Prickly Pear Cactus
Opuntia monacantha monstruosa is a succulent shrub or tree growing to 5m in height.. It often has a definite trunk that is much branched at the top and has drooping upper branches . Branches are narrowly obovate (egg-shaped in outline but with the narrower end at the base) to oblong-lanceolate; base somewhat tapered , 10-35 cm long, 7.5-12.5 cm wide. Succulent branches bear areoles with 1-3 yellowish spines with darker tips, while the trunk areoles have 10 or more spines.
Demands full light growing for most of the year, except during the winter cycle. For the plant's health, light should be reduced to partial sun during this time.
Opuntia is a desert species . Water the plant when the top one inch of soil is dry. Allow the water to drain out of the pot and remove any excess from the saucer. During fall and winter, water lightly only every 2- 3 weeks. Like most cacti, this specimen demands sandy soil-bases that drain easily
Feed Cactus monthly with low nitrogen fertilizer but it should stop one month before the planned winter cycle for the plant's health.
It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small.