NOTE: In this article, Bunny ear cactus and Opuntia microdasys may be used interchangeably; in fact, Opuntia microdasys is the botanical name for Bunny ear cactus.
The bunny ear cactus is a popular houseplant that is low-maintenance and attractive. Opuntia microdasys is also known as bunny ear cactus, angel’s wings cactus, and polka dot cactus, and is native to Mexico.
The bunny ear cactus is just as prickly as other cacti with large and intimidating spikes, so don’t be fooled by these cute nicknames. The bunny ear cactus has white dots on it’s surface, which are patches of small spines that can easily be removed from the skin.
If necessary, use protective gloves when handling the bunny ear cactus.
Why does my Opuntia microdasys roots have rot?
If left untreated, root rot on your Bunny ear cactus (Opuntia microdasys) can be fatal. For this reason, if the symptoms appear, we highly advise that you adhere to our recommendations to keep your plant alive: Blackened and softened roots.
Why does my Bunny ear cactus have gray mold spots?
Gray mold spots are a type of fungus that is found a lot in flowers, and spreads quite rapidly. If you notice brown (or gray) spots, it is probably this fungus. Don’t ignore these symptoms, as they may end up killing your plant.
The answer is obvious once you recognize the cause of the problem. Most frequently, it results from the Opuntia microdasys being overwatered. We strongly advise you to remove the damaged plant parts, cut off the diseased roots and leaves, and then repot your plant in a new container with sterile potting soil.
Why does my Bunny ear cactus have leaf spots?
This type of disease is one of the most frustrating for Bunny ear cactus owners, we give you all the leads to spot and save your plants that present symptoms such as leaves that suddenly change color, or wilt/droop.
Why are my Bunny ear cactus leaves turning yellow?
Yellowing leaves are arguably the most prevalent issue in the gardening world. Overwatering or a lack of nutrients are the 2 main causes of this issue.
Reduce your watering frequency when you fear your plants are being overwatered, and follow these steps to determine whether they may be lacking in nutrients:
Each deficiency produces a different yellowing on the Opuntia microdasys in question, here’s how to spot them:
- Magnesium deficiency starts as yellow patches between leaf veins on older leaves. Veins stay green as yellow moves from the leaf center out. Leaf edges turn yellow last.
- Iron deficiency also shows as yellowing between leaf veins, but it hits young leaves on plant tops and branch tips first.
- The newest leaves are first affected by sulfur deficiency, rendering them completely yellow.
- Leaf edges turning bright yellow but inside leaf remaining green are signs of potassium insufficiency. The symptoms first appear on older leaves, and the leaf edges quickly become dark.
- A lack of nitrogen is indicated by a widespread yellowing. Older, inner leaves are the first to yellow. As the yellowing progresses, it eventually touches young leaves as well.
You only need to respond to the signs mentioned above. A gardening store expert will be able to provide you advice on how to purchase a specific soil to treat a potassium or nitrogen deficiency. Additionally, you can reduce how often you water your plants.
Is my Bunny ear cactus sunburned?
It is quite easy to find out if your Bunny ear cactus (Opuntia microdasys) has been burned by the sun. Just like on us, your plant will change color in this case, it will start to turn yellow or white.
As we saw above, if your Bunny ear cactus receives too much water or not enough light, the leaves may also change color.
However, there is a way to tell if it is sunburn; look at the bottom of the yellow leaves, the ones that have a shaded area closer to the root, if this area stays greener, it is probably sunburned, not something else.
Why are my Bunny ear cactus leaves turning brown?
A plant’s browning leaves are typically a symptom that it has been sunburned and has been exposed to excessive amounts of direct sunlight. Don’t worry; your plant probably won’t perish as a result, but its growth will be negatively impacted.
Should I leave my Opuntia microdasys in direct sunlight?
No! If your Opuntia microdasys (or Bunny ear cactus) has the symptoms described above, don’t leave it in direct sunlight, that’s the reason why your Bunny ear cactus is in such a state!
As explained in the paragraph above, the solution is simple, just place your Bunny ear cactus in a place where the light does not reach it directly, in this way and with a correct watering, your plant should resume its life rather quickly.
Why are my Opuntia microdasys leaves drooping or wilting ?
When you become dehydrated, this usually happens. Large plants are more vulnerable since they need more water on a regular basis than smaller plants.
Whether your Opuntia microdasys plant’s pot appears light, the soil and roots are likely fairly dry and need water, so you can readily tell if it needs to be hydrated.
If the soil in your plant’s pot is completely dry, you will need to start by moistening it so that the roots will also benefit from the water. A common mistake is to drown the Bunny ear cactus right after a dry period thinking that it needs a lot of water.
This is the case, but giving too much water at once is the best way to finish it off, you should actually water the soil normally, resuming a quiet watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Opuntia microdasys
Your plant needs water to survive, but it’s crucial to balance the amount and timing of watering. As we previously mentioned, overwatering could be catastrophic for your Opuntia microdasys.
The best way to know if your plant needs water or not is to touch the soil, if you feel it is still wet, it is probably a good idea to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
It’s also a good idea to keep your Opuntia microdasys at a constant temperature, especially if it’s kept indoors. In general, at GreenShack, we suggest booking a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees F. Of course, keep your Opuntia microdasys away from radiators, air conditioners, and other sources of hot or cold air.
Keep your Bunny ear cactus Dust-Free
This one is about houseplants. Your indoor plants’ leaves get dusty just like your furniture does. The problem is that this might prevent photosynthesis from beginning, which would result in the plants gradually losing their color.
For your Bunny ear cactus, this would be a true descent into hell, and it would also appease the pests.
To remove the dust, gently rub the plant’s leaves with a microfiber cloth. Dust can be removed more easily with a damp cloth, but stay away from corrosive substances like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you have a tendency to overwater, you need to keep an eye on your drainage, we advise you to opt for a pot with drainage holes if it is not already the case and a saucer.
If your pots don’t already have holes in them, you can add volcanic rocks (or any other pebbles with holes) to the bottom of your pot in the meantime. This will assist in creating a channel and keep the water from pooling there for an extended period of time, protecting the roots from decay.