Prickle Pear Cactus - Knowledgebase Question

Edinburg, Te
Question by menazenaida
January 30, 2011
I have a Prickle Pear Cactus, thornless, growing fast in a 5 gal.pot in a full sun area in my garden. I would like to plant it in my garden; how do I prepare the soil, since I have clay/caliche soil? Also, the area where I'm planning to plant it, receives sun after 11a.m. Is it o.k.?Thank you so much for your help.


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Answer from NGA
January 30, 2011

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You're right - cactus roots are very efficient in finding water and planting your cactus in clay soil will essentially drown the roots. So, you'll need to prepare a large planting area to accommodate future root growth. Dig a generous sized hole and mix gravel, sand and a little compost into your native soil. About 10 percent compost, and 20 percent sand and gravel should be just about right. Refill the hole, then dig out enough soil to accommodate the roots of your plant. After planting and backfilling around the roots, water your cactus well to help settle the soil. Best wishes with your cactus!

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