Edible cactus - Prickly Pear, Nopal (Opuntia ficus indica)

Apparently, one of the best edible varieties of nopal "prickly pear" is the one without the pricks, or spines. The spineless variety is called Indian Fig or Opuntia ficus indica.



Food From Prickly Pear Cactus - Ancient Pathways School



Cactus propagation how to get the most out of prickly pear - 420Homestead

How to propagate opuntia?

Propagation from pads is simple and fast. From a growing cactus, cut a pad that is at least six months old, and allow it to form callous. This will take a week or two in warm weather but longer when the air is moist. Be sure to allow more time rather than less, to avoid rot. Sit the pad upright while it forms callous so that it will not curl. The cured pads may be dipped in a Bordeaux mixture to further protect them from fungal infection. Alternatively, you can cut the plant in half and plant upside down - see the video above (by 420Homestead).

When planting the pad, settle it upright only about an inch deep in a mixture of equal parts of soil and sand or rough pumice. Planting the pad too deeply will encourage rot. In area with intense summer sun, situate the pad so that the slim side points north and south, and the broad side east and west. The sun will then pass along the narrow side during the hottest time of the day, and the pad won't sunburn. Anchor the pad in place with rocks to keep it upright, but do not water it(the moisture stored in the pad will enable it to sprout roots, and excess moisture may cause it to rot.

After a month, some roots will have formed, and the pad will stand firmly by itself in the soil. Water it once then, but let it dry between future waterings. Wait several months before beginning to harvest either pads or fruit, or future harvests will lessened. Generally, the second or third pad to form will bear flowers and fruit, but a pad from an older plant may flower and set fruit sooner than a section from a younger, immature.

Growth from seed is slow, and three to four years may pass before flowers and fruits appear.

Where the buy the cactus?

The pads for planting available from "soriano56" on Ebay: Spineless Prickly Pear Nopales Cactus Opuntia Ficus Indica 7 Thornless Pads | eBay http://ebay.to/1FcNaSc

Related reading:

Prickly Pear Cactus Production - UC Small Farm Program http://bit.ly/16BjimO
Cactus - It's What's For Dinner http://buff.ly/142VYwD
Cactus: Don’t Be Spineless | Eat The Weeds and other things, too http://bit.ly/1D32Ubq
How to Eat Prickly Pear Cactus: 10 Steps (with Pictures) - WikiHow http://bit.ly/16Bja6w
Prickly Pear: A Cactus Cure? - Ask Dr. Weil http://bit.ly/16Bje6h
Desert Harvesters: Appreciating the Native Foods of the Southwest » Prickly Pear Cactus (English) http://bit.ly/16Bjfr4
Opuntia -- identification guide -- Discover Life http://bit.ly/16BjfY9
A Thornless Cactus - How to "Tree Form" A Cactus That WON'T Hurt You! Eat Your Backyard (video) http://buff.ly/1LZlCaB



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