Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis
Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis
Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis
Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis
Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis
Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis
Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis
Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis

Are you on the hunt for a unique and eye-catching plant to add to your collection? Look no further than the brittle prickly pear cactus or little prickly pear, also known as Opuntia fragilis or fragile cactus, a vibrant member of the Opuntia genus. This striking plant displays vibrant orange, red, or yellow-green flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer, making it a true showstopper in any garden. There are few flowers on each brittle prickly pear, and many plants do not flower every year. 

What makes this cactus truly unique is its loose connection of pads; they're easily detached by passing animals, which helps in propagation. And get this: new pads grow out of the top of the brittle prickly pear cactus, causing it to bend over like a little green waterfall!

Hailing from North America and reaching a height of 12 inches, it is noticeably thicker than other species (24 inches) at maturity. The prickly pear cactus, which is often cylindrical or potato-shaped with spines concentrated at the upper edge, is sure to make a statement wherever it's planted.  However, it's important to note that this plant is mildly toxic for both humans and pets, so handle it with caution!  

Plus, where new pads touch the soil, roots form and grow into new colonies! Talk about self-sufficiency! So, if you want a plant that can take care of itself while adding some cute desert vibes to your home, look no further than the Brittle Prickly Pear, 'Opuntia fragilis'.  

Watering Needs 

Many cacti, like Opuntia fragilis, thrive when cared for properly by using the "soak and dry" technique. This involves giving your plant a generous watering, followed by allowing it to completely dry out before watering again.  

For potted and outdoor Opuntia, during the growing season, it's recommended to give them a deep-water soak once or twice a month when the soil is dry. Use a water meter or place your finger into the soil, and if it is dry an inch down, then you should water your plant.  Make sure that you are also using porous sandy soil, and if it is in a pot, then make sure there is a drainage hole to avoid overwatering. In rainy seasons or cold weather, it's best to withhold watering your outdoor cacti.

Light Requirements 

Opuntia fragilis prefers bright, direct sunlight and can tolerate full sun exposure for most of the day. When grown indoors or in low-light environments, the plant may not receive enough light to thrive and may become leggy or pale in color.  

If you are growing Opuntia fragilis indoors, it is important to place it in a south-facing window or under grow lights to provide it with adequate light. If growing outdoors, it can be grown in a variety of locations, including rock gardens, xeriscapes, and containers, as long as it receives enough sunlight to support healthy growth. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

Are you ready to take your Opuntia fragilis cacti plant game to the next level?  When it comes to choosing the right soil and fertilizer for your adorable prickly pear cacti, you need to be extra cautious and use the right kind of soil.  Moisture can be a real killer, leading to root and stem rot in no time. But fear not, my fellow green thumbs! Planet Desert has got your back with our specialized cactus potting mix that includes organic mycorrhizae, perfect for promoting healthy roots and happy plants. 

When it comes to fertilizing your cactus plant, it only needs a small amount of fertilizer applied once a year in the spring. Cacti prefer fertilizer with lower doses of NPK, with a maximum ratio of 5-10-5 that is higher in phosphorus than nitrogen. 

Hardiness Zones & More 

Opuntia fragilis requires sunny, warm climates to thrive, but it can tolerate mild cold temperatures. Generally, these are hardy plants that can be grown in the garden in USDA zones 4–10, and it is a great houseplant for beginners as it will be fine if you forget to water it for a while.  

These tropical cacti tend to live for many years and grow slowly. Plant them in the spring after the weather warms up.

Be sure to add Opuntia fragilis to your collection today and elevate the beauty of your home or garden with this stunning plant. 

Bloom Season Late spring, early summer
Botanical Name Opuntia fragilis
Common Name Brittle prickly pear cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color Orange, red, yellow, green
Genus Opuntia
Growth Habit Flattened, paddle shaped
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Mature Size 12 in. tall, 24 in. wide
Native Area North America
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By stem cuttings, seeds, pads
Resistance Drought tolerant, mild frost tolerant, pest resistance
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type specialized cactus potting mix
Special Features Showy flowers
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Mild toxic for humans (Keep away from pets and children)
Watering Needs Low

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Brittle Prickly Pear - Opuntia fragilis

sku: 2221

Regular price$ 19.47
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Shipping calculated at checkout.

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Please note: All Landscape Ready plants that are in a 6-inch pot or larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way

Please note: Our large plants are many years old, and as a result, they might have minor scaring but will arrive 100% healthy and looking great.

Please note: Our large plants are shipped bare root. They are also many years old, and as a result, they might have minor scaring but will arrive healthy and looking great.

If you live in a cold climate and are expecting temperatures below 40 degrees within the next five days after placing your order, we highly recommend adding a heat pack to your order. If you do not order a heat pack, we do not send one with your order.

