Giant Optunia prunings, discarded

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)December 27, 2013

Saw them being cut down & put on the side of the road for yard waste pickup (along with other plants, a property line hedgerow removed.) What about my fantasy of grabbing a big chunk & burying the cut end a bit, like a cutting? What should I know before attempting any kind of rescue? Get roots? Just plump pads? It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so I'm thinking it would be best to at least move what I want today, under a cover. These would be yard plants, not potted. I've never had any either way.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deep___roots(ca9/sunset15)

Impossible to fail.
Sounds like you know what to do.
Watch for spines when handling pads (both visible and hard to see spines). That is the only thing that might spoil your party.

In fact I would try not to touch them with my bare hands just to be safe. Cheers. Roadside shopping rules!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

TY. I was hoping to hear a response like that, just never seen any pics of propagating such big pieces. They look too heavy for me to even pick up. And yeah, they have huge spikes all over them. Hopefully DH will agree this needs to be done this evening. Not totally sure about that part.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Just lay pieces on the sand and walk away! Couldn't be easier!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kaktuskris

Watch out for the glochids on any Opuntias...If you don't know what they are now, you will when you are removing them with tweezers later...

Christopher

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

You can also burry them in the ground also. Big branches of pads can be planted and they will root if your land has good drainage. I do like to let them callus over for a week before I plant them in the ground.

Oh, don't depend on leather gloves. Those glochids will go through leather and get stuck in leather just like they get stuck in skin. You will just ruin your good leather gloves. I use newspaper and cloth. I pile rocks against the newly planted pads to hold them up.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Get a good pair of welder gloves. Thick leather type. They will last forever. Lay pads anywhere anyhow. They root easily. Next is weeding around them. Very hard. I use a long pole (6 ft.) by-pass prunner. Only place I saw them was in Harbor Freight Tools. Check on line and they also sell the welding gloves. Also you could use it to harvest the fruit. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 12:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

TY TY for the responses! It was dark and unfortunately the other shrub material was mostly on top, Opuntia (Think I spelled it right that time,) mostly on bottom, but DH managed to snap a few good-looking pieces off, mumbling about what in the world did I want with this nasty weed. They're even bigger at point blank range. He used a towel but some tweezing was needed afterward. It's raining & this stuff is still in the back of his truck. Will get a pic prob. tomorrow. I'll go back Monday with a shovel and see if I can 'scoop' any more pieces.

Stush, how did you know, my interest in this mean bugger lies in the fruit! Are they ripe when they are purple? You can tell me what you think of the ones that may or may not still be attached when you see the pics. You have a good point about weeding around. Glad that won't be my chore - whew!

It's a shame it gets too wet & shady by the fence where neighbors' dogs go under to come in our fence to visit our dog. He's way too big to go through that, but it would stop those others from tearing up the Hydrangea!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I have a special pair of old barbecue tongs (I bent the grabbers back so they don't poke) that I use to handle the pads. It does not work on the bigger branches of pads.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Brilliant, TY!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 7:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
camellia1_gw

How does the fruit taste? I've always wondered about these every time I see tons of purple fruit on them while driving by the plant.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

The fruit I see on mine and on my brother's are fully red when ripe and looks like strawberries but not with the whitish stuff inside. I though they were bra, looks much nicer than what they taste like. But my turtles love them. So no lose. My brother lives in warmer climate and his paddles are many times bigger than mine.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Different types of opuntias taste differently. I bet that they also taste differently how long they ripen. Mine turn Purple down here and they are sweat. I like them. People make them into jams and drinks down here.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kaktuskris

I have bought them in the grocery store here...Rather sweet, but mealy, not something I would buy often.

