Opuntia consolea ‘Rubescens’ is a nearly spineless cactus that has a unique appearance and a tree-like growth habit! Its bumpy pads are paddle shaped, olive green in colour and branch out over time. Its common name ‘Road Kill Cactus’ refers to its flat, thin and bumpy appearance, because, well, it makes it look almost as if it had been run over by a car.
Opuntia consolea ‘Rubescens’ owes its botanical name to Michelangelo Console, who was inspector of the Botanical Garden in Palermo in the 19th century. It originates from the the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Opuntia consolea ‘Rubescens’ is really easy to take care of and a good option for beginners. During the growing season, the plant should be watered as soon as the soil is fully dry. It will also appreciate a very bright, sunny spot to grow in. In Spring, it can produce gorgeous, small orange flowers.
Like all cacti, Opuntia consolea ‘Rubescens’ goes dormant during winter, so do not water it during this time and keep in a bright, cool position by a window. It can tolerate temperatures down to around -3, so it is a great plant for your outside space most of the year, but will need to be brought inside during winter.
Opuntia consolea ‘Rubescens’ has little, sticky spikes which can cause some irritation and therefore touching the plant should be avoided not only for the sake of the plant, but also for your own precious fingers.
Size: this plant is about 35 cm tall and comes in a plastic nursery pot 12 cm big in diameter.
Bright morning sun, some air flow, avoid touching the plant.
Light: dull sun but can tolerate low light
Water: sparingly, once per month in winter, once every week and half in summer
Soil: fast draining potting mix like cactus mix