Pruning Cactus Without Getting Stuck

 

Every try to prune your prickly pear cactus and end up pulling cactus thorns out of your hand for the next hour?  Ouch!

Many cactus can be trimmed.  All types of prickly pear cactus, some columnar cactus, and some agaves are included in this list.  Some desert plants that you don’t want to trim include ocotillo plants and barrel cactus.

Here’s the right way to do it and stay thorn free at the same time.

  • Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, safety glasses, shoes and socks, leather gloves and a hat.  The more you’re protected the less chance you have of being stuck.
  • Have a hand saw, garden loppers, a shovel, trash barrel and a pitch fork handy.
  • When trimming prickly pear cactus, cut back to a new pad.  Don’t slice through the middle of a pad.  You will need to cut sections of pads until you get to the size you would like.  And, be careful, pack rats often live in the middle of large prickly pears.
  • For trimming columnar cactus try to cut to a knob or growth section.  Cut at the bottom of the cactus to remove an entire column to thin out.
  • Trimming up agaves involves starting at the bottom removing one leaf at a time and moving around the agave to bring it up.  Agaves are often trimmed to remove dead lower leaves or to raise it off a sidewalk when it is a hazard.
Prickly pear cactus pads can be planted directly in the ground and they will grow. Dig a hole and place the bottom of the pad or section of pads in the hole and cover.  So, if you’re looking to add cactus to an area and are trimming cactus in another area, your trimmings can be planted right after cutting them.  This is not true for agave leaves.   Though agave “pups” (the small agaves that grow near larger agaves, can be dug up and transplanted.
Always be aware of your surroundings.  If you’re working with large or tall cactus, it may become unstable and can topple over on top of you.  If you don’t want to prune your cactus yourself, contact us at (520) 370-5697 and we can do it for you!

Share With Your Friends



Trackbacks

  1. [...] Equipment (PPE). Exceptionally thick leather gloves are just the start. You will also require the denim equivalent of a full hazmat suit (one of the reasons most experts recommend waiting until the cooler winter months to prune your [...]

Leave a Comment

*

Current month ye@r day *