Cactus Pads - Spineless

We are temporarily out of cactus pads. We will add these back once our plants catch up on growth.
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Product Reviews

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  1. Who Doesn't Love Some Cactus?

    Posted by Aaron on 17th Nov 2015

    I have been trying to propagate some Opuntia for the past couple months but haven't really been able to find good pads to use. I ordered a single pad from tortoisesupply and it has rooted! The other half of the cactus pad has also been supplying my juvenile tort for weeks now. This is a wonderful product and it's great that an online medium can offer live Opuntia. Thanks

  2. Very Excellent!

    Posted by Andrew on 6th May 2014

    I just received my order, 4 pounds, and a seed mix, and I was very pleased to find pads, very good sized, and a few very large ones! They look great and my tortoises LOVE them!! I will definitely be using this site as a go-to for my tortoise needs!

  3. Phenomanal product

    Posted by Unknown on 2nd Dec 2012

    I Have been keeping tortoises for 15 (Sulcata, Russian,Aldabra) years, one of the most beneficial food items is prickly pear cactus, unfortunately i never found it for sale so i had to grow it, This is a great opportunity and value considering it took me 7 months to finallly grow them without them dying, it really helped my tortoises health and i think raised the testosterone levels in male tortoises which caused successful breeding.

Description

We believe prickly pear cactus pads to be one of the best food items for all tortoise species (especially grassland species). It is high in calcium and fiber while being low in protein and fats. Opuntia has a long shelf life compared to most produce, and is not wet on the exterior, so it doesn't stick to the substrate like many vegetables and fruits do. It is best kept in the refrigerator after arrival, and can keep several weeks (or until it starts to look bad). Eventually, the pads will begin to wrinkle, but they're still perfectly useable. For baby tortoises, we slice it into strips about 1/4" wide. Adults can eat the pads whole.

A single pad often weighs about 1 pound, but the exact pad count per box is variable because of differences in size of each pad. Some pads are well over 1 pound each, and larger ones can be well over 2 pounds. Often, a 5 pound order is only 3 or 4 pads. The type we sell is a thicker than average pad, often up to 1" thickness. The thicker pads normally have a longer shelf life. During checkout, you can make a preference for larger or smaller pads, and we'll do our best to meet your needs. Our cactus is grown on our land here in Las Vegas.

For re-planting, we prefer to use thicker, larger pads. They are easily grown by simply burying the pads standing upright with the bottom 1/3 buried in the ground. It often takes several months to a year for much growth (new pads) to begin. This is the reason we prefer thicker pads for planting, because they can stand freely for longer, while thinner pads will get soft and lean over. Once they are started and roots are developed, they are quite fast growing plants. Almost all growth happens during the warmer months, and our plants do well outdoors year round here in Vegas. Low temperatures below about 22 degrees can cause damage to the thinner/younger pads, but the root plant will usually survive down to about 15 degrees (on an established plant). Brand new plants should be protected from extreme cold for the first winter or two (wrapping in burlap, etc).

*Being a cactus, our opuntia does have some small spines remaining, so please be careful while handling them. Tortoises do not have a problem eating these spines (they eat worse naturally), but they can stick human fingers if care is not taken. If you want to try to remove the spines, rubbing them with an old sponge in a circular pattern usually gets most of them out.

*Our exact variety is opuntia ficus indica (elephant ear). We will eventually have nopalea grande available also which is a brighter green color and has fewer spines, but is less cold hardy.