Bunny Ear Cactus Care and Details:Easy to grow attractive succulents
Image Source: Stan Shebs, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Image Cropped)
Bunny ear cactus are succulents native and endemic to Mexico. They are easy to grow when provided optimum conditions. The plants have very low maintenance. The stems develop as pads. The pads always grow in pairs and look like the ears of a bunny. The plants are not toxic but the thorn like structures present on the surface of the pads can cause skin irritation therefore care should be taken while propagating and reporting.
Quick Details of Bunny Ear Cactus
|Other Common Names||Bunny Ear Cactus, Angel’s-wings, Polka-dot Cactus|
|Type||Indoor/outdoor flowering plant plant|
|Flowering||Spring (under optimum conditions)|
|Light||Low to moderate bright direct sunlight, can tolerate partial indirect light.|
|Water||When the soil is dry|
|Soil||Well drained sandy soil|
|Fertilizer||Any cactus fertilizer|
|Common Diseases||Root rot|
|Scientific name||Opuntia microdasys|
Bunny Ear Cactus Buying Instructions
- Buy Bunny Ear Cactus with as much as possible branches.
- Do not buy very big plant, it will be difficult to carry.
- The plant should not have any patches or dry area.
Overview of Bunny Ear Cactus
Bunny ear cactus are evergreen succulents native to Mexico. They belong to the family cactaceae.
They are flower plants and can grow up to a height of 70 cm. The plants have green, flat, fleshy and thick stems called as the pads. They have numerous glochids on the surface of the leaves which acts as a defence mechanism against predators. These glochids can cause skin irritation when touched.
The flowers are formed at the tip of the mature stem. The flowers bloom only when they have optimum conditions. ( proper sunlight and water)
The Bunny ear cactus plants flower rarely. The flowers are formed at the tip of the pad and are initially white in colour. They turn pink after fertilization. They collect the carbon dioxide required for photosynthesis during night.
Usage and Advantage of Bunny Ear Cactus
- Grown as an ornamental plant.
General Care for Bunny Ear Cactus
Pruning and re-potting: They do not require much pruning. The pads can be removed when the plants grow taller, which can be used in propagation. The bunny ear cactus can be re-potted in 1-2 years. The plants should be watered regularly after a week of re-potting. This helps in curing any damage caused to the leaves and regular watering helps in developing a proper root system.
A potting soil that is specifically made for the growth of cactus can be used. The soil should be light enough to promote the proper growth of the root system. They prefer a well-drained sandy soil which is a mixture of perlite, sand and compost.
The Bunny ear cactus plants are desert species. They are drought resistant and do not require extensive watering. They plant can be deep watered whenever the top soil is dry. Excess water can be harmful to the plant. During the first season of the plant in the pot, it should be watered regularly to promote formation of a proper root system. During winter the plant should be watered only ones a month.
The Bunny ear cactus require bright direct sunlight. The plants can be placed in places with proper sunlight during the growth period. During summer, they prefer to be placed in areas with partial sunlight or indirect light.
The Bunny ear cactus prefer a temperature ranging from 20-37ºc and normal to low humid conditions. During winters, they prefer cooler places. However, excess cold can cause the plants to dry.
The Bunny ear cactus plants can be fed with any cactus fertilizer during their growth period.
Pests and other problems for Bunny Ear Cactus
The Bunny ear cactus can be attacked by mealybugs and scale insects. The pads can be spayed with mild soap solution to get rid of the pests. Other than the pest attack, the plants show signs for any physical stress.
Root Rot: Happens when there is excess water in the soil
Pad tip shrivel when the plants are over-watered. The plants sometimes stop growing if they are over watered or not given enough water.
Propagation of Bunny Ear Cactus
Propagation of Bunny ear cactus is done through pads. Any well grown pad can be removed from the parent plant and re-potted to be grown as a new plant. A mature pad can be selected and detached from the parent plant. Grouping the cutting in pairs of threes increases the chances of survival. The cuttings are left to dry till callus is formed at the base. These dried cuttings can be either dipped in rooting hormone and planted in soil or can be directly planted into soil. propagation should be done during early summers to allow the plant to have enough time to develop a proper root system.