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Care of the plant Opuntia spinulifera or Saucepan cactus.

Care of the cactus Opuntia spinulifera or Saucepan cactus

The genus Opuntia, family Cactaceae, includes some 300 species of cacti originating in Mexico, the USA and Central and South America. Some species are: Opuntia spinulifera, Opuntia santa-rita, Opuntia rufida, Opuntia robusta, Opuntia polyacantha, Opuntia microdasys, Opuntia linguiformis, Opuntia leucotricha, Opuntia engelmannii, Opuntia bergeriana, Opuntia ficus-indica, Opuntia durangensis, Opuntia subulata, Opuntia atrispina, Opuntia auberi, Opuntia valida, Opuntia macrocentra, Opuntia chlorotica, Opuntia lindheimeri, Opuntia vestita.

Common names: Saucepan cactus, Large roundleaved prickly pear. This species is native to central Mexico.

They are arboreal or shrubby cactus with a short trunk covered with hairs that can reach 1 meter (3.28 feet) in height. The segments are rounded, grayish green in color and have circular areoles with 1-4 spines 1.5 cm (0.59") long. They produce showy yellow flowers. They bloom in spring.

They are used in rockery, as isolated specimens, in cactus and succulent gardens or to form barriers. If winter is very cold, it's advisable to grow them in pots to be able to protect them.

Opuntia spinulifera grows in full sun or light shade exposure. They prefer warm, frost-free climates.

The soil can be a mixture, in the same proportions, of coarse sand and leaf mulch.

Water moderately in summer waiting for the substrate to be dry. In spring and autumn water once a month. Do not water in winter.

Fertilize with compost in early spring and mineral cactus fertilizer in early summer.

They do not need pruning.

They are very resistant to pests and diseases but sensitive to excess water.

They are easily propagated by segment cuttings in spring or summer.

Images of the cactus Opuntia spinulifera or Saucepan cactus

Opuntia spinulifera
Opuntia spinulifera
Opuntia spinulifera