Is Opuntia Basilaris Edible?
Beavertail Cactus plants, botanically known as Opuntia Basilaris, are low-growing cactus species that make excellent houseplants.
Because they are friendly, cultivating and spreading them will be a simple and enjoyable exercise.
If you already have a few succulents or cacti, your Beavertail Cactus will thrive because these prickly plants have similar requirements.
Beavertail Cactus plants produce bell-shaped blooms that range in color from pink to rose to magenta-purple. Flowering is usually followed by the development of edible fruit.
How Do You Care For Opuntia Basilaris?
Opuntia basilaris, also known as the beavertail cactus or beavertail pricklypear, is a cactus species native to the American Southwest.
It can be found mostly in the Mojave, Anza-Borrego, and Colorado Deserts, as well as the Colorado Plateau and northwest Mexico.
It is also widespread across the Grand Canyon and Colorado River area, as well as in southern Utah and Nevada and along the Lower Colorado River Valley in western Arizona.
Opuntia basilaris is a 70-400 mm tall medium to small prickly pear cactus with pink to rose-colored blooms. A single plant may consist of hundreds of fleshy, flattened pads.
Depending on the variation, they are more or less blue-gray, 50-210 mm long, less than 100 mm (3.9 in) broad, and 10-15 mm thick.
They are usually spineless but have many little barbed bristles called glochids that easily irritate the skin, as is typical of Opuntia species. From spring until early summer, Opuntia basilaris flowers.
For Opuntia Basilaris to thrive well, it needs the following:
Beavertail cactus plants prefer bright, direct sunlight.
They function best in direct sunshine, which is not unexpected given their origins.
So, if you’re growing your Beavertail Cactus indoors, be sure to keep it in a well-lit area of your house.
In general, the more sunlight your plant receives, the happier and more colorful it will be!
So if you have a sunny spot in your house or work space where the plant will be kept for most of the day, try to position it there.
It is advisable to move it from time to time so that all sides can receive adequate lighting.
The beavertail cactus is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. The plant prefers well-drained soil but can also grow in sandy or rocky soil.
Just make sure the soil is well draining and not overly soggy or wet. This cactus will do best in neutral to alkaline soil with no organic content.
Beavertail Cactus plants may also adapt to changes in soil type. Because these plants cannot survive in biologically rich soil, you must ensure that the soil you use to grow them does not include any organic matter.
They flourish on sandy, grittier, mineral-rich, alkaline soil with adequate drainage. These plants prefer soil pH levels ranging from 6.2 to 8.2.
Beavertail cactus plants thrive in moist soil and therefore require moderate to little water.
They cannot tolerate prolonged dryness and will appear wilted and unhappy if they do not receive enough water. However, overly wet soil may cause root rot, so carefully watering is best done.
To keep your Beavertail Cactus well hydrated, try to water the plant when the surface of the soil feels dry. This way, you can avoid excess moisture that could cause root rot.
The beavertail cactus is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures and can be found growing in both hot and cold desert climates.
Beavertail Cactus, like other cacti, enjoys warm temperatures, therefore, ordinary indoor temperatures should help your plant grow.
They can also withstand temperatures as low as 0° F (-18° C).
If you live in a colder environment, we recommend putting your Beavertail Cactus in a container and keeping it indoors during winter.
When the temperature drops below freezing, this could damage your cactus.
During the summer, try to keep the temperature in your home between 60-85°F (15–29°C).
Opuntia Basilaris prefers moderate humidity.
If you do not want to water your plant too much, you must make sure that the surrounding air is well-ventilated.
To do this, open a window in the room where you will be keeping the plant and let in the fresh air. Humidity levels between 40-60 % are best for optimum growth of these plants. High humidity levels may cause root rot.
If the air is too dry, try adding some water to the soil or misting your Beavertail Cactus when it gets too dry.
Even though Beavertail Cactus plants grow on their own, they still benefit from regular fertilization.
For the tiny beavertail cactus plant, a balanced organic fertilizer may work best, which will allow the plant to thrive nicely and develop a lush growth all year long.
You should also help your Beavertail Cactus grow healthy and happy with some feeding if you grow it into a container.
We recommend fertilizing with a diluted water-soluble cactus fertilizer. How often should your Beavertail Cactus be fertilized? Once a year, in the spring or summer, should be plenty to maintain your plant healthy.
You do not need to fertilize the plant if it is put outside in your garden.
How Do You Propagate Opuntia Basilaris?
