Prickly Pear Cactus Transplant: A Complete Guide

How to clone/propagate prickly pear cactus. Edible cactus. Super easy


Prickly pear cactus is a popular and trendy plant that is widely used in gardens and landscapes. It is loved for its beautiful flowers and interesting shape, but it can be challenging to transplant. If you’re planning to move your prickly pear cactus, you need to know how to do it correctly to ensure its survival.

When to Transplant Prickly Pear Cactus

The best time to transplant prickly pear cactus is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild. Avoid transplanting during the hot summer months or the freezing winter season. The ideal time to transplant is when the plant is dormant, which is during the early spring or late fall.

How to Transplant Prickly Pear Cactus

Before starting the transplanting process, you will need to gather your tools. These include a shovel, gloves, pruning shears, and a bucket of water. Once you have your tools, follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose a New Location

Select a new location for your prickly pear cactus that has plenty of sunlight, well-draining soil, and is free from any pests or diseases. Avoid areas with heavy foot traffic or where the plant may be disturbed.

Step 2: Prepare the Cactus

Using your pruning shears, remove any dead or damaged parts of the prickly pear cactus. Be careful not to damage the healthy parts of the plant. Once you have trimmed the plant, let it sit for a few days to dry out.

Step 3: Dig Up the Cactus

Using a shovel, dig around the prickly pear cactus, making sure to dig deep enough to get the entire root system. Be careful not to damage the roots or the plant as you dig it up. Once you have dug up the cactus, place it in a bucket of water to keep the roots moist.

Step 4: Transplant the Cactus

Dig a hole in the new location that is slightly larger than the root ball of the prickly pear cactus. Place the cactus in the hole and backfill with soil, making sure to pack it down firmly. Water the plant thoroughly, and add a layer of mulch around the base of the cactus to help retain moisture.

Caring for Your Transplanted Prickly Pear Cactus

After transplanting your prickly pear cactus, it will need some extra care to help it adjust to its new environment. Here are some tips to help you care for your newly transplanted cactus:


Water your prickly pear cactus deeply once a week, or more frequently during hot, dry weather. Make sure to water the soil around the cactus, not the plant itself, to avoid rotting or damaging the plant.


Fertilize your prickly pear cactus once a month during the growing season with a cactus-specific fertilizer. Avoid using general-purpose fertilizers, as they can damage the plant.


Prune your prickly pear cactus regularly to remove any dead or damaged parts of the plant. This will help the plant stay healthy and promote new growth.

Pest Control

Keep an eye out for any pests or diseases on your prickly pear cactus, and treat them promptly to avoid any damage to the plant.


Transplanting prickly pear cactus can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done successfully. Remember to choose the right time of year, prepare the cactus, dig it up carefully, and transplant it correctly. With proper care and attention, your newly transplanted prickly pear cactus will thrive in its new location.