Opuntia microdasys ‘Bunny ear cactus’ is a popular and distinctive cultivar of the Opuntia microdasys species, commonly known as the Bunny Ear Cactus or Angel’s Wings.
The Bunny Ear Cactus has flattened, paddle-shaped stems or pads that resemble the ears of a rabbit, hence its name. The pads are typically green and covered in tiny clusters of glochids, which are small hair-like spines that can cause irritation if touched.
How to grow and take care of Bunny ear cactus?
Bunny ear cactus, also known as Opuntia microdasys, is a popular and easy-to-care-for cactus that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Here are some tips on how to grow and take care of bunny ear cactus:
- Light: Bunny ear cactus prefers bright, indirect light, but it can also tolerate some direct sunlight. If growing indoors, place the cactus near a south or west-facing window.
- Soil: Use well-draining soil, such as a cactus or succulent mix. Bunny ear cactus can tolerate dry soil, but it also needs enough moisture to grow healthy.
- Watering: Water your bunny ear cactus sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Overwatering can cause root rot and kill the plant.
- Temperature: Bunny ear cactus prefers warm temperatures, around 60-85°F (15-29°C). It can tolerate cooler temperatures, but it is not frost-tolerant.
- Fertilizer: Fertilize your bunny ear cactus once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced cactus fertilizer.
- Pruning: Bunny ear cactus can grow tall and leggy, so it’s important to prune it regularly to maintain its shape. Use a sharp, clean knife or scissors to remove any overgrown or damaged stems.
- Propagation: Bunny ear cactus can be propagated by stem cuttings. Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days before planting them in well-draining soil.
Overall, bunny ear cactus is a low-maintenance plant that can add a unique and playful touch to your indoor or outdoor garden. Just be sure to give it enough light, water, and warmth, and it will thrive for years to come!
What is the lifespan of Bunny ear cactus?
Bunny ear cactus, also known as Opuntia microdasys, can live for several decades if it is grown in the right conditions and taken care of properly. In their native habitat, these cacti can live up to 20 years or more.
However, their lifespan may vary depending on various factors such as growing conditions, disease, and pest infestations. If grown in optimal conditions and given proper care, bunny ear cactus can live for many years and even become a beloved family heirloom.
How to water it?
Bunny ear cactus prefers dry soil, so it’s important to water it sparingly. Here are some tips on how to water bunny ear cactus:
- Frequency: Water your bunny ear cactus only when the soil has completely dried out. Overwatering can cause root rot and kill the plant.
- Amount: When you water your bunny ear cactus, water it deeply and thoroughly, so that the water penetrates the soil and reaches the roots. Allow the excess water to drain out of the pot.
- Water quality: Use room-temperature water that is free of chlorine and fluoride, as these chemicals can be harmful to the cactus.
- Seasonal changes: Bunny ear cactus may require more or less water depending on the season. In the winter, when the plant is dormant, it may require less water. In the summer, when it’s actively growing, it may require more frequent watering.
- Pot size: Bunny ear cactus should be planted in a pot with good drainage to prevent overwatering. A pot that is too large can hold excess moisture, which can be harmful to the cactus.
Remember to always check the soil moisture level before watering your bunny ear cactus. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil to see if it’s dry. If it is, it’s time to water. With proper watering and care, your bunny ear cactus can thrive and grow for many years.
How to prune it?
Pruning bunny ear cactus, also known as Opuntia microdasys, is important to maintain its shape and encourage healthy growth. Here are some tips on how to prune bunny ear cactus:
- Tools: Use sharp, clean scissors or gardening shears to prune bunny ear cactus. This will help prevent any damage or tearing to the plant.
- Timing: The best time to prune bunny ear cactus is in the spring or early summer, before the growing season begins. This will allow the plant to recover quickly and grow new stems.
- Method: Bunny ear cactus can grow tall and leggy if it’s not pruned regularly. To keep it compact and bushy, prune the tips of the stems using the scissors or shears. You can also cut back any stems that are growing too long or are damaged.
- Safety: Wear gloves and long sleeves when pruning bunny ear cactus to protect your skin from the cactus spines.
- Disposal: Dispose of the pruned stems carefully, as they can easily take root and start new plants if left on the ground.
By pruning your bunny ear cactus regularly, you can maintain its shape and promote healthy growth. Remember to always use sharp, clean tools and wear protective clothing when pruning cacti to prevent injury.
How big does Bunny ear cactus grow?
Bunny ear cactus, also known as Opuntia microdasys, can grow up to 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) tall and wide, depending on its growing conditions. However, it typically grows much smaller when grown in pots indoors.
The plant is characterized by flat, oval-shaped pads that resemble bunny ears, hence its name. The pads can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. The cactus produces clusters of small, yellow flowers that bloom in the summer, followed by edible fruits. When grown in optimal conditions, bunny ear cactus can live for many years and add a unique and playful touch to your indoor or outdoor garden.
Which soil is the best for growing it?
Bunny ear cactus, also known as Opuntia microdasys, prefers well-draining soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. Here are some tips on selecting the best soil for growing bunny ear cactus:
- Use a cactus mix: Bunny ear cactus requires soil that drains well and doesn’t hold onto excess moisture. A cactus mix, which contains a blend of sand, perlite, and peat moss, is ideal for growing this plant.
- Avoid heavy soils: Heavy soils, such as those with a high clay content, can hold onto moisture and cause root rot. Bunny ear cactus requires soil that is airy and drains well.
- Add organic matter: To improve the soil’s nutrient content and promote healthy growth, you can add a small amount of organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to the cactus mix.
- Don’t use garden soil: Garden soil is often too heavy and can contain weed seeds or pests that can harm your bunny ear cactus.
When planting bunny ear cactus, make sure to use a pot with good drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating and causing root rot. It’s also important to avoid overwatering and to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. With proper soil and watering, your bunny ear cactus can thrive and add a playful touch to your indoor or outdoor garden.
Where can I buy it?
Bunny ear cactus, also known as Opuntia microdasys, can be purchased at many nurseries, garden centers, and online plant stores. Here are some options for where to buy bunny ear cactus:
- Local nurseries and garden centers: Visit your local nurseries and garden centers to see if they carry bunny ear cactus. This will allow you to inspect the plants in person and choose the healthiest one.
- Online plant stores: There are many online plant stores that offer a wide variety of cacti, including bunny ear cactus. Some popular online plant stores include Etsy, Amazon, and The Sill.
- Cactus and succulent shows: Check to see if there are any cactus and succulent shows or sales in your area. These events often have a wide variety of cacti for sale, including bunny ear cactus.
- Local plant groups: Join local plant groups on social media or in person to connect with other plant enthusiasts and potentially find bunny ear cactus for sale.
When purchasing bunny ear cactus, make sure to choose a healthy plant with no signs of disease or pests. Check the soil moisture level and make sure the plant is potted in well-draining soil. With proper care, your bunny ear cactus can thrive and add a unique touch to your indoor or outdoor garden.
- Bunny ear cactus, also known as Opuntia microdasys, is a low-maintenance and playful addition to your indoor or outdoor garden.
- Bunny ear cactus prefers well-draining soil that is slightly acidic to neutral, such as a cactus mix.
- When watering bunny ear cactus, allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering and root rot.
- Bunny ear cactus can be pruned in the spring or early summer using sharp, clean tools to maintain its shape and promote healthy growth.
- Bunny ear cactus can be purchased at local nurseries and garden centers, online plant stores, cactus and succulent shows, and through local plant groups.
By following these tips, you can successfully grow and care for your bunny ear cactus and enjoy its unique and playful appearance in your garden.
Have a nice day!