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The Opuntia ficus indica, perhaps better known as prickly pear or prickly pear, originally comes from Mexico. This desert plant is not only very decorative but also easy to care for and quite robust. In addition, the fruits of the Opuntia are edible.

The prickly pear is best propagated by cuttings

But even if you don't want to use prickly pear cactus as a food plant, you will surely find a reason to propagate these plants. In general, this is relatively easy to do by sowing or with the help of cuttings or cactus segments.

Sow prickly pear cacti

You can take the seeds for a planned sowing from your own prickly pears. To do this, remove the flesh of a ripe prickly pear. Thoroughly clean the seeds from adhering pulp so that they do not start to mold and place the seeds on moist potting soil. Maybe sprinkle some soil over it.

Now the seeds need a constant temperature of 20 °C to 25 °C and even humidity to germinate. Air the seeds daily to avoid rot and spray the seeds with water that is as lime-free as possible. At the latest when the first cotyledons appear, the little plants need a lot of light.

Grow prickly pear cactus from cuttings

Use healthy and strong segments from your prickly pear cactus for cuttings. You can cut them off with a sharp knife or break them off carefully. Allow the broken or cut surface to dry a little before sticking your cuttings in moist potting soil.

Don't put it too deep into the ground, about two centimeters at most, otherwise your cutting could rot or become moldy. Place the pot with your new cactus in a bright and warm place with at least 20°C. There it will soon form strong roots.

The essentials in brief:

  • Propagation by seed or cuttings
  • Thoroughly clean seeds from your own prickly pears
  • Do not/barely cover seeds with soil
  • Keep seed evenly moist
  • Germination temperature between 20 °C and 25 °C
  • Young plants need a lot of light
  • Cut cuttings carefully
  • Allow cut surfaces to dry slightly
  • Put offshoots max. 2 cm deep in the potting soil


If you only want to grow one or two prickly pear cactus, cuttings are recommended. This is a quick and easy way to get handsome young plants.

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