This is related to one of my old questions here: Centering Opuntia Cactus

Now, my opuntia has grown much bigger as can be seen in the picture below.

Opuntia Cactus

The base is still very narrow and the plant tends to completely bend whenever it rains, so I temporarily have a stick supporting it from doing so. Pretty soon the wind will make it bend the other side and I will have to move the stick to the other side.

So the question now is, what do I do about this? Do I still continue to leave the plant as is or would it be better to perhaps cut the pod such that the four pods on the top left are together.

If to cut, then where. Do I cut at the narrowest (joint) of the big pod and the other (single) big one below or do I cut in the half of the big one.

I read somewhere that the bottom most pod should swell and accommodate the entire plant, but after a year, it does not seem to be doing that.

2 Answers 2


I would not recommend planting Opuntia cuttings more than one segment tall. My experience has been that it slows the rooting process and the plant appears to sit dormant for some time.

Ideally, cut Opuntioids at the joints. They aren't super picky, but they grow fastest from the joints.

This top-heavy and toppling over function is a natural part of Opuntioid reproduction. If you don't like that feature, pick a different Genus/species.

They get tall, they fall over, the part that hits the ground roots, and on and on... This plant in particular with it's thin cladodes (the pads, paddles, nopal, take your pick) is not going to have good structural integrity. I don't think I've ever seen a specimen of Consolea rubescens grow very big. (I think it's a Consolea, I'm not an Opuntioid expert).

And finally what is your ultimate goal? Do you want thousands of clones of this plant in your yard? Are you looking to create one aesthetically pleasing plant? Answers to these questions will guide your actions.

If you just want one awesome plant, you can cut off the growth that displeases you. I have seen many Opuntiods where the bottom cladodes swell and turn woody to support very large plants. Not sure that will really happen with this species.

There are some Opuntiods that grow very tall with woody and sometimes spiny trunks. This just doesn't happen to be one of them, IMO.

Best of luck!

  • I bought this in South India, Asia. Apparently, it also bears a small fruit. Originally, I bought the plant to feed my meal worms, when on vacation, but apparently it is not advised. So, now I just want it to grow big enough to bear fruit. Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 7:16

Because this cactus will continue to grow and make things harder, I would cut now the 3 young shoots in the upper left of the picture together with the pod they are growing from and plant it in a new pot. This way, the new plant would be balanced. It is easier to keep the pod that supports the new shoots in one piece. If you cut it in half, new pods will form at its base and they will unbalance this plant, too.

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