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Nopalea cochenillifera f. variegata (Warm Hand Cactus)


Scientific Name

Nopalea cochenillifera f. variegata

Accepted Scientific Name

Nopalea cochenillifera (L.) Salm-Dyck

Common Names

Warm Hand Cactus, Velvet Cactus


Opuntia cochenillifera f. variegata

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Opuntioideae
Genus: Nopalea


Nopalea cochenillifera f. variegata is a rare, spineless cactus with flattened, fleshy, modified stems that are often referred to as pads or leaves. Each pad can reach up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and they have an attractive green and yellow variegation. Mature plants reach up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and up to 20 inches (50 cm) wide.


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °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. If you live in a hot, arid area, these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed.

These cacti will grow just fine in a garden, bu they can be grown in pots as well. To repot, ensure the soil is dry, then remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the cactus 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.

Opuntia can propagate either by cuttings or by seed. To propagate by cuttings, sever pads from a plant and let them dry so that the wounds heal. Then place the plants in a dry soil and refrain from watering them until they begin to grow to avoid rotting them… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Opuntia


Nopalea cochenillifera f. variegata is a variegated for of Nopalea cochenillifera.


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