Jumping Chollas are one of the most popular and well known plants in the world. They have been cultivated since ancient times and they were used as decorations during Roman Empire period. Today, they are grown all over the world for their colorful flowers which attract insects and other small animals. They are easy to grow in any climate conditions and they need little water or fertilizer. These tiny plants produce very beautiful white flowers with pink centers that bloom only once every few years.
Jumpers are considered as a weed because they grow up to 2 feet tall and are difficult to control. They require very little care and it takes less than 1/2 gallon of water per plant to keep them alive. Some growers prefer not to use soil at all when growing these plants, but others like the extra support provided by soil.
Most jumpers will survive without any additional care except for light watering in hot weather. If you want to grow these plants indoors, then you must provide some sort of support such as a trellis or hanging basket.
The best time to harvest jumping cholla is in springtime. Jumping chollas are easy to propagate from seeds and they can be propagated through cuttings. Cuttings take approximately 3 weeks to germinate after being placed into a pot of moist peat moss.
Jumping chollas are carnivorous plants and they trap insects in their bristles to provide them with the nutrients they need. The jumping cholla can also be grown in a container filled with animal waste such as chicken manure or even cat litter. The plant absorbs all of its nutrients from decaying flesh or urine.
Jumping chollas will grow well in any climate conditions but they will look their best when grown outdoors. They are very hardy plants and can survive in hot and dry conditions. They like light shade when grown outdoors.
It is important to remove all the dead or dying bristles from the plant because they will attract insect pests which can damage the plant.
Some people grow jumping chollas in small dish gardens which are placed on window sills. These dish gardens usually contain colorful gravels and stones that contrast sharply with the bright green paddles of the jumping cholla plants.
Sources & references used in this article:
The cactus primer by AC Gibson, PS Nobel – 1986 – books.google.com
Interaction of diffuse competition and insect herbivory in limiting brittle prickly pear cactus, Opuntia fragilis (Cactaceae) by JC Burger, SM Louda – American Journal of Botany, 1995 – Wiley Online Library
Hierarchical nanostructured ZnO with nanorods engendered to nanopencils and pin-cushion cactus with its field emission study by SS Warule, NS Chaudhari, JD Ambekar… – … applied materials & …, 2011 – ACS Publications
Selenium accumulation, distribution, and speciation in spineless prickly pear cactus: a drought-and salt-tolerant, selenium-enriched nutraceutical fruit crop for … by GS Bañuelos, SC Fakra, SS Walse, MA Marcus… – Plant …, 2011 – Am Soc Plant Biol
Preliminary ecological investigation of natural community status at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument by WF Steenbergh, PL Warren – 1977 – books.google.com
Effect of reproductive modes and environmental heterogeneity in the population dynamics of a geographically widespread clonal desert cactus by MC Mandujano, J Golubov, LF Huenneke – Population Ecology, 2007 – Springer
Ajo Peak to Tinajas Altas: A flora in southwestern Arizona. Part 7. Eudicots: Cactaceae—Cactus Family by RS Felger, S Rutman, J Malusa, MA Baker – Phytoneuron, 2014 – academia.edu
Toward Understanding the Efficacy and Mechanism of Opuntia spp. as a Natural Coagulant for Potential Application in Water Treatment by SM Miller, EJ Fugate, VO Craver, JA Smith… – … science & technology, 2008 – ACS Publications