Cactus of the week – Opuntia fragilis

Nearly a year ago, I picked up a few pads of Opuntia fragilis from the backyard of a family member. I put them in a small bonsai pot that I had laying around and haven’t done much since then, aside from occasionally watering it. A native to some areas of the PNW, it can take a huge range of temperature and moisture.

Right now, it lives in a winter wasteland. I have it under a porch, just to make use of it as an outdoor “houseplant”. 

I really like the purple/red color that it shows when its cold outside. It’s no O. aurea ‘Coomb’s Winter Glow’, but it is still neat. During the warmer months, my little cactus’s spines turn a bright orange/brown, but now it seems to have lost that feature. I guess we will see what happens in the spring!

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