Austrocylindropuntia cylindrica (Lam.) Backeb.
Cane Cactus, Coral Cactus
Austrocylindropuntia intermedia, Cactus cylindricus, Cylindropuntia cylindrica, Cylindropuntia intermedia, Opuntia bradleyi, Opuntia cylindrica
Austrocylindropuntia cylindrica is a shrubby cactus with green stem segments covered with white spines. It grows up to 14 feet (4.2 m) tall. The stems segments are up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. Leaves are green, nearly cylindrical, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. Flowers are bright red and up to 3.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter. The green-yellow fruits contain many seeds covered with a hard coat.
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 10b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Though the large variety of species within the Opuntia genus means different types of prickly pears may need slightly different care, all are desert cacti that need lots of sun, lots of light, and very little water. So if you live in a hot, arid area, these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed.
As desert cacti, Prickly Pears require maximum sunlight to thrive and should be kept in direct sunlight whenever possible. Very little water is required. These drought-resistant plants grow best in hot, dry areas, and excessive water could cause them to rot. Hot temperatures are best, but these cacti will tolerate a very wide range of temperatures. The most important soil requirement for Opuntia is that it drains well. Other than that, a basic potting soil is fine, and these cacti will grow in rock gardens, as well.
Though Opuntia will grow just fine in a garden, they can be grown in pots as well. To repot, ensure the soil is dry, remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the prickly pear in a new pot and backfill it with potting soil. As with a new cutting, make sure not to water a newly repotting prickly pear for a brief period to avoid rotting its roots.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Opuntia.
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