Respect and Admire from a Distance

• The Prickly Pear
• How to Remove Spines

Look! A little rain and the desert has come alive. I planted this pricky guy 10 years ago from one single leaf taken from our old property. The purple is fruit, none of which I’m interested in eating, nevertheless, it’s pretty. Just before this desert plant bears fruit, it blooms bright yellow flowers. These flowers are beautiful, but they attract bees like crazy and I’m allergic to bees, so sorry there’s no pic.

The Prickly Pear cactus requires no water, it only gets what nature provides… about 12 times per year. All my indigenous cactus on the front property haven’t had a drink for months until this past week. It amazes me how they survive 120 degree temperatures without any water, but they do, and as you can see, are thriving.
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The 10,000 wild bunnies here at TBN destroy all my plants, but the Prickly Pear isn’t bothered by them or anything else. That includes me, I have already been to battle with a Prickly Pear…  and I won’t forget it anytime soon that’s for sure.

Removing Prickly Pear Spines… the easy way.

Just in case you do accidentally come in contact with a Prickly Pear, those large sharp spines are the least of your worries. The teeny tiny reddish brown clusters of spines are by far the worst. Once you’ve brushed against a prickly pear there can be hundreds of hair like spines, barely visible to the naked eye imbedded in your skin.

Before you get the magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers to remove them, I have a much better method for you to try. Duct tape! Tear off a strip and place it over the affected area. When you pull off the tape, most all the spines stick to the adhesive. That’s my secret, now I hope you never have to put this method to test, but just in case, stick a roll of duct tape in your desert survival kit! 🙂


About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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10 Responses to Respect and Admire from a Distance

  1. I love my cactus garden, but my dogs had to learn the hard way about getting too close!

  2. shadowlilies says:

    Duct tape to the rescue again! Good to know this,and your cactus is beautiful!

  3. bulldog says:

    Well I have had the odd brush with this monster of fine hair thorns… used selotape to remove them which worked well… slightly less sticky than duct tape… but thanks for the tip duct tape it will be next time…

  4. They’re lovely! I saw on t.v. once where a child fell into a cactus and after exhausting every option to get the small spines out, they used the waxing method which worked. The poor kid, the parents wouldn’t allow her any pain killers or sedation to pull even the big ones out.

  5. good info, I used to use elmers glue. Paste it on, let it mostly dry and peel it off. Your method sounds easier!

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