Santa-Rita Tubac™ Prickly Pear

Opuntia violacea var. santa-rita

Large, beautiful yellow flowers rest on the outer edges of spine-covered, fleshy succulent pads. In winter the pads turn to a rich purple color and return to a soft blue-gray with warmer weather. An excellent choice for year-round beauty in arid xeric landscapes or containers. Evergreen.
There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. Choosing plants that grow and thrive in your particular climate is the very first step toward having a beautiful garden . Learn More
8-11: Outdoor
Grow Indoors in all zones

Good to Grow...indoors:


Full sun

Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.


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Botanical Pronunciationop-UN-shee-a vy-oh-LAH-see-uh
LorePrickly pear cactus has been a staple of the Mexican and Central American diet for thousands of years. In parts of the U.S. it has been gaining popularity as an exotic, gourmet and healthy addition to one's diet. The prickly pear plant has three different edible sections: the pad of the cactus (nopal), which can be treated like a vegetable, the petals of the flowers, which can be added to salads, and the pear (tuna), which can be treated like a fruit.
Average Size at MaturitySlow to moderate growing; forms clumps 4 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide.
Bloom TimeLate Spring to Early Summer
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Flower AttributeShowy Flowers
Flower ColorYellow
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleMediterranean, Rustic
Growth HabitColumnar
Growth RateModerate
Landscape UseBarrier, Container, Firescaping/Firewise, Houseplant, Rock Garden
Light NeedsFull sun
Special FeatureDramatic Foliage Color, Easy Care, Gift Plant, Tolerates Poor Soils, Waterwise, Year-round Interest, Tolerates Urban Pollution, Heat Loving
Water NeedsLow
Watering NeedsOnce established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
Companion PlantsAgave (Agave); Hens & Chicks (Echeveria); Sedum (Sedum); Red Yucca (Hesperaloe); Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe)

Grows easily in average to lean, rocky, unimproved, fast-draining soils with low moisture. Water regularly during the first growing season to establish root system, allowing soil to become fairly dry between intervals. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates drought. Avoid excess winter moisture. Fertilize sparingly in spring.

This Plant's Growing Zones: ALL

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Grow Indoors in All Zones