Black-spined Pricklypear, Purple Pricklypear
This large cactus shrub spreads out wide before growing tall, adding color to an outdoor garden. It has large, green pads with purple stems. When happily stressed, the pads can turn a purple color, too. Watch for reddish flowers in the Spring.
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Cuttings can be grown indoors if given enough light
Typical water needs for a succulent. Keep dry in the Winter
Plant grows up to 3′ (90 cm) tall
Plant grows up to 6′ (180 cm) wide
Zone 11a (Minimum 40° F | 4.4° C)
Not cold hardy
Propagation by stem cuttings and seeds
Generally non-toxic to humans and animals. Be careful around spines
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Care and Propagation Information
General Care for Opuntia macrocentra “Black-spined Pricklypear”
Opuntia macrocentra “Black-spined Pricklypear” is an excellent rock gardens and xeriscaped yards. It is deer-resistant, and its flowers attract hummingbirds.
Opuntia macrocentra “Black-spined Pricklypear” has typical watering needs for a succulent. It’s best to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
Where to Plant
“Black-spined Pricklypear” is not cold hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than 40° F (4.4° C), it’s best to plant this succulent in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in full to partial sun.
Plant in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day. If planting indoors, place in a room that gets a lot of sunlight, such as near a southern-facing window (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere).
Pairs Well With
Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri “Texas Pricklypear”
How to Propagate Opuntia macrocentra “Black-spined Pricklypear”
Opuntia macrocentra “Black-spined Pricklypear” can be propagated from stem cuttings or seed.
To grow “Black-spined Pricklypear” from cuttings, use a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors. Remove a stem from the main plant, and allow it to callous for several days before placing on well-draining soil. Water whenever the soil has dried out completely.
To learn how to properly propagate cactus pads, take a look at this post.
To propagate “Black-spined Pricklypear” from seeds, sow your seeds in a well-draining soil. You can grow Opuntia seeds outdoors if you live in an zone above 9a. If you live in a cooler area, you can begin sowing indoors under a grow light or on a seed mat.
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