Any variety/species recommendations for cactus tunas?


Do you get a lot of fruit? Any tricks to get mine to start blooming? They overwinter indoors in a north facing window and I move them into the greenhouse around April

I read somewhere that some prickly pear need a cold period to induce flowering
Maybe yours is to warm ,all year.
The trick would be finding out how much cold yours can take without killing it.
Maybe divide and experiment …? …


This is a start on finding good fruiting varietys that are cold hardy.
But these are from venders, everything sounds good in the "seed catalogs "
We have not heard from any individuals ,that have good hardy fruit.
Who has them ?


I have a neighbor with very productive prickly pears. Only a small percentage of his fruit ever got harvested, so I could probably get a photo of his crop yet. I’ve tasted them, too. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted any other tunas, though, so I don’t have any comparison points. I’d say they either have pretty good fruit or I’m underestimating how good tunas (at least the cold hardy ones) can taste.

This neighbor has a section where his prickly pears have expanded that he wants to cut back, so I could probably get 100 pads from him to root early next spring.


Here’s a photo from my neighbor’s that I just took today.


That looks as good as or better than any I have seen that far north.
You may have found the best one ?


There was quite a bit of fruit that had fallen off and was rotting on the ground by now, too, plus maybe a little bit that was harvested, so they’re even more productive than the photo shows. The neighbors said they started with one “mickey mouse” that they bought at Lowe’s about 15 years ago. It’s certainly happy and productive here, and the size of the tunas seems pretty good, but I really have no idea how the quality of the fruit compares to other species/varieties.


I wonder if that cactus would grow in the St. Paul area? If samples are available, I would like to try it.


@milehighgirl always liked Years ago on the old gardenweb forum she sent me information about them. As good as they were back then I can’t imagine all the cactus they have by now. Rhonda has not been on here in awhile but I suspect she would really like this topic!


Early this year I got a couple pads of an apparently zone 6 hardy spineless Opuntia from TX. No clue about fruit quality or anything else, but it’s near to look at and I don’t have to do anything with it!


I came across some old pamphlets from Luther Burbank about his spineless cacti, here’s the links to my Google Drive:


We need a thread for just Luther Burbank Documentation. Its truly poetry.


I went ahead and ordered 8 varieties from coldhardycactus, I’ll report back with how everything looks upon arrival. I got some for fruit and some for ornamental value.


Thanks for the Burbank link?
Texas A+M is doing research on cold hardy opuntia for fruit.
I will report back if I find anything good for us up north


What did you order Kelby?
A friend installed a cactus garden that is mostly opuntia this past year, he is on very sandy soil and put it on a south facing slope in his z5b location. I have resigned myself to the fact that my property just isn’t suited to these, northern exposure in Maine has its drawbacks. I have always liked cacti, so maybe someday I will try to buck the odds and give it a go.


For fruit I ordered Mesa Sky, Barr’s Dwarf, Inermis, and Oklahoma Pancake. I’m not totally sure where I will put them, but I’ll be adding a lot of sand and compost to raise up the soil. Might situate some rocks to block wind, as well.

For this winter I’ll put them in the greenhouse to root, I ordered 2 pads of most, one I’ll root whole and the others I’ll cut 3-5 ways to root.


Jesse, check out this article. I know Maine is colder than Connecticut, but should be a bit inspirational!


I dont think it is advisable to cut the pads up. There needs to be good callus formation so the pad does not rot. Root development is primarily from the Needle Buds.


If anyone finds a purple spines variety of oputuna with tasty fruit, then I’m sold…

The purples do seem to photograph pretty well… (Never seen one IRL…anyone here seen one IRL?



Here’s a picture from someone on a facebook fruit group, should work as long as i let the pieces callus. I have a few I’m trying with non-important pads.


Cactus grafting