Bunny Ears - How to avoid curved pads?

Discuss repotting, soil, lighting, fertilizing, watering, etc. in this category.
Post Reply
User avatar
Bat 'n' Ball
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:33 am
Location: England, UK.

Bunny Ears - How to avoid curved pads?

Post by Bat 'n' Ball »

Hello 👋

I wanted to grow a Bunny Ears cactus from seed but I couldn’t find them anywhere. So, instead, I bought myself a plant from a seller on Amazon (UK), with the intentions of cultivating some pads from it.

The ‘Opuntia Microdasys’ arrived about a week later and it seems to be quite healthy and in good condition, despite it spending a few days in the post (it was very well packaged).

I noticed some of the pads had a slight concave / convex appearance. For future reference I would like to know how to avoid this curvature, so when I grow new cuttings they appear more flat.

Is the curvature possibly due to the plant not being rotated regularly towards the sun? If so, do they lean backwards in order to maximise the surface area of their pads to sun light? Or, is it the opposite and they lean towards the sun, instead? Or, maybe the plant has been through an extended period of drought, the pads flopped and they never recovered their shape? Or, is it something else?

I let it dry out completely before giving it a good drenching. I then wait till it’s bone dry again… It’s in a south-facing window with lots of warm filtered sun and I rotate it regularly. I have fed it once with a very diluted ‘Cactus and Succulent Focus’ feed. Just to be clear, the pads had this curvature when it arrived through the post.

I’ve only had the plant about a month and it seems to be fine and healthy - it’s just the curvy pads I want to avoid in the future when I take cuttings from it. Does anybody have any tips on how to avoid this and/or what causes it?

Thank you!

20220809_140554 (Custom).JPG
20220809_140554 (Custom).JPG (98.74 KiB) Viewed 178 times
20220809_174204 (Custom).JPG
20220809_174204 (Custom).JPG (255.33 KiB) Viewed 178 times
20220810_085825 (Custom).JPG
20220810_085825 (Custom).JPG (82.32 KiB) Viewed 178 times
20220810_085859 (Custom).JPG
20220810_085859 (Custom).JPG (278.61 KiB) Viewed 178 times
20220810_104041 (Custom).JPG
20220810_104041 (Custom).JPG (215.5 KiB) Viewed 178 times
20220810_104052 (Custom).JPG
20220810_104052 (Custom).JPG (213.58 KiB) Viewed 178 times
-- Paul.
User avatar
anttisepp
Posts: 995
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:00 pm
Location: Suomi - Finland

Re: Bunny Ears - How to avoid curved pads?

Post by anttisepp »

Hello. It's bullet proof plant. I'd hold it outdoors all warm season not turning all time, cacti don't like changes. Opuntias need much sunlight, without it segments may grow very elongated and it's much more ugly than undulated (O. microdasys has naturally undulated cultivar). Be careful if you have children or pets. Use protection when you care or replant it, glochids are the worst feature of opuntias. Cultivar "albata" has more "friendly" soft glochids and cv "caress" has very few of them.
User avatar
Bat 'n' Ball
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:33 am
Location: England, UK.

Re: Bunny Ears - How to avoid curved pads?

Post by Bat 'n' Ball »

Great advice, thank you 👍

I have some 'albata' seeds coming through the post. I'll see how I get on with them.

Do you know what causes the pads to bend over?
-- Paul.
User avatar
anttisepp
Posts: 995
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:00 pm
Location: Suomi - Finland

Re: Bunny Ears - How to avoid curved pads?

Post by anttisepp »

Less sun - more abnormal deformation IMHO.
User avatar
Bat 'n' Ball
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:33 am
Location: England, UK.

Re: Bunny Ears - How to avoid curved pads?

Post by Bat 'n' Ball »

OK, thanks!
-- Paul.
User avatar
Bat 'n' Ball
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:33 am
Location: England, UK.

Re: Bunny Ears - How to avoid curved pads?

Post by Bat 'n' Ball »

Just to follow up on my original post...

A couple of days ago I gave my Opuntia Microdasys a good drenching. I tend to let my cacti go bone dry before I drench them. This drench/dry method seems to work well with the specimens I've collected over the years.

The pads are definitely becoming more flat in appearance. So, my assumption is that it was already overdue being watered when I received it through the post.

My understanding of the Bunny Ears is that it's fast growing (invasive) and probably needs more water than many other cacti?

Just thought I'd post back for future reference in case someone else has the same issue 🙂
-- Paul.
Post Reply