project update by
Hi everyone! I'm Nora and I live in NJ, zone 6b or 6a. After purchasing both NJ (Vineland Hardy) and VA (Willoughby Spit) prickly pear seeds from EFN earlier this year and taking care of the seedlings with all my might, I only just now found this project! So excited to be able to share in the cactus-growing journey with others.
I started my seedlings on May 5th of this year and they started sprouting toward the end of May/early June. I probably had around 35% germination. I started them in little seed-starting trays with an easily removable plastic cover next to a northeast-facing window. They were on a heat mat and they only started popping up once I kept the soil consistently moist. Every day I would take off the cover and let the accumulated water drip back into their cells or onto the floor of their tray, and added more water when they weren't moist enough to make condensation. Once they started growing their first paddle and spines I took off the cover and hung a grow light—I did it so late because some had a sunburnt appearance when they first came up. Now each one is in its own larger pot and I water more or less once a week. They started tipping over, though, and when I checked with people in the reddit cactus group I decided that the plants were etiolated/top heavy because the light wasn't strong enough, and now it's hung about 6 inches from the tops of the plants. We'll see how they do from here! Attached are a few photos. Currently there are 3 from NJ and 6 from VA
Got my seeds from EFN last year and was not able to plant them until a few weeks ago...Read the comments here about low rates of germination so I tried 4 different ways to prepare the seeds..sanding, water soaking, piercing, and lemon juice soaking. The method that worked for me was to pierce the seeds with a pin and soak them in water for several hours. Also keeping them covered with plastic and inside at around 70 degrees. Germination happened in about 2 weeks.
I bought seeds for the three varieties on sale at the EFN store in the winter of 2021 and planted five seeds of each in march. I unfortunately got no germination. I will try again next year, maybe with some cold stratification.
My prickly pear cactuses are partially from seeds I got as seeds here at Experimental Farm Network and germinated two years ago, and partially from pads I got from other source. They overwintered fine, but kind of lied down to the ground. Do I need to prop them up, or is it a natural behavior? Maybe this way they will develop additional roots?
Hi, I recently joined the group. How do I get started? Will Nate be in touch, or am I to find starter plants on my own/through the group? I'm in zone 5, Chicago area. Thanks!
I am located in zone 5b in Michigan and would love to try to grow these. My grandmother grew these on her farm not far from where I reside.
I have a small prickly pear farm near Sterling Kansas and I would like to join this project. Currently I am growing opuntia humifusa, opuntia engelmanni, opuntia ellisiana var texana and opuntia cacanapa ellisiana, and a cultivar called Party Favor. Can anyone send me some pads? I'll pay shipping.
Hoping to get seeds next year and try growing them. Have an area with several types of opuntia, want to try the cholla small tree/bush form here in southern WV next year. Maybe flowering in the red tones.
I brought up 4 cactus pads from the SF Bay Area in January and left them to harden off the cuts. Then I put them individually about 1/3 of the way down in big pots of cactus mix potting soil and didn't water them until I began to see some growth indications. Sparingly watering and letting the soil completely dry out before watering again and keeping them in my unheated high tunnel on a table, they began to put out new pads and bloom tunas. I moved the biggest one with the most pads outside for the summer. See photo. Eventually, I will plant it in the ground where it is now. The cement block building will provide protection from the southwestern wind storms as it grows larger.
so far no germinations, I'm still trying however as I see many people said it took months for them as well! Would love for to get pads from someone if I don't get the gemination going! its been about a month so far. same with my yaupon holly, these and the Hancock ground cherries are the only things that haven't germinated for me yet.
I am not sure this is the correct place to inquire. I am trying to find out if there is a variety of edible Nopales Cactus I can acquire that are hardy in climate zone 6b. Any help would be appreciated.
I was looking around at prickly pears and happened upon your site and project, hope I may be of some help.
Was given a bunch of pads from a large cactus I was later told was Opuntia lindheimeri var. subarmata by some folks in a facebook cactus group, however on seeing your project photo, I now believe are or are closer to O stricta.
These are easily propagated by cutting off a section of pad, laying it down on a soil surface and forgetting about it. Every areola is a potential new plant as the attached photo's will show. Seeds do not germinate well compared to other cold hardy Opuntia. I have only gotten a few to sprout.
They take a lot more moisture without rotting compared to some other Opuntia but as cactus go, they survive without ever hand watering.
I have many of these now and happy to share pieces of pads with group members.