Opuntia microdasys, the Bunny Ears prickly pear cactus is one of the most popular cacti. It looks like a rabbit. Funny right? But it’s insanely beautiful. So let’s see How To Grow Bunny Ears Cactus.
How To Grow Bunny Ears Cactus
It belongs to the family of cacti and subfamily Opuntioideae. It is native to Mexico. But is very commonly cultivated on the one hand because it is beautiful. And relatively small in size for an opuntia, and on the other hand because it is a relatively hardy and very solid species. The cactus indestructible with which many collections began. Now I’m going to tell you about How To Grow Bunny Ears Cactus. Take a note.
Description of Bunny Ears Cactus (rabbit ear prickly pear)
Opuntia microdasys is a racket cactus of rather limited size: 60 cm in height. Its chlorophyll rods are elliptical snowshoes 7 to 15 cm in length, mat green, flat, and dotted with cottony areolas. without needles, but full of glochids (micro-prickles). These glochids are yellow, white, or red depending on the variety.
Each new racket grows rapidly during the growing season. During this growth, we can observe small green cylindrical leaves, quickly deciduous.
On mature plants, the 4 to 5 cm wide yellow flowers bloom in June-July, on the top of the rackets. They have multiple acid yellow petals, numerous stamens, and a large, velvety green pistil. Its fruits are globose and red.
Be careful, it stings!
Do not be fooled by the soft impression Opuntia microdasys gives. Glochids are actually tiny harpoons. Thin and brittle, they plant themselves in the skin in quantity as long as they are touched. and although it is not serious, it is very unpleasant. They will always be handled with sturdy gloves or held with several layers of newspaper. On the other hand, these racket cacti should be out of reach of the little ones.
To get rid of these thorns, apart from the tweezers, you can use scotch tape, chewing gum, or rub for a long time with soap.
1.Opuntia microdasys f. albipina , with white glochids
2.Opuntia microdasys f. pallida, with yellow glochids
3.Opuntia microdasys macroguttata , white and more rustic
4.Opuntia microdasys Undulata, yellow and crystalline
5.Opuntia microdasys f. rufida, orange glochids
6.Opuntia microdasys f. rufida minor , a dwarf plant
How To Grow Bunny Ears Cactus?
Opuntia microdasys need a sunny exposure and a fairly draining substrate (little potting soil , with garden soil, and a little fine climbing). It is hardy down to –10 ° C, provided it is dry, so if grown outdoors it should be protected with a roof in winter.
Opuntia microdasys are watered regularly from April to the end of September and kept without watering and cool during the winter. This dry and cold period (below 10 ° C) is essential for it to flower, and to prevent it from rotting, or from growing distorted due to insufficient light.
It will need a height of 3 to 4 rackets before it is able to flower. If it is taken outside in summer, it should be gradually exposed to the sun’s rays so as not to burn. Veiled by the newspaper for a few days, for example.
How to multiply Opuntia Microdasys ?
Cuttings are easy. The cutting, a whole article, is taken from May to August. The racket is chosen fully developed and well inflated by a consequent watering a week before. Snowshoes come off quite easily. But don’t forget to protect yourself from spurs (non-woven gloves or newspaper). The cut is left to dry for 4-5 days. Then the racket is placed well erect, but little buried in a wet sandy mixture.
The sowing is very satisfactory. The large seeds are surrounded by a hard and thick epidermis. They are soaked 2-3 days, rubbed lightly with sandpaper, then placed on the surface on the damp earth, between 20 and 30 ° C, in the light and covered with plastic until germination.
Species and Varieties of Opuntia
300 species in this genus.
- puntia basilaris, with pink flowers
- Opuntia brasiliensis, a very easy to grow species with extra-flat rackets
- Opuntia humifusa, the Indian fig tree
- Opuntia macrocentra, with purplish-blue snowshoes
- Opuntia robusta, with huge thick blue snowshoes
- Opuntia subulata, with cylindrical stems
So here is all about Bunny Ears Cactus & How To Grow Bunny Ears Cactus. To know more you can visit our Cactus category. Happy gardening.