En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - November 03, 2012

From: rockville centre, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Planting, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Can a prickly pear cutting from Harker Heights, TX find happiness in Long Island, NY.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Took a cutting of a prickly pear cactus from my daughters garden in Harker Heights, Tx. Her plants are 5'ht.& wt. Set it into a 10" pot with garden mix soil. Early July 2012, brought it home to Long Island, N.Y. Doing well, doubled in size, still in pot. Can I plant it in my garden, will it survive snowy, low temps. of this region? What can I do to help it along. Thanks,

ANSWER:

Prickly pear cactus is in the genus Opuntia, and there are  over 40 species of Opuntia listed in Texas. I am supposing that the one you have may be Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri (Texas pricklypear) which was designated by the Texas Legislature as the state plant of Texas in 1995.

One solution is to leave it in the pot, and  move it inside during the winter months, but it will soon get to big for that. The plant is used to growing in USDA hardiness zone 8 (average minimum temperatures from 10 -20 degrees fahrenheit). Long Island is in USDA Hardiness zone 7 (average minimum temperatures of  0 - 10 degrees fahrenheit) so that would present a problem. If you can plant it in a protected area i.e. south side of the house, and cover it during the coldest nights, it might survive. Be sure that it has well drained, slightly acidic soil.

The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes by growing native plants where they are native.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas prickly pear
Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri

Texas prickly pear
Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri

More Planting Questions

Permit to transport trees in Ivanhoe TX
December 02, 2010 - Do you have to have a special permit to transport trees on a semi truck and trailer in Texas? They are Texas grown trees, just going to a different location inside the state.
view the full question and answer

Soil for native Chilopsis linearis and Salvia greggii
February 08, 2010 - I want to plant a desert willow and a salvia greggii in my small lot. The developer used sandy loam to fill in the small garden in the front. I am 73 and a bit impaired. Do I really need to remove ...
view the full question and answer

Removing St. Augustine for natives in Grapevine TX
September 29, 2012 - We have St Augustine in our yard and we hate it. It guzzles water, we have to cut it often, and it's thick and hard to work with. Anyway, we want to replace it with a combination of some kind of g...
view the full question and answer

Cutting Gardens from Charlotte, NC
July 30, 2013 - I want to plant a year-round picking garden for flowers to bring into my home. I want to look at landscape plans in lieu of throwing down wildflower seeds. Can you suggest a few websites for ideas?
view the full question and answer

When to transplant volunteer Cedar Elms in Cedar Park, TX?
October 11, 2012 - We have a number of volunteer cedar elms we would like to transplant. When is the best time to do this? Should they be potted first and later transplanted or transplanted immediately? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center