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Opuntia ficus-indica (Edible prickly pear)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
5m
Max height
5m
Max spread
10-20 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Opuntia ficus-indica

Other names

Edible prickly pear, Indian fig, Barbary fig, Tuna, Opuntia paraguayensis

Genus

Opuntia Opuntia

Species

O. ficus-indica - O. ficus-indica is a bushy or tree-like cactus with stems divided into spiny, flattened, ovate, oblong, or elliptic, grey-green sections and, from late spring into summer, bowl-shaped, yellow or orange flowers followed by edible, ovoid or conical, purple, orange, or red fruit.


Opuntia ficus-indica is: Evergreen

Habit

Upright

Toxicity

Plant has spines; use extreme caution when handling.

Flower

Orange, Yellow in Spring; Yellow, Orange in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Mealybugs , Scale insects Mealybugs , Scale insects

Diseases

Generally disease-free

General care

Propagation

Soak and then sow at 21C in spring. Root stem segments in summer.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Opuntia ficus-indica (Edible prickly pear) will reach a height of 5m and a spread of 5m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Drought Tolerant, Gravel, Indoor, Rock

Cultivation

Grow under glass in cactus compost, in full light. In the growing season, water when the compost is dry. Feed 3-4 times from early spring to mid-autumn. Outdoors, grow in frost-free areas in sharply-drained soil in full sun.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Opuntia ficus-indica

Other names

Edible prickly pear, Indian fig, Barbary fig, Tuna, Opuntia paraguayensis

Genus

Opuntia Opuntia

Species

O. ficus-indica - O. ficus-indica is a bushy or tree-like cactus with stems divided into spiny, flattened, ovate, oblong, or elliptic, grey-green sections and, from late spring into summer, bowl-shaped, yellow or orange flowers followed by edible, ovoid or conical, purple, orange, or red fruit.

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Upright

Toxicity

Plant has spines; use extreme caution when handling.


Colour

Flower

Orange, Yellow in Spring; Yellow, Orange in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Mealybugs , Scale insects

Diseases

Generally disease-free

General care

Propagation

Soak and then sow at 21C in spring. Root stem segments in summer.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Opuntia ficus-indica (Edible prickly pear) will reach a height of 5m and a spread of 5m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Drought Tolerant, Gravel, Indoor, Rock

Cultivation

Grow under glass in cactus compost, in full light. In the growing season, water when the compost is dry. Feed 3-4 times from early spring to mid-autumn. Outdoors, grow in frost-free areas in sharply-drained soil in full sun.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 11, Zone 10, Zone 9

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Opuntia ficus-indica (Edible prickly pear)

Common pest name

grape ground pearl

Scientific pest name

Margarodes vitis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Main pathway; Vitis spp. plants for planting; already prohibited. However; further consideration of other pathways is required.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

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