Opuntia imbricata v. viridiflorus and Opuntia basilaris ‘Baby Rita’ / Cleon 2013
A recent cactus fiend
Might be anthropomorphism, but, this cactus cactguy sent me last fall looks very solemn and thoughtful. Probably very upset to lose all it’s breathren to frost…
Opuntia basilaris ‘Baby Rita’ is such a photogenic prickly pear, but all the mini and micro ones are.
The Coffin was completely overgrown, so today I trimmed with the edger and them came back in with hand shears to finish the job. Everything that I planted in the fall - including the Opuntia hemifusa which I thought were dead - looks great. I have a lot of new pads and even quite a few blooms growing!
Been waiting for an update on a few of my favorites? Well, here you go: Opuntia basilaris ‘Baby Rita’, Opuntia imbricata var. varidiflorus, Opuntia ‘Mesa Melon’, Opuntia fragilis (debreczyi) var. denuda, and Maehuiniopsis darwinii. Whew, that’s a mouthful!
Coffin update: The Opuntia basilaris ‘Baby Rita’, O. ellisiana, and the prickly pear that I removed from the planting spot amongst the flagstone area are all showing new growth. That means everything except the O. microdasys montrose are thriving! The Agave salmiana is looking strong, too.
The prickly pears in my lower garden, The Coffin, continue to grow more quickly than those in my backyard. Several of the Opuntia engelmannii already have 1-2 inch pads! The weeds, however, are growing even more quickly. While the O. ellisiana and O. microdasys montrose look healthy they are not yet showing spring growth, and the O. basilaris ‘Baby Rita’ is a striking color of purple throughout - that I have never seen in either specimen in my backyard. Friday, after picking up the greenhouse collection, I hope to get back down there and clean it up a bit before the weeds take complete control!
It wouldn’t be a complete day without an update on the prickly pears. Feast your eyes on this - and Spring has only just begun! I can’t overstate my enthusiasm that the Opuntia ‘Mesa Melon’ is taking off and planning to double in size!
Look what came in the mail today !!!!
Had no idea how big the pads would be , so excuse the small pots . Getting bigger ones tomorrow .
I LOVE the Baby Rita and the pictures are beautiful.
Was stupid and didn’t wear gloves and am definitely paying for it now .
So so so happy !
Thank you Cactguy !!
Here is the swag from my first giveaway. So happy they already arrived. Enjoy buddy! (I use heavy duty rubber gardening gloves to protect from glochids.)
Last year I didn’t do any major cutbacks on the Opuntia in the spring - the summer resulted in constant trimming of pads encroaching the yard and no real fruit to speak of. In fact, of the fruit that set, none of them ever ripened and most just fell off. This, in conjunction with the Christmas freeze and snow that did some damage to a few of the Opuntia, led me to do a lot of trimming this morning. This has resulted in a number of pads that will either go to my prickly pear garden in the Coffin or to friends, family, and followers. I particularly like the shape of the Opuntia ellisiana, or tiger tongue prickly pear, now: it is large but doesn’t feel heavy, lets lights through, and helps to separate the patio area from the rest of the garden.
It was in the 70s this afternoon, so I finally got the fallen/broken Opuntia pads rounded up, and placed down in the Coffin to overwinter and (hopefully) root. I planted: 2 pieces of Opuntia ellisiana (Tiger Tongue, 3 pads), 1 piece of Opuntia microdasys montrose (Crazy bunny, 3 pads), 3 pieces of Opuntia basilaris hybrid ‘Baby Rita’ (6 pads). After several rainy days (including 30 hours straight), it was a little swampy, but Opuntia can handle anything, right?
While I was down there, I checked on the pads that I had planted in the late summer and fall. I fear that randomc’s Opuntia humifusa are not going to make it. Updates on the other pads to follow tomorrow.