I've had this for several years and it has never bloomed. It tried last year, but set buds too late. This year it has several blooms. This one bloom has something protruding out of the center of it. It is also getting buds on the bud. Is this nnormal?
Buds will occasionally turn into offsets which is what appears to be happening in the first photo. Sorry it probably will not bloom but will turn into another pad.
Don't know if that's normal but I've seen buds on buds with other Opuntias. The local cholla (prolifera) actually gets its name from the proliferating fruit (fruit upon fruit) which arise from the same basic origins.
Just a couple of ideas come to mind: what about using a bit of fertilizer, the flowers take a lot of energy from any plant and it may need some help, my book on Cactus reads that very one to two months during the spring and summer month I should use a 5-10-10 (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) water-soluble fertilizer. I do that using 1/2 teaspoon per 1 gallon of water.
Another point is to see if the roots are crowding the pot or the roots are coming out the bottom, this last one does not always mean they are root bound, but in both instances you may need to re-pot the plant.
Thanks cristina. I did repot it this year and thought about fertilizer, but with all the rain we had, I decided not to. Next year it'll get some.
Do you keep it in the open?
Still, it looks very healthy!
It could be something as simple as heat, either way too much or way too little. I have seen flower buds on Opuntias in my yard not flower when it got way too hot (sort of expected), but I have also seen it happen that a plant was making buds and it was not very hot and it would eventually abort those and then when it got hot a few weeks later a bunch of new ones would form and flower almost immediately.
Another option is that they only partially opened and then had had enough, that happens quite a lot in my yard, where you get these almost but not quite flowers.
Thanks! Mcvansoest. It gets a little closer each year. Last year was the first year it had a bloom. Maybe next year.