Christopher

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 10:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Good point. I have never tasted mine. The smaller hardy type. I only tasted the larger grown one. When in Florida, their's were different still. Maybe they were the ones I should have tried.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I have seen tunas that are different color, some orange and some . red, and then the purple. I know that the O. Ficus Indica is considered the tastiest and they are not hardy under 15 so they get damaged here on bad winters in my 8b environs.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Here's what I've been yakking about. I spent all afternoon digging up Lycoris bulbs from the abandoned property next door, so here the Opuntia chunks sit & I didn't go attempt to get more. Maybe tomorrow if it's still there. So what can folks tell about these fruits from this pic? Even if they taste awful, I would enjoy seeing a mature shrub covered in these pretty purple things. That's a hand towel, the biggest section in the middle is about a foot long/tall.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Purple,
That is about what I started with at my brothers house Zone 8 in South Carolina. At two years, his grew to 6 ft. by 6 ft. and always loaded in spring with flowers. After another few years, it lost a lot of vigor. We trans planted the paddles to new locations and redid the main spot. In a year, the main plant looked good again.
Stush

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cactusmcharris

Tiffany,

I shouldn't think the fruits would taste awful, in fact, quite the opposite, but there are varying degrees of deliciousness WRT Opuntia fruits (tunas), You'll have to grow a grove of them and find out, but that should be as early as next year, I reckon. Nice cuttings those are and I'll bet you'll see growth on them in the next two months.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

They must be alittle cold hardy, temps have been in the low 20s there already tiffany.....they look very heathy. Who am i to talk, here its been 10 degree nights and 20 degree days, and consisent snow. Tomorrow we are getting a snowstorm of 10 inches, and its then is going to be a 6 degree high followed by a negative 11 low....brrrrrrr! Authough i find that optunia humifilsa is hardy here,(please correct latin

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

TY for the inputs & encouragement! I can use it, the sun hasn't been out the whole past week, and since June there's been more cloudy days here than the whole 6 1/2 years before put together. Major whine!

Stush, that helps me consider where to put these TY.

I have no idea about the chemical policies of the homeowners where these came from, so won't be tasting anything until next year, after thinking it through.

Josh, I think I'll stick a couple smaller pieces from the tips in pots inside, as insurance, and tactic for impatience. I do like to see something happening quickly!

TG, heythere, good to see you back. Hope you stay warm in that storm! You're right, already colder here this winter than last, soggy too, really icky. I think we're all anxious for spring!

I will wait for a sunny day when the ground is not soggy to prop these in their new spots with rocks, as so brilliantly suggested above. Free plants rock!

And what about the fruits on these? Do they look ripe, as far as seeds go?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 5:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Tiffany,
Good point about eating those fruit. Seeds should be ok. Wash out the white stuff and plant in a sealed container like the ones from take-outs. Also you could just wrap the paddles in newspaper and keep cool and plant in early spring. You might find it rooting in the paper.
Stush

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 4:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

TY, Stush. This is actually delicious, like a plum, but kind of with some grape flavor too. I tasted the smallest tidbit, too curious not to. But touching the outside puts nettles-like hairs in the skin. Rubbing them with a paper towel or some similar action before picking would probably fix that. Off to find my tweezers...

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 4:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
camellia1_gw

I've always wonder what those taste like; very interesting.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 9:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Doesn't look like what I got. No wonder there is a difference. Also I heard about running the raw fruit over an open fire to remove the fine red hairs. Saw it on TV and the person also ate the paddles the same way over the fire.
Not for me. But that fruit does look good.
Stush

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

IKR! Unfair when a plant has prickles one can't see, like nettles.

Camellia, I hope you find one to taste sometime - and remember not to grab it before you wipe the hairs off.

I can't wait to see if we get some fresh fruits next year. I'll definitely eat them.

Anyone want some of these seeds? PM me.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

MMM tasty looking fruit........the fruit on my hardy optunia humifilsa were bland

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 1:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
My very first 'Terrarium' and need advice on watering.
So this is my first time doing Terrarium, and i want...
kizasugondo
Help! Unhappy succulents!
Help! My succulents don't look happy! Their little...
holliescruton
New Additions from the Philadelphia Flower Show
This is what I acquired on Saturday at the Flower Show....
ehuns27 7a PA
Wholesale cacti nurseries in AZ?
Hello- does anyone know of any wholesale cacti nurseries...
maark23 TX/8a
March blooms (2015)
March is here...what succulents do you have blooming? Not...
rina_
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™