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Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:43 am
by MalcolmP2
Hello, thanks for letting me join your interesting forum.

We have been interested in cacti for many years but, apart from filling windowsills, not 'got into' them seriously, [yet!, but have noted from the forum some local events soon :) ] Until we saw in a local veg and flower shop a curious arrangement of Opuntia segments packed into a 5in pot. All had several seed pods on them and they were thinly rooted.
I resisted buying for a few days, it seemed an odd arrangement, but curiosity got the better of me and I have bought one just to see what happens next.

Then I thought it was time to find some experts to ask :)
Does anyone have an idea what is/was intended, have you seen this sort of thing done before.
I guess that the seed pods will eventually drop off and also the segments may sprout new growth.

That they have flowered once already perhaps they might be easy to persuade to flower again ?
Or perhaps they flowered when on the parent plant and since being cut off they may just expire ?
Either way we should have plenty of seeds to experiment with !!

Let me see if I can post a picture of them,,,,
(and later perhaps I can show some of our previous flowering cacti)

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Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:01 pm
by Aiko
Looks like cuttings of a bigger plant that flowered. Hence the roots still being thin. I would not expect them to flower again soon. They need to grow more roots and grow bigger before it will flower as well again, very likely.

Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:38 pm
by Diane
Welcome to the forum, Malcolm. The fruiting Opuntias seem to be a rather trendy thing at the moment, I've seen them in my local garden centre, but only as a single pad. I think, if you unpot it, that you'll find they are all separate pads rooted from a flowering size plant, so probably best separated into their own pots.
You may well find seeds inside the pods, but Opuntia seed can be rather unpredictable for germinating, needing cold/heat to sprout. No harm in trying, though!

Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:18 pm
by Chris in Leeds
Welcome to the forum and as Diane says I would depot it and separate the pads then repot separately

Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:57 pm
by MalcolmP2
Thanks for all your thoughts and welcomes.

It looks then as though the purpose of the grower has been to display a 'pretty pot' of Opuntia fruits !
Here is a pic of the roots and you are all right, they are individual bits off a parent plant, recently(?) rooted. So I will separate one or two off (I have not got room to do more individual plants !) and see how they perform.
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I have opened a fruit and there are some quite large hard seeds. I have sown some directly, some I have given a flash (an afternoons-worth of sun) before sowing and some I am drying out to sow later.
This was all before I saw the interesting comment by @Diane
Diane wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:38 pm
but Opuntia seed can be rather unpredictable for germinating, needing cold/heat to sprout. No harm in trying, though!
Thanks, I knew about stratification of other plant seeds but had not expected this to apply to cactus !

A few days in the fridge perhaps, or just a few hours in the fridge from time to time over a week or two to simulate some chilly desert nights ? Lots of experiments are indicted :)

Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:41 am
by Phil_SK
Opuntia stricta has a natural distribution centred around the Caribbean. Since it doesn't experience seasonal temperature swings I wouldn't expect the seeds to require a cold stratification. When you look at some of the countries in which it has become a serious weed, again, they tend to be countries with steady warmth.

Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:18 pm
by MalcolmP2
Phil_SK wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:41 am
Opuntia stricta
Thanks, you must be telepathic ! one of my next questions was going to be "which Opuntia might it be"
This curiosity purchase is serving a good purpose - I am learning a lots about Opuntia :)
Googling "Opuntia germination" throws up lots of variations.

Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:22 pm
by Chez2
Hello. I look forward to chatting to you soon.

Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:42 pm
by MalcolmP2
Chez2 wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:22 pm
Hello. I look forward to chatting to you soon.
Hi Chez, 👋 👋

Re: Hello from North Somerset.

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:35 pm
by Chez2
MalcolmP2 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:42 pm
Chez2 wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:22 pm
Hello. I look forward to chatting to you soon.
Hi Chez, 👋 👋
Hello :welc: