How do I plant Opuntia cactus pads?

Opuntia (Prickly Pear) Cactus are a wonderful frost hardy option for low-water landscapes. They arrive as unrooted pads or paddles, ready to plant and grow roots. Remember to always use tongs to handle Opuntia as its barbed glochids can pierce skin and leather gloves. Each order of Opuntia comes with a detailed care guide detailing the following planting steps.

How to Plant Opuntia Cactus

  1. Pick a location with 6+ hours of full sun each day and gritty, well-draining soil
  2. Dig a hole about 2"-3" wide and deep to fit bottom third of the pad
  3. Use tongs to lean the pad in the hole (you do not need to refill the hole right away as the roots sprout best surrounded by air)
  4. Wait 3-5 days to water; only re-water when soil is completely dry and do not water at all in winter