Prickly Pear Cactus

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Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby Miss Marple » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:57 am

Nigelrb mentioned this on another thread. Can anyone confirm that this is what we've inherited? My son works at a school and the Biology teacher retired at the end of July. He had a greenhouse at the school and didn't have room at home for all the cacti he had collected over the years so my son offered to take some of them off his hands. Me, being the naive mother agreed - little realising one of them was nearly six feet tall!

Anyway, I found this very sad looking cactus plonked on the living room floor when I got home from work a couple of weeks ago. It had been in the greenhouse at the school all summer and had not been watered (it's been v. hot in these parts for a lot of the summer). It was all bent over and droopy.

After completely rearranging the kitchen (!) we moved it to its new home. (The kitchen is the sunniest and warmest room in the house) I gave it a generous watering and, with the help of some string, have supported it at the top from a window catch and it's slowly standing upright again.

I have two questions:

1) Can anyone confirm that this really is a prickly pear cactus - if not, what is it.

2) What's the best way to care for it so it keeps upright and healthy. Apparantly it's over 20 years old.

There are two pix to aid with your identification here:

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a127/Miss-Marple/cactus1.jpg
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a127/Miss-Marple/cactus2.jpg

Many thanks in advance
MM
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Postby chameleon » Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:16 pm

I don't know, but if no one can say categorically, suggest you try the contact at

www.easycactus.co.uk
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Postby despair » Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:20 pm

Certainly looks like Prickly Pear Cactus to me
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Postby Conveyancer » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:54 pm

..and to me.
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Postby Beech » Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:18 pm

Yep, looks like a Prickly Pear Cactus.

There's a British Cactus and Succulents Society, on their website there is an article Growing Cacti and Succulents for pleasure There are some more links from that page.

Good luck, and I'm sure you and the plant will have a happy relationship, and your son already has the first houseplant ready for when he has his own home.
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Postby nigelrb » Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:25 pm

Yep, Prickly Pear - or variety thereof. May have outgrown its pot though!!
Cheers, Nigel
Life is never what it seems; there is always two sides to every story.
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Postby Miss Marple » Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:16 am

Thanks all for the confirmation of identification.

Apropos the repotting, you're probably right NigelRB, but I think it's best (according to the books) to leave that probably difficult task until next spring because, from what I've read, cacti need to have a 'hibernation' period over the winter (less watering etc.) to encourage spring growth.

Can anyone confirm?

And can anyone suggest what is the easiest, least painful method of carrying out the repotting when the time comes?
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Postby nigelrb » Sun Oct 02, 2005 1:20 am

With good leather gloves!! :lol: :lol:
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Postby Beech » Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:43 pm

nigelrb wrote:With good leather gloves!! :lol: :lol:

... or wrap the whole thing in a several thicknesses of newspaper.
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