Height: 6 Feet
Spread: 6 Feet
Hardiness Zones: 8b-11
This desert dweller certainly is prickly! The Purple Prickly Pear is a sharp plant covered in short 2 inch spines. Its foliage, or pads, are a grayish-reddish or grey-ish purplish color. The Purple Prickly Pear makes for a great accent in a succulent and cacti garden. The colder temperatures and drought will intensify the purple colors. Striking yellow flowers and red fruit bloom atop the Prickly Pear in the summer months.
The Prickly Pear is best planted in areas with no foot traffic due to its sharp spines. While this plant doesn't require a lot of hands on attention. If it does require any maintenance, gloves alone will not work. Using newspaper or carpet will help to prevent rendering your gloves useless due to its tinier spines, or glochids, which easily detach from the pads. This plant is drought tolerant and prefers a very well-draining soil. If in the summer there is no rain for at least a month, it might help to water the Purple Prickly Pear.