Opuntia microdasys ‘Yellow’

bunny ear cactus
Cute cactus develops into a shrubby prickly-pear. Beware: Hairlike spines sting and stick. Nice potted. Yellow dots.
Opuntia microdasys 'Yellow'
height 1–3
width 1–3
tolerates Cold, Drought, Heat, Pots
Opuntia are extremely drought-tolerant, which means that little to no additional water will be needed once the plant is established. Newer plants might show that they are thirsty when their leaves begin to shrivel. If this happens, give them a bit of water; otherwise they might start to drop their paddles.

To keep your opuntia plump and lush-looking, water it every two or three weeks during the summer.

Potted opuntia will need occasional water, especially if they are in a small pot. Water when dry.

Opuntias prefer good drainage, but they are tolerant of a wide range of soils.
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose, Low Needs
origin NC Mexico
7–9, 11–23

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Any opuntia that looks fuzzy and cute shouldn’t be touched! The fuzz is actually clusters of tiny spines. If for some reason you do get a handful of them, they can be removed by sticking tape on them and then removing it, or in severe cases covering the affected area with wood glue, letting it dry, and then peeling it off.
When planting this cactus it’s best to avoid the spines entirely. This can be done by cutting down each side of the nursery can and then peeling it open to expose the roots. This way you can hold the root ball while planting and you never need to touch the cactus. If the plant is tall and top-heavy, this often isn’t an option. Wrapping such cactus in cardboard makes them more manageable.
While your cactus is out of the nursery can, but before it is planted, is the easiest time to weed right up near the lowest spines. Be sure to pull weeds early with heavily spined cactus, as once they are established they can be difficult to remove. Forceps can be helpful for this task.
You may find your cactus develops hard brown scabs that eventually cover the cactus, especially on older growth. This is called corking, and is the natural process of the cactus ‘branch’ becoming a cactus ‘stump’ and getting bark, just like trees do. Corking is totally natural and adds to the beauty of your cactus over time.
Opuntias are delicate and arms snap off easily, so be sure to keep them away from high traffic areas. These arms can easily be propagated by laying them on their sides on cactus mix.
Hardiness based on a dry winter.

Special Interest

This plant makes a great indoor houseplant in a sunny warm room.

Shy to flower and primarily grown for the playful leafs.