BUY HEAT PACKS HERE

**FREE HEAT PACK WITH ORDERS OVER $50 before taxes and shipping- BY REQUEST ONLY, PLEASE MAKE A NOTE ON YOUR ORDER.

To prevent plants from freezing while in transit, orders placed for areas with extreme severe freezing temperatures will be held for shipment until it is safe to ship.

Plants that are in 3.5" pots and smaller will be shipped in its pot to prevent any damage to the roots. Any plant that is 6" and larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

Depending on the species and season, you will receive a very similar plant to the one in the picture. It may or may not be blooming at the time of your purchase.

We ship via USPS Priority Mail, and we calculate the shipping cost based on the weight and volume of your purchase. Care instructions are included in every package you order. Please allow us up to 3 business days to process your order. Depending on your location, we will ship the plants on a certain day to avoid transit time during weekends or holidays. If you wish to receive your order on a specific date, or have special instructions, please add a note on your order. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time.

  • Description
  • Key Plant Features

Are you on the hunt for a unique and eye-catching plant to add to your collection? Look no further than the brittle prickly pear cactus or little prickly pear, also known as Opuntia fragilis or fragile cactus, a vibrant member of the Opuntia genus. This striking plant displays vibrant orange, red, or yellow-green flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer, making it a true showstopper in any garden. There are few flowers on each brittle prickly pear, and many plants do not flower every year. 

What makes this cactus truly unique is its loose connection of pads; they're easily detached by passing animals, which helps in propagation. And get this: new pads grow out of the top of the brittle prickly pear cactus, causing it to bend over like a little green waterfall!

Hailing from North America and reaching a height of 12 inches, it is noticeably thicker than other species (24 inches) at maturity. The prickly pear cactus, which is often cylindrical or potato-shaped with spines concentrated at the upper edge, is sure to make a statement wherever it's planted.  However, it's important to note that this plant is mildly toxic for both humans and pets, so handle it with caution!  

Plus, where new pads touch the soil, roots form and grow into new colonies! Talk about self-sufficiency! So, if you want a plant that can take care of itself while adding some cute desert vibes to your home, look no further than the Brittle Prickly Pear, 'Opuntia fragilis'.  

Watering Needs 

Many cacti, like Opuntia fragilis, thrive when cared for properly by using the "soak and dry" technique. This involves giving your plant a generous watering, followed by allowing it to completely dry out before watering again.  

For potted and outdoor Opuntia, during the growing season, it's recommended to give them a deep-water soak once or twice a month when the soil is dry. Use a water meter or place your finger into the soil, and if it is dry an inch down, then you should water your plant.  Make sure that you are also using porous sandy soil, and if it is in a pot, then make sure there is a drainage hole to avoid overwatering. In rainy seasons or cold weather, it's best to withhold watering your outdoor cacti.

Light Requirements 

Opuntia fragilis prefers bright, direct sunlight and can tolerate full sun exposure for most of the day. When grown indoors or in low-light environments, the plant may not receive enough light to thrive and may become leggy or pale in color.  

If you are growing Opuntia fragilis indoors, it is important to place it in a south-facing window or under grow lights to provide it with adequate light. If growing outdoors, it can be grown in a variety of locations, including rock gardens, xeriscapes, and containers, as long as it receives enough sunlight to support healthy growth. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

Are you ready to take your Opuntia fragilis cacti plant game to the next level?  When it comes to choosing the right soil and fertilizer for your adorable prickly pear cacti, you need to be extra cautious and use the right kind of soil.  Moisture can be a real killer, leading to root and stem rot in no time. But fear not, my fellow green thumbs! Planet Desert has got your back with our specialized cactus potting mix that includes organic mycorrhizae, perfect for promoting healthy roots and happy plants. 

When it comes to fertilizing your cactus plant, it only needs a small amount of fertilizer applied once a year in the spring. Cacti prefer fertilizer with lower doses of NPK, with a maximum ratio of 5-10-5 that is higher in phosphorus than nitrogen. 

Hardiness Zones & More 

Opuntia fragilis requires sunny, warm climates to thrive, but it can tolerate mild cold temperatures. Generally, these are hardy plants that can be grown in the garden in USDA zones 4–10, and it is a great houseplant for beginners as it will be fine if you forget to water it for a while.  

These tropical cacti tend to live for many years and grow slowly. Plant them in the spring after the weather warms up.

Be sure to add Opuntia fragilis to your collection today and elevate the beauty of your home or garden with this stunning plant. 

Bloom Season Late spring, early summer
Botanical Name Opuntia fragilis
Common Name Brittle prickly pear cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color Orange, red, yellow, green
Genus Opuntia
Growth Habit Flattened, paddle shaped
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Mature Size 12 in. tall, 24 in. wide
Native Area North America
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By stem cuttings, seeds, pads
Resistance Drought tolerant, mild frost tolerant, pest resistance
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type specialized cactus potting mix
Special Features Showy flowers
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Mild toxic for humans (Keep away from pets and children)
Watering Needs Low

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