Opuntia Basilaris propagation is incredibly simple. Beavertail Cactus plants are propagated by plant pads, cuttings, and seeds.
Pads Cuttings Propagation
One of the easiest ways to propagate beavertail cactus is from pad cuttings. Pads are the plants’ fleshy, green stems that are connected.
- To take a pad cutting, use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut a pad from the main plant. Make sure that the cutting includes a small portion of the main stem.
- Allow the cut pad to callus over for a few days before planting. This can be done by placing the pad in a dry, shady location.
- Once the pad has been calloused, it can be planted in a well-draining cactus potting mix. Water the planting medium until it is evenly moist but not soggy.
- Place the pot in a bright, sunny location and keep the soil evenly moist. Allow the pot to drain after watering.
- Pads typically root within 2-3 weeks. Once the pads have rooted, they can be transplanted into individual pots.
Beavertail cactus is propagated from seeds. The fruits must be allowed to ripen fully on the plant to collect the seeds. Once ripe, the fruits will split open, revealing the seeds inside. The seeds can then be collected and sown.
Here’s what you need to know about Opuntia basilaris seeds propagation.
- The best time to sow Opuntia basilaris seeds is in the late spring or early summer. You want to make sure that the temperatures are warm enough that the seeds will germinate but not so hot that they will dry out.
- Choose a spot in your garden that gets full sun. Opuntia basilaris is a desert plant, so it’s used to hot, dry conditions.
- If you live in an area with cooler winters, you may want to sow the seeds indoors and then transplant them outdoors once they’ve sprouted.
- To sow your Opuntia basilaris seeds, start by mixing them with some sand. This will help to improve drainage and prevent the seeds from getting waterlogged.
- Then, sow the seeds about a ¼ inch deep in your chosen spot. Water them gently with a spray bottle, being careful not to wash the seeds away.
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy; in about two weeks, you should see the first signs of growth. Once the seedlings are a few inches tall,
How Tall Can Opuntia Basilaris Get?
Opuntia basilaris is a 70-400 mm (2.8-15.7 in) tall medium to small prickly pear cactus with pink to rose-colored blooms.
Hundreds of fleshy, flattened pads might make up a single plant.
Depending on the variation, they are more or less blue-gray, 50-210 mm (2.0-8.3 in) long, less than 100 mm (3.9 in) broad, and 10-15 mm (0.4-0.6 in) thick.
You may reduce the growth and spread of your Beavertail Cactus by removing part of its pads.
Is Opuntia Basilaris Poisonous?
Opuntia basilaris is not considered poisonous to humans. Beavertail cactus are low-growing cacti with flat, grayish-green, paddle-like leaves coated with bristly spines.
These plants’ bristles are small and reddish-brown in hue.
They are called glochids and are very sharp and may readily pierce the skin. So, when touching the plant, remember to wear gloves.
They are usually spineless but have many little barbed bristles called glochids that easily puncture the skin, as is typical of Opuntia species.
The fleshy, edible part of the plant is the large, first set of pads that grow on top of each other.
The plant emits a foul odor when the pads are damaged.
So, it is better to avoid pricking them.
What Diseases And Pests Affect Beavertail Cactus?
Scale and mealybug are two insect pests that attack Opuntia Basilaris.
Apply rubbing alcohol, neem oil, or a pesticide on them. Pests are more likely to attack indoor plants than outside ones.
Opuntia Basilaris are susceptible to the phyllosticta fungus, which produces lesions in the pads that progress to huge black patches that scab off.
This fungus, which is caused by damp or humid conditions, is not fatal, but it is so infectious that it eventually spreads to surrounding plants.
There is no effective therapy; nevertheless, infected pads should be removed and disposed of to prevent the fungus from spreading.
How Often Should I Water Opuntia Basilaris?
If you’re wondering how often to water your Opuntia Basilaris, the answer is: it depends.
This succulent is native to the Mojave Desert, so it’s used to hot, dry conditions. In its natural habitat, it gets by on very little water.
But if you’re growing your Opuntia Basilaris indoors, it’s going to need more water than it would in the wild.
How much water your plant needs will depend on a few factors, like the size of the pot, the type of potting mix, and the temperature and humidity of your home.
In general, you should water your Opuntia Basilaris about once a week. Allow the potting mix to dry out completely between watering, and then give your plant a good soaking.
Let the water drain out of the pot, and don’t water again until the potting mix is dry.
Check the leaves if you’re unsure whether your plant needs water. If they’re starting to look wilted, it’s time to water.