Prickly pear cactuses are low-maintenance perennial plants that produce both a vegetable and a fruit. Find out how to grow prickly pear cacti and use them in your kitchen!
We love growing and eating interesting and unusual foods we can’t easily find at the grocery store or find organically. And when it comes time to cook those foods, we love finding out how they’re used in other cultures so we can use those recipes as inspiration in our kitchen.
Growing up, I enjoyed eating the ripe prickly pear fruit that would ripen in the summer on our neighbor’s cactus plant. This wasn’t theft, mind you. The neighbor wasn’t much of a gardener and would probably have been happy if I’d eaten the whole plant.
After The Tyrant and I merged and began developing our own garden full of rare and unusual plants, one of our best friends offered us a prickly pear cactus pad from a bred variety of spineless Eastern prickly pears (Opuntia humifusa).
We happily took the pad, learned all about how to grow prickly pears, and started our first prickly pear patch in our garden. A few years, later, we now have a beautiful cluster of low-maintenance prickly pears that creates lots of visual interest in our garden and food in our kitchen.