When you think of the desert, you may immediately think of the Saguaro cactus. However, there is another iconic cactus that you may want to add to your Tucson landscaping—the prickly pear. Prickly pears are available in several varieties, and offer beautiful color and visual interest to any yard. If you’re thinking of asking your Tucson landscaper to add prickly pears to your property, here is what you need to know about caring for these plants.
Provide Adequate Drainage
When it comes to caring for cacti, one of the most important factors is the drainage of the soil. Prickly pears and other varieties of cactus should always be planted in soil with plenty of drainage. That way, water will drain away quickly, ensuring that the roots are not left in a moist environment. Without proper drainage, your prickly pear may succumb to root rot.
You might feel tempted to supplement the sparse rainwater of Arizona with additional irrigation, but remember that prickly pears are native plants! Thus, they do not need much, if any, extra water. Potted prickly pears may need some water from time to time, but be sure to only water when the soil is completely dry. Prickly pears that are planted in the ground should be fine with rainwater. The one exception is after you initially plant a prickly pear—give the roots a few days to recover from the planting process, and then water thoroughly to help the plant establish itself.
Beware of Sunburn
While the prickly pear cactus does well in full sun, you will want to be careful when you are adding new plants to your landscaping. If a plant has been kept in a shaded area, then you may want to transition it to full sun slowly over the course of a week or two. You can either keep it potted and leave it in the sun for longer periods each day, or use shade cloth to protect it from the worst of the afternoon sun.
If you want landscaping you can be proud of, get in touch with Complete Landscaping. We serve Tucson and the surrounding communities with reliable landscaping services. For more information, call us today at (520) 323-8918.