How to Grow and Care for Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

Where does the prickly pear grow?

Among the most important areas of prickly pear production are Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, America, Canary Islands, Portugal, Turkey, South Africa, North Africa and Algeria. In general, figs are grown on a large scale in dry and semi-arid desert areas.

The economic importance of the thistle:
Fresh figs are used as food, as concentrated juices are made from the pulp of the fruits, and jam is also made from it, and as a result, it is added with orange and grapefruit juice to make different drinks.

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Gels extracted from the peel of the fruits, as well as from the green stems, are also used for medicinal and cosmetic uses.

The prickly pear is also used as food for animals in dry and semi-arid areas.

Nutritional value of prickly pear
The fruits of the prickly pear are used as a useful and healthy food where important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and iron, and the fruits of the prickly pear are rich in vitamin (C).

The fruits of the prickly pear also contain different percentages of proteins, fats, fiber, ash, sugars, as well as beta-carotene.

As a result, the prickly pear is one of the best fruits for health

Information about the prickly pear

The prickly pear is a dicotyledonous plant, and it is a juicy plant of varying shape, and the market has transformed into flat-shaped, tablet-like leaves in order to store large quantities of food in addition to storing a large amount of water.

These lubricated, juicy leaves are covered with a thick layer of chitin, which is resistant to various domestic changes in the dry and semi-arid areas in which it is located.

1- Root total:
The prickly pear plant is characterized by a group of shallow fleshy roots that spread horizontally, and the spread of the roots of the prickly pear depends on the nature of the soil and agricultural treatments.

  • Roots (primary): Skeletal Root.
    It consists of rare primary fibrous roots and ranges between 20-30 cm in length.
  • Absorbing root
    Absorption roots form quickly and within hours after the rapid response of the lateral shoots to the arrival of adequate moisture, and they are also called rain roots.

These roots develop from dormant buds buried in the cortex of older roots, and these roots die quickly once the soil dries out.

  • Supporting roots (spurs): Root spurs.
    These roots develop from appendages at the base of the ficus indica plant, and they are of two types, the first type represents short fleshy roots mixed with many root hairs, and the second type is represented by the presence of 2 or 3 long cylindrical roots that resemble absorbent roots. They die or complete their growth with the progression of time.
  • Roots developing from areoles.
    These roots develop from the nipples when they contact the soil and at the beginning of their formation they are dense and devoid of root hairs. The real root total.

2 – Leg: Cladode.
The family Cactaceae is characterized by several characteristics, which are the presence of nipples bearing thorns and hairs, a green stem with a green peel, and the absence of broad leaves.

As for the plate, it is the leg-like organ known as the cladode. It is a soft stem whose shape varies from elongated to spoon-shaped, and its length ranges between 30-40 cm and its length can reach 70 or 80 cm, and its width is between 18-25 cm.

  • Epidermis epidermis.
    The epidermis represents the outer layer of the prickly pear plant, which is a continuous layer of defensive cells punctuated by small openings called stomata. The epidermis performs three basic functions:

1 – Regulating the movement of carbon dioxide in and out of oxygen to and from the plant.

2- Retaining water inside the plant body.

3- Protect plants from fungi, germs, insects and intense sunlight.

The epidermis of the stem is covered with a waxy layer of a fatty substance called chitin, its thickness varies between 8-20 micrometers.

  • Stomata stomata.
    The stomata are evenly distributed on both sides of the stem, and the stomata are located deep below the surface of the stem.
  • (Axillary buds) Areoles.
    They are axillary buds and they are oval in shape (dominant) located below the surface of the skin about 2 mm, and with the appropriate environmental conditions, new stems and flowers emerge from the meristematic tissue of these nipples, then the thorns form and the spiny hairs grow on them.

Cortex and medulla: Cortex and pith.
The cortex consists of a group of parenchyma cells, which is the white part of the inner cortex, and the green part of the cortex contains chloroplasts that perform the photosynthesis process.

We find that the white part of the shell plays a more important role than a water storage cycle. It is also a factory that produces hormones, alkaloids and other chemicals during the plant’s metabolism process, and the white part is a storehouse for starch granules.

  • Flower Buds: Flower Buds.
    The nipples are the axillary buds of the cacti, which are formed very early in the axilla of the beginning of the leaf. The nipple begins to develop in the form of a mass of cells, which quickly become meristem cells, which is the top of the branch. Spiny hairs and thorns are formed at a very early stage in the life of the plant. Aloe vera flower contains many floral coverings characterized by petals and many stamens arranged spirally, and the pistil consisting of four or more carpels, which are fused carpels surrounded by the calyx, and the ovary is single-chamber with a placenta attached to the main wall of the ovary.

When does the prickly pear bloom?guess what

Three years after planting, the fruits begin to appear and flowers bloom during June and July

prickly pear irrigation

The prickly pear is irrigated twice a week in immersion irrigation and once a week in the case of sprinkler irrigation

Prickly pear pruning date

Prickly pear pruning is done in spring and autumn, while maintaining a longitudinal plant length of 2-3 meters

The productivity of an acre of prickly pear

An acre of prickly pear produces about 8 to 10 tons of fruits

Prickly pear planting good distances

Prickly pear distances are planted at distances of 2 * 3 or 3 * 3 in the land to be planted

prickly pear planting date

The date of planting prickly pears It is preferable to plant figs in the month of March in the temperate months in order to help the soil moisture and climate to grow the roots

prickly pear in french


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How to Grow and Care for Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus