By Mary-Jane Parker, Master Gardener
The other day I took four garbage pails of green waste to the local landfill composting facility. As I was emptying my pails, I looked down and discovered a huge pile of cactus that someone had discarded. I carefully (because they are covered in spines!) put one in a pail, took it home and planted it in a hot , dry and sandy area around the pumping chamber, hoping it would root.
Opuntia are native to the Americas and hardy even in southern Canada. After flowering, they produce fruit which I have seen in grocery stores – albeit bigger varieties of the plant.
Three days later, this is what happened! The little pear shaped protrusions above the pad started blooming one by one. Awesome!