How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Cactus—Cereus, Echinocactus, Echinopsis, Epiphyllum, Mammillaria spp.
Prickly-pear—Opuntia spp.
Saguaro—Carnegiea gigantea
Family Cactaceae (Cactus family)

Plant identification

Cacti contain many species of succulent type plants. They generally appear leafless, but their spines may be modified leaves. The pads and joins are modified stems that store water. All cacti are native to the Americas and grow in climates ranging from tropical jungles to high alpine regions. Many have colorful blossoms. Cacti range in height from a few inches to over 50 feet tall. They can be grown as container specimens or in landscapes.

Optimum conditions for growth

New cacti should be watered very little after planting. After 4 to 6 weeks when there are actively growing roots, begin to water thoroughly and let the soil dry completely before watering again. Landscape plantings require full sun and well-drained soils. They require little water once established. Reduce watering of both landscape and containerized plants in the fall to allow plants to go into dormancy.

Prickly pear cactus
Prickly pear cactus

Pests and disorders of Cactaceae




Diseases (cont.)

Environmental disorders



Golden barrel cactus (ground) and taller cactus
Golden barrel cactus (ground) and tall cacti

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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