For starters, this plant is protected with sharp spines! And it has natural anti-freeze chemicals, so it withstands freezing temperatures! But that doesn’t mean you put them in front of the air conditioning.
These plants can go for weeks if not months without any water. For the first month, do not water newly propagated pads. Water every two to four weeks for the first year, twice a month in the summer and once a month for the rest of the year.
The most common reasons for browning on your Prickly Pear Cactus are: overwatering, sunburn, temperature shock and pest infestation
This is a clear sign of some underlying problem(s), such as root rot.
Get a stick and poke it into the soil; if it comes back dry, the plant needs water.
In the summer you can leave them for 4-6 hours of direct sunlight..
Inadequate watering, ageing, rotting, and too much light are the most common causes of cactus shrivelling. These problems are primarily concerned with the root system. These problems can be solved by providing a healthy water balance, adequate sunlight, and regular disease checks.
Apply a balanced 10-10-10 fertiliser to young plants. A 5-10-10 or even 0-10-10 water-soluble fertiliser will encourage more flowers and fruits on established prickly pear plants. If you are growing for the pads, use a nitrogen-rich fertiliser.
Prickly Pears have been known to live for well over 20 years. There are several types of prickly pear cactus, each growing to a different size.