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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

Garden Gleanings - The beauty of our native cactus

Posted Monday, June 9, 2008, at 9:35 AM

Debbi took this one of our native prickly pear
A few years ago I moved one of our native cactus, Opuntia humifusa Hardy Prickly Pear into our cactus bed on the south side of the house. It REALLY does well and this is our first flower of the season. Soon the 3' by 3' plant will be full of the same.

They along with our larger cactus make a great deterrent for anyone wanting to get close to the house windows and solve a hot dry location under the roof overhang.

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We have these on our lawn - they're really pretty when they're in bloom. Here's something funny about them, when we moved into our house last year we thought they were native plants - like in Arizona where there are cacti everywhere, I didn't know until the guy who did our lawn last year told me that they were planted. Feel free to laugh at that.

-- Posted by cfrich on Mon, Jun 9, 2008, at 2:04 PM

Yikes... keep those away from me. Is there a phobia for cacti? If so, then I'm surely phobic. I'm not very fond of these since childhood when one reached out and grabbed me, and put those needles all in my leg and sides. Not that it had anything to do with my reckless driving on my bicycle or anything... it just had a grudge against me and reached out and pulled me in. HA HA!

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Mon, Jun 9, 2008, at 3:30 PM

They can definitely bite. That is why I like them by our window. Just makes painting the house a little more challenging. There is still a small spot that my wife keeps reminding me about from two years ago.

Chantal, I believe you are more accurate than you think, unless a "Johnny Cactus Seed" is out there. Those in your lawn may have been planted but the prickly pear can be found all over the place. Ours came from a cedar glade on our property.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jun 9, 2008, at 3:39 PM

So they're a native plant to this area? The way the landscaping guy was talking, was that they were only planted.

-- Posted by cfrich on Mon, Jun 9, 2008, at 10:26 PM

If we are talking about the same thing, he needs to get out in the country more.

Is it planted in a bed or just out in the lawn somewhere?

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jun 10, 2008, at 7:10 AM

It's out on the front lawn - against a tree, it's kind of a weird spot for it to have been planted.

-- Posted by cfrich on Tue, Jun 10, 2008, at 9:01 AM

Planted by nature maybe, but I have never seen who visits the mature seed pod, so I don't know how they get around. Any one know?

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jun 10, 2008, at 11:57 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.