Want to learn more about Bunny Ears Cactus Trivia
Get individual care schedule and reminders for your plant with our app Planta. Never kill a plant again!
The Bunny Ears cactus, Opuntia microdasys, is a fun-looking cactus that is native to northern Mexico.
It gets its name from the large segmented pads which look a bit like the ears of a rabbit.
Unlike other cacti, the Bunny Ears cactus doesn't have spines. Instead, it grows short clumps of fuzzy hairs known as 'glochids'. This fur-like appearance is another thing that adds to this plant's name!
They may look almost as if they would be soft to touch, but they are definitely not. It can be very difficult to remove the bristles once they're lodged in the skin, so try to avoid handling this cactus and keep it out of reach of curious kids.
The Bunny Ears cactus is very low maintenance, and is a fantastic choice for beginners.
Like most cacti and succulents, they don't need much water as they're adapted to live in dry, arid conditions so that they can survive periods of drought. Plant it in a well-draining, sandy soil and only water once the mix is completely dried out. Planting in a breathable clay / terracotta pot with drainage holes is ideal, so the plant can easily drain out excess water. This helps prevent root rot, and can also help decrease the risk of your Bunny Ears cactus developing pest infestations.
Always use gloves while handling it since the spines can be tricky to get rid of. If needed, use tweezers and take your time removing them.
The Bunny Ears cactus loves light. If possible, try to make sure yours has exposure to at least 14 hours of light per day. If you don't get enough full sun in your home, you can supplement this with grow lights.
They also like to be kept warm, and can't handle exposure to frost - make sure to bring yours indoors for the winter if you usually keep it outside.
These cacti can grow quite large when kept outdoors - up to 3 feet (or 90 cm) tall and 6 feet wide (1.8m). As a houseplant, it's more likely to reach a maximum of 2 feet (61 cm). Note that it's also a slow grower, so you'll need to have a little patience with it.
This cactus has no central stem. Instead, it consists of individual oval-shaped segments that grow from one another in pairs. New segments are reddish in color, then become dark green as they mature.
Flowers can also grow from these pads if your cactus gets enough light exposure during the spring and summer.