In addition to our opuntia humifusa pads, we are proud to offer these ROOTED prickly pear cactus pads. The genus opuntia is host to a number of different species of cold hardy cacti whose edible fruits are collectively known as prickly pears. Opuntia-Ficus Indica is the most commonly eaten species. The pads are most prevalent in Mexican cusine. Known as nopales, prickly pear cactus pads are often sliced and pickled before being added to salads and tacos. Opuntia ficus-indica fruits are also the same prickly pear you will sometimes find in grocery stores. Prickly pear fruits from this species are perhaps the best edible cactus pears of all the opuntia species. The pads of the prickly pear cacti are modified versions of leaves. In nature, opuntia pads tend to fall off, and many of them will root to form new plants. These pads can be easily rooted in normal potting soil or cactus soil simply by standing up in a container (as our product pictures shows) and waiting. They do not need water while rooting unless they look dry. We have done that part for you, so you simply need to repot the pad in the ground or in a container. You can keep opuntia ficus-indica outside year round in USDA zones 8 and above. They typically need no maintenance, and they are great for landscaping projects. If you’re looking for a maintenance-free edible to add to your garden or permaculture landscape, then a live prickly pear cactus is a good choice. In areas below zone 8, opuntia ficus-indica can be brought in for the winter months. We also offer opuntia humifusa pads, which can be grown in colder areas. Opuntia is also a very fast-growing genus of cacti, and for that reason it is a popular choice for grafting other slower-growing species such as astrophytum, ariocarpus or lophophora. Opuntia Ficus-Indica is also unique in that it does not have spines of glochids that will stixk in your skin and irritate you, so you can handle them much more easily than many other opuntia species. Opuntia seeds can be stubborn to germinate, so starting from a live cactus pad will not only save you much hassle and possible disappointment, it will save you the time it woudl take for a seedling to reach this size.