Friday, May 24, 2013


I hope you never have to move a prickly pear.
The house next to ours has sold and will be torn down.
So my borderline garden plants have to be moved 
to be kept out of harms way.
Yes, even a prickly pear is no match for a bulldozer!
Fortunately, I have one of the spineless forms.
I'm not sure what the species is, but it still has the little glochids (tiny spines) around
each of those dots. Beware of glochids!
To begin with, always prepare your Opuntia's new home
before the thing gets anywhere near it.
Imagine painting this pot with the Opuntia in the middle. 
Ouch ouch ouch.
(BTW: that's Loyal Blue SW6510 by Sherwin's a nice color)
Use gloves and a folded newspaper to stabilize the prickly pear while 
digging it up.
If a pad falls off, don't worry. Just lay it on bare soil and it will set roots
and start to grow a new plant. 
Here's the Opuntia in its new home.
Since most Opuntias are top heavy, I would recommend
adding some type of brace to your plant until it fills the pot with roots.
I used some bricks since I didn't want to get near the tiny splinters.
Opuntias look terrific in front of weathered wood, by old rustic fences,
or by solid adobe or stucco walls.
I have only one and one is enough for that Texas look.
We have a number of species here, so I'd love to know
what this one is.
Anyone willing to take a wild guess? I think I found it in New Braunfels, Texas.

I only had 3 of those micro spines in my finger after all was said and done.
I had gloves on 99% of the time and only took them off to take 
one of the photos. I swear glochids can jump!
Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Yes I can see that moving this plant would be one of the be-very-very-careful type of gardening jobs! It looks like you managed very well though. Love the blue trim on the pot!

  2. Job well done! Sorry to hear you have to deal with another tear-down. There is nothing old in Houston. My kids are fascinated when we travel and they see old buildings and houses that are different colors...we have deed restricted colors, all bland.

  3. Moving cactus is no fun. I removed a similar looking one a few years ago after it succumbed to a cold winter. I was picking out spines for a couple of days even though I was wearing gloves.
    In response to your question on my blog about the tall blue flowers, they are Mealycup Sage, Salvia farinacea. Specifically, the Henry Duelberg variety, so called because they were found growing on Henry's grave.
    Good luck with all that will be going on next door in the weeks and months to come.

  4. I'm sorry to hear the house next door is being torn down. I know that makes you nervous about what will go up in its place. Good luck ... and good job on moving the opuntia!

  5. I am not sure if it is O. ellisiana or O. ficus indica. The latter has more wavy edges. Whichever I know the feeling of getting those glochids in the body. Good for you. I would be saving it too.

  6. Looks like Opuntia 'Old Mexico'. And a great detail of moving one...I'm about to move a 3' prickly pear, and wish this were an easier task, but at least it's just one!

  7. I avoid cactus because they are too stabby/bitey/splintery. But they do offer a cool vine to a garden and yours looks happy. :o) Love the blue edge on the pot.

  8. Hello David! I love your idea of putting some bricks to hold the opuntia. Brilliant :-D Cheers, Stephanie

  9. wow the cactus looks beautiful. Just beautiful.

  10. Cactus can be a menace when it comes to those fine thorns.
    I had them once when I was moving and replanting them but unlike you - I didn't use gloves.
    So I think you can guess what happens next!

    Have a great weekend!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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