Please Help! What type of Cactus is this and how do I take care of it?


Q: Hello,

I bought a Cactus for my wife about two years ago from a local home depot. For the life of me I dont know what kind it is and I dont know how to take care of it. Attached is a picture of the plant. My wife and I would be very happy if you could help us out and tell us what this thing is and how to take care of it.

-Chris

Chris,

Your cactus is most likely an Opuntia subulata monstrosa.

It looks like it needs more light, so try moving it closer to a west or
south facing window. It also looks like your potting soil is too rich,
with way too much organic material in it. Re-pot in a quality cactus
soil that does not have any “forest” product in it. If you can’t find
that locally mix two-thirds pumice or Perlite with one-third standard
potting soil. Do not add sand (it stays too wet). Water about every two
weeks during the summer, once a month in the winter. With better light
and soil your cactus should take off and grow into a cool lumpy mound
that looks like a “star-trek-ian Xmas tree” in a few years. O. subulata
is a very fast growing species and the monstrose mutation of it is too.

Good luck,
Hap


    
    
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