Plant Care Opuntia Humifusa

Opuntia Humifusa

4.7 out of 5 (29 experiences)

Opuntia Humifusa has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Opuntia Humifusa has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

Also known as

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

Taxonomy

Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia
Cactaceae
Caryophyllales

How to care for Opuntia Humifusa

💦 Water

How often to water your Opuntia Humifusa

Water needs for Opuntia Humifusa
0.5 cups
every 12

Opuntia Humifusa 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 Opuntia Humifusa

Water 0.5 cups every
12

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for Smooth Prickly Pear in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Opuntia Humifusa: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Opuntia Humifusa love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

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

Opuntia Humifusa does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Opuntia Humifusa in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Opuntia Humifusa

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Opuntia Humifusa: 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 Opuntia Humifusa after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #PricklyPearCactus
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Opuntia Humifusa 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!

Benefits of Growing Smooth Prickly Pear →

Common Smooth Prickly Pear Problems →


💦 Water Needs

Opuntia Humifusa thrives in dry soil and should be watered sparingly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Smooth Prickly Pear Water Frequency →

Smooth Prickly Pear Root Rot →


☀️ Sunlight Needs

Opuntia Humifusa requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Smooth Prickly Pear Light Requirements →

Smooth Prickly Pear Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Opuntia Humifusa is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.

Smooth Prickly Pear Toxicity to Cats →

Smooth Prickly Pear Toxicity to Dogs →

Smooth Prickly Pear Toxicity to Humans →


💨 Humidity

Opuntia Humifusa prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.

Smooth Prickly Pear Humidity Needs →


🪴 Soil

Opuntia Humifusa is very sensitive to wet soil, so choose a potting soil that drains very well and doesn’t retain too much moisture. A good soil will have lots of perlite or vermiculite for drainage and some organic matter for nutrition. A few handfuls of perlite added to regular store-bought cactus soil will do the trick!

When and How to Successfully Repot Smooth Prickly Pear →


💩 Fertilizer

Opuntia Humifusa grows very slowly and doesn’t require added fertilizer. Replacing your plant’s potting soil once a year should provide them with more than enough nutrition. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

How Much and When to Fertilize Smooth Prickly Pear →


❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Opuntia Humifusa to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.


🌎 Native Region

Opuntia Humifusa is native to the Americas.


🌸 Flowers

Yes, you may see your Opuntia Humifusa bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.

Smooth Prickly Pear Flowers →


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Opuntia Humifusa grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.

How and When to Prune Smooth Prickly Pear →


🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Opuntia Humifusa can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 4b-10b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Smooth Prickly Pear Temperature Tolerance →


🌱 Propagation

Opuntia Humifusa can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:

  • Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
  • To get the cutting to root, you can either:
    • Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
    • Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.

🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


😖 Common Issues

Overwatering is a likely cause of issues with Opuntia Humifusa. These plants are very sensitive to wet soil so if you notice your plant becoming squishy or translucent, overwatering is the likely culprit.

Cut your plant just past where the rot ends and allow it to callus over for a few days before replanting it in fresh, dry soil. Download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!


Care Summary for Opuntia Humifusa

Opuntia Humifusa

Opuntia Humifusa


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

Opuntia Humifusa has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 22
Opuntia Humifusa has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 8
Opuntia Humifusa has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 8
Opuntia Humifusa has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 3
Opuntia Humifusa has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 2
Opuntia Humifusa 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 13 Plants
xp 4,663 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 25 Plants
xp 1,349 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 13 Plants
xp 4,663 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 13 Plants
xp 4,663 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 41 Plants
xp 5,819 XP
03/31/2021

I really love the look of cacti pads. 🌵

Survivor Survivor
@ihsaisha avatar
@@ihsaisha
leaf-1 20 Plants
xp 1,851 XP
globe Seattle, WA
03/31/2021

Super slow grower, but easy!

@MysteriousNova avatar
@@MysteriousNova
leaf-1 12 Plants
xp 349 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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