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Opuntia microdasys -Bunny ears cactus

Opuntia microdasys
Opuntia microdasys

 

Bunny ears cactus

We bring here the Opuntia microdasys, one of the many species of Opuntias, but a species that allows its cultivation in not very large pots or small gardens.

Opuntia microdasys

Because of its size, not too large, it is very widespread and easy to grow.

Opuntia microdasys, belongs to cacti, is native to Mexico and is found in the central and northern areas.

The popular names by which it is known are Angel Wings, Rabbit Ears, Blind Nopal or Nopalillo Blinding.

As is the Opuntia microdasys.

It is a shrubby cactus, where its habitat is arid, dry and not very cold.

It is a very branched cactus, which can form bushes of a certain density, up to one meter in height or maybe more.

Opuntia microdasys – yellow

Angel wings or nopalillos, are erect cactus, with pencas, segments, branches or ears, flat, oval of about 10 to 15 cm, green and have areolas with small hairs or gloquidia.

The glochids, or small spiny hairs, are easily detached when touched and can cause irritation and itching.

Note: use protective gloves, to avoid contact with the gloquidia, if you have to handle the Opuntia microdasys.

The flowers of the Opuntia microdasys, are about 4 cm in diameter, yellow with reddish tips and arise from the areolas. They bloom in summer.

Only adult specimens, more than 60 cm in height and especially if they are in the garden, much less in a pot, will flower properly and will do so by the end of spring and until the end of summer.

Opuntia microdasys - flower
Opuntia microdasys – flower

There are different varieties that present gloquidia, whites, yellows (very common) and reds.

It does not usually have thorns as such, but if they do arise, they are short and come out from the globidia of the areola.

These flowers will give rise to fruits of dark red color and of small size.

Opuntia microdasys red - flower
Opuntia microdasys red – flower

They are cacti, which like the direct sun on adult plants, 25ºC onwards and for cuttings and young, semi-shade plants. They do not resist frost, they would rot quickly and should be kept above 5 º C environment.

How to water, fertilize and grow Opuntia microdasys.

Irrigation.

Opuntia microdasys or nopalillo blinding, should be irrigated frequently, but with little water and always avoiding puddles. No more than two waterings per week.

In winter, once a month will be enough. They are resistant to drought, but little to excess moisture.

Opuntia microdasys - fruit
Opuntia microdasys – fruit

Subscriber and Substrate.

Subscriber of the substrate for our Opuntias microdasys is not priritario .

We will make an annual fertilizer, preferably at the beginning of spring, so that we favor flowering.

We will use a   non-compact substrate, which is loose and I have good drainage. They will be soils with a mixture of halves of coarse sand and organic matter.

Opuntia microdasys
Opuntia microdasys

Plagues and diseases.

Opuntia microdasys can be attacked, pests , by the usual cochineals, by snails and by ants, generally.

Pillbugs feed on the sap, weakening the plant. The snails bite and eat pieces of the stem, creating areas with visible wounds.

On the other hand, ants can even colonize an ear or stem, causing serious injuries.

We must avoid these pests and act with commercial means , available and within our reach.

In the video we will see how to transplant , prune, etc … but do not forget the GARDENER GLOVES!

 

Reproduction of the Opuntia microdasys.

It spreads, usually at the beginning of the summer and it does so by means of cuttings, segments, leaves, leaves or ears.

They are cut or separated from the mother plant and the wound is left to dry for a week. After they are buried to a third of their size and without the need to water or very lightly.

After a month they will have taken root.

You can prune or cut and then take the cuttings.

 

 

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