Prickly Pear: what you should know

Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear is in the cacti family. It certainly contains over 100 species that are native to North and South America. The flowers are showy in appearance. Moreover, the flowers are found in many colours such as yellow, pink, or orange colours. The fruits are generally fleshy, orange, and spiny but sometimes dry.

Alternative Names of Prickly Pear:

Scientific name: Opuntia humifusa, Opuntia ficus-indica
Common names: devils-tongue, Eastern prickly pear or Indian fig,


Class Magnoliopsida
Order Caryophyllales
Family Cactaceae
SpeciesO. humifusa

Flowering data

ColorGold/Yellow, Pink
Value to GardenerShowy
Petals7 – 20 petals/rays
Size1-3 inches
Flower DescriptionThe flowers are variously coloured. as well as they have many petals
Bloom TimeJune, July
Fruitred, green, and yellow-orange
Plant typeIt’s an Edible, poisonous and Succulent plant.

Fruit data

ColourPink, Red/Burgundy
The fruit Value to GardenerEdible, Showy
More DescriptionThe fruit may be Fleshy or dry. But, It depends upon the species

Stem data:

Is it AromaticNo

Plant Care:

SunFull sun
pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral
Preferred soil drainageWell-drained
Required Soil moistureMoist
The Soil typeLoam, Sand, Shallow Rocky
Origin/nativeeastern North America
Growth RateSlow

Leaf data:

Woody Plant Leaf CharacteristicsThe leaves are Broad and Evergreen.
Leaf ColorInsignificant
Hairs PresentNo
Leaf DescriptionThe leaves are specifically large spines. In fact, these leaves cover the large, fleshy stems in the form of clusters.

How to care for Prickly Pear?

In short, Opuntia humifusa plants grow well in full sunlight.

Humifusa opuntia needs a low amount of water in the same way as other kinds of the cactus family.

Generally Prickly pears prefer alkaline to neutral soil. While the Soil needs to drain well, as residual moisture.

If Opuntia prickly pear grows well outdoor then it does not need fertilizer. If they grow inside then need well-balanced fertilizer.

In short, it is not essential to prune the prickly pears.

Opuntia humifusa plant growth:
The length of the prickly pear plant is almost 12 inches whereas, it has 18 inches width.

Read more about succulents

We have an in-depth article on succulents, if you want to learn more about different types of succulents, and how to take care of them.

We also have articles on other spesific succulents here:

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