To prevent the segment from falling over, simply stabilize it with a few rods.

❸ Then you have to put the small cactus in a warm place. A temperature of around 20 degrees is optimal. If the cactus is stuck in the ground after a few weeks, it has already taken root. You can then remove the supports.

By the way:
Unfortunately, cacti are not winter-proof, which means that you can leave them outside in the summer, but you have to bring them back in the winter. Here are more tips on how to care for cacti.

Option 2 - propagate prickly pear cactus via seeds:

❶ If you want to propagate a prickly pear over seeds, you first need a ripe prickly pear. You have to cut open these and then spoon out the seeds from the inside.

❷ You must then remove the pulp from the kernels. This works best if you put them in a colander, let some water run over them and then rub them off with a dish brush.

❸ Now place the seeds on some cactus or growing soil and cover them slightly with the soil. Then moisten the soil slightly and put a plastic bag over the growing pots to increase the humidity.

Anschließend Then place the pots in a bright and warm place (20 degrees) and ventilate the pots regularly. It is also important that you keep the substrate evenly moist.