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Article: The Devil in My Woods: Prickly Pear Cactus: trimming prickly pear

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Forum: Article: The Devil in My Woods: Prickly Pear CactusReplies: 3, Views: 26
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Columbia, SC
(Zone 8a)

September 4, 2008
3:49 AM

Post #5505931

What time of year is good to trim or cut back prickly pear? I have a huge, overgrown one in my yard and would like to cut it back significantly, but I don't want to kill it.

Fountain, FL
(Zone 8b)

September 4, 2008
4:29 AM

Post #5506047

Hi ShawnC,
In my experience here in FL, you can not kill them. I have chopped them up, cut them down with the mower, & burned them and still they come back. Even digging them out does not work if you don't get every little tee-niney bit of the roots.

I am no expert on them but, I would do it in the late summer or fall giving them plenty of time to 'heal' before a freeze. Also, this will not interfer with the growing period of spring and summer. Seems like if they were pruned back in the spring, they might not bloom and that would just be a shame.

Break the pads off where they join each other. Don't forget to where gloves (that you can throw away), and use old tongs, cardboard or anything else that keeps your hands and the glochids separated!

Also, you can root the pads you take off. Let them dry out for about a week and then stick the cut end into the ground, not too deep, and water daily for a couple/three weeks. It should root within that time frame.
Middleburg, FL

March 14, 2009
3:40 AM

Post #6264102

Hi libellule,
I just started this Daves garden thing, and not yoo sure how every thing works on this site,but thought I would give ti a try.
I live on the EASTERN side of northern fla. in Middleburg in the woods, just south of Jacksonville, Love plants, but ones that are all yearround kind.
ANY WAY, I was wondering if you know how to prepare the fruits off the Prickly Pear?
Thanks for the info about how to get out the needles that you gave to shawnc12, i lernt something,Boy that duct tape good for pert near any thing Huh! thanks again,
Lonehorse 51
Fountain, FL
(Zone 8b)

March 23, 2009
6:56 PM

Post #6308842

Hi Lonehorse,

Those little hairs and spine are horrible! The blooms are sure pretty though.

I found some online sources for cleaning and using the tunas of PP's.
I hope these help.

"How to Cut and Prepare Prickly Pears" (This one has pics of the method used)

"Harvesting & Processing Prickly Pear Fruit and Making Prickly Pear Lemonade Punch"



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