Tips for a Prickly Pear's 1st winter outdoors?
Last fall I got a pad of spineless prickly pear (opuntia). I kept it in a pot all winter and in the spring it grew 4 new pads. I transferred it into the ground (a fairly raised, dry area) about a month ago and cut off 2 of the largest new pads. I planted them in new pots and they have since rooted. I did this in case the original doesn't make it through the winter, so I'll still have some left.
I am wondering what I can do to help the original one make it through the first winter outdoors. I know that many people do have prickly pears outdoors in my area. But should I put one of those plywood teepees over it to keep the snow off? Or should I let the snow cover it for insulation? I live in the Hudson Valley of NY so we do get a good amount of snow but there are times when it dries out too. Thanks for any tips!