drooping prickly pear

Opuntia vulgaris | Also known as: prickly pear, tuna Opuntia ficus-indica | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

A popular cactus species, opuntia vulgaris is also known by the synonym, opuntia ficus-indica. It grows in flat, pear-shaped segments with long black spines growing from their surfaces, thus earning it the common name, the prickly pear. It flowers in early summer, with small yellow, red or white blossoms blooming from small, pineapple-like pods on its edges. These flowers eventually give way to purple edible succulent fruit, which are sweet to taste and usually ripe in late autumn. The prickly pear thrives in well-drained soil, in full sun but can be potted in cactus compost and grown under glass too. Water moderately when growing, and rarely in winter. Pruning is not required.

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Known dangers?
  • yes
Dangers: comments
  • Avoid contact with the skin, as the bristles cause severe skin irritation and are difficult to remove.
Height [m]
  • 5
Spread [m]
  • 5
Dominant flower colour
  • Yellow
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
Foliage in spring
  • Grey-green
Foliage in summer
  • Grey-green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Grey-green
Foliage in winter
  • Grey-green
Propagation methods
  • seed
  • stem tip cuttings
Growth habit
  • Bushy
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z11-12
Heat zone
  • H12-9
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • 4 - 0
Heat days
  • 120 - 210
  • well-drained
Soil type
  • sandy
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Cacti & succulents
  • Cacti
Grown for
  • Edible fruit
Garden type
  • Indoor or winter garden
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • up to 10 years