Plant Care Eastern Prickly Pear

Eastern Prickly Pear

4.7 out of 5 (29 experiences)

Eastern Prickly Pear has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Eastern Prickly Pear has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

Also known as

Smooth Prickly Pear, Smooth Prickly Pear, Devil's-tongue, Indian fig and Opuntia vulgaris

Taxonomy

Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia
Cactaceae
Caryophyllales

How to care for Eastern Prickly Pear

Water

How often to water your Eastern Prickly Pear

Water needs for Eastern Prickly Pear
0.5 cups
every 12

Eastern Prickly Pear needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Eastern Prickly Pear

Water 0.5 cups every
12

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
Light

Check the growing potential in your area

A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.

Select a city to check sunlight intensity

Finding light for Smooth Prickly Pear in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Eastern Prickly Pear: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Eastern Prickly Pear love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Eastern Prickly Pear does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Eastern Prickly Pear in your home 🏡.

Nutrients

How to fertilize Eastern Prickly Pear

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Eastern Prickly Pear: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Eastern Prickly Pear after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

FAQs
Difficulty Level

Eastern Prickly Pear is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!


Water Needs
Sunlight Needs
Toxicity
Humidity
Soil
Fertilizer
Dormancy
Native Region
Flowers
Growth Pattern
Growing Outdoors
Propagation
Common Issues

Care Summary for Eastern Prickly Pear

Eastern Prickly Pear

Eastern Prickly Pear


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 12 days

Placement

< 1ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Eastern Prickly Pear has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 22
Eastern Prickly Pear has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 8
Eastern Prickly Pear has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 8
Eastern Prickly Pear has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 3
Eastern Prickly Pear has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 2
Eastern Prickly Pear has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 1
Andrea avatar
@Andrea
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 84 XP
globe Neenah, WI
01/23/2022

I get nervous in the fall/early winter when he shrivels up…but always comes back with new growth.

Survivor Survivor
Gracefulwander avatar
@Gracefulwander
leaf-1 8 Plants
xp 175 XP
11/07/2021

Prickly pear cacti are really easy to care for. However, they do get quite large and tall. I was really surprised how big the cactus got despite being indoor and without grow lights. I keep him by the brightest spot in my apartment, in a south facing window. I let the pot soil aerate after watering by tilting it in the saucer so the draining hole doesn’t get moldy.

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Popsicle49 avatar
@Popsicle49
leaf-1 40 Plants
xp 2,836 XP
globe St. Pete Beach, FL
09/24/2021

Easy to care for and always looks healthy. Also roots well so the little growths can be replanted for new Pricklies…

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Nathan avatar
@Nathan
leaf-1 10 Plants
xp 539 XP
globe Florence, AL
09/02/2021

My experience with my prickly pear has been unique. I have a bearded dragon and they enjoy prickly pear as a special treat. So, I went to a local nursery and was given a free propagate with two existing buds from a friend. I have now had it for a month and a third bud has begun. My biggest note so far is that it is very slow growing (over the course of a month the third bud has only grown by a centimeter). However, the plant is hardy and took to the soil very well. Have some patience with this one!

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Apb0168 avatar
@Apb0168
leaf-1 30 Plants
xp 1,320 XP
globe Hamilton, Ontario
07/24/2021

Be careful. Doesn’t get its name for no reason. Very easy to get prickles from the one!!!

Wolf_haley__ avatar
@Wolf_haley__
leaf-1 6 Plants
xp 101 XP
06/17/2021

Easy to maintain and forget about. Best in my bathroom so far.

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Kandib avatar
@Kandib
leaf-1 18 Plants
xp 348 XP
globe Gallant, AL
06/01/2021

I love this. I got him from a park near muse. My first succulent propagation. Super easy. Followed some online videos and tips and he has roots in no time. Let keep in mind my green thumb stays yellow and down.😁 He’s made me one happy plant mama.

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
Rogueninja avatar
@Rogueninja
leaf-1 58 Plants
xp 1,637 XP
05/24/2021

Handle with heavy duty gloves when potting. It’s spines are tiny and hard to see. When they make contact with skin they’re painful and difficult to remove.

Fast grower Fast grower
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Popsicle49 avatar
@Popsicle49
leaf-1 40 Plants
xp 2,836 XP
globe St. Pete Beach, FL
04/08/2021

I just rescued this prickly pair. He rooted fast and is thriving. He will produce offshoots soon and is very interesting to look at.

Survivor Survivor
Popsicle49 avatar
@Popsicle49
leaf-1 40 Plants
xp 2,836 XP
globe St. Pete Beach, FL
04/07/2021

I love my prickly pear. She is a rescue cactus and had no roots. I’v had her 1 month had she has 3 new growths. She’s beautiful.

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
Hyggevibes avatar
@Hyggevibes
leaf-1 37 Plants
xp 3,849 XP
03/31/2021

I really love the look of cacti pads. 🌵

Survivor Survivor
Ihsaisha avatar
@Ihsaisha
leaf-1 19 Plants
xp 1,515 XP
globe Seattle, WA
03/31/2021

Super slow grower, but easy!

Mysteriousnova avatar
@Mysteriousnova
leaf-1 12 Plants
xp 337 XP
03/25/2021

When full grown the fruits and the fans are edible. However, you have to be very diligent in removing the spines.

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
Connor avatar
@Connor
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 41 XP
globe Goodyear, AZ
03/03/2021

It is a slow grower.

Survivor Survivor

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