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Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear
Opuntia sp.

Great for arid enclosures. This nutritious live plant is the perfect food source for a variety of herbivorous and omnivorous reptiles. Assorted colours.

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What do Prickly Pears look like?

These are a species of domesticated Cactus with thick, succulent pads. There are a huge number of species available which can vary in size, from around 30cm to several metres. New pads will grow from the existing pads and can be removed to feed or re-pot. Both the plant and its fruit are edible and completely safe for a wide variety of reptile species. Some species can have large spines, whereas others have fine glochids - small hair like prickles which, if brushed, can detach from the plant.

Opuntia microdasys/rufida - This species is commonly known as ‘Bunny Ears’ because of the shape the pads form. It is a dense plant reaching up to 60cm tall if left to grow naturally. These display white, yellow and red (rufida) spines which form in uniform clumps across the cactus. These are finer than human hair and can cause skin irritation in humans, so care must be taken when handling.

Where are Prickly Pears from?

Native to semi-desert areas in America, but have been introduced to many areas all over the world.

How to care for Prickly Pears

These plants are hardy and will thrive in hot, arid conditions. Water around every 2-4 weeks around the base of the plant, taking care not to saturate the soil. Plant in well drained substrate under full spectrum plant growth LED lighting in a vivarium. They can be planted in Tortoise Tables and in grassland or more arid vivariums scattered with rocks. These are edible for all reptiles, though care must be taken to remove the spines and prepare before feeding.

The benefits of using Prickly Pears

  • Edible for reptiles
  • Reptile safe.
  • Can be grown indoors and outdoors.
  • Perfect for arid bioactive setups.
  • Increases oxygen and reduces CO2 throughout the day.
  • Easy to keep, grow and maintain.

Please note: Live plants will naturally vary in size and all sizes are approximate. Photos displaying multiple different colours are an example of the variety we stock, we will send random colours based upon availability. Please be aware, the spines on these cacti can cause skin irritation - Handle with care.

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Before you commit to buying any pet, please do your own independent research.