The Bunny Ears, otherwise known as the Opuntia Microdasys or Polka Dot Cactus, Angel’s Wings, Cegador, is a well-known cactus/succulent plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.
Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this cactus/succulent will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its dark green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.
Fortunately, taking care of your Bunny Ears is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Bunny Ears Care Guide. Now let’s get started.
The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Bunny Ears are the following:
- Water: The Bunny Ears grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
- Light: Keep your Opuntia Microdasys in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis.
- Soil: Make sure to keep the Bunny Ears in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand and loam.
And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Bunny Ears will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.
Scientific / Botanical Aspects
In botanical terms, the Bunny Ears belongs to the Cactaceae family, the genus Opuntia and the species Microdasys, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Opuntia Microdasys.
As with other Opuntia’s, the Bunny Ears is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year-round in your garden.
The Bunny Ears is a plant native to Mexico.
You might be wondering why your Bunny Ears’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environmental conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.
With this in mind, the Opuntia Microdasys will be most used to the heat zones in the 9 – 12 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 9b, 9a, 10a, 11a, 11b, 12b, 12a and the ideal climate zone is between 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
Growth and Size
In terms of size and growth, the Bunny Ears is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.
But what exactly does this mean for your Bunny Ears? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…
The Opuntia Microdasys can grow up to 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) and 4′ – 5′ (120cm – 150cm) in 4′ – 5′ (120cm – 150cm).
These dimensions make the Bunny Ears a relatively large cactus/succulent compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.
This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 60″ (150cm) free so the Bunny Ears can spread to its best extent.
In terms of watering, the Bunny Ears is a fairly simple plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.
Specifically, most experts agree that the Opuntia Microdasys grows best with watering each week. Increase the frequency of watering when it gets hot.
Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low needs in terms of water.
As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Bunny Ears in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive.
When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and occasionally dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times.
But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Bunny Ears then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Bunny Ears needs or does not need water, every time.
As mentioned earlier, the Bunny Ears prefers to have soil with good drainage, and occasionally dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand and loam.
This is why most experts agree that the Bunny Ears requires soil with sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.
In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.
Light and Placement
In terms of light & exposure, the Bunny Ears requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions.
Most experts agree that this cactus/succulent will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.
Specifically, we recommend that you place your Opuntia Microdasys in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).
Being an evergreen plant, the Bunny Ears will be present year round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.
You can expect your Bunny Ears to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring). In particular, this cactus/succulent is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.
The Bunny Ears produces some beautiful yellow flowers around this time of year.
The Bunny Ears has a beautiful dark green color during most of the year.
Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance
The Bunny Ears is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.
Additionally, it has a special tolerance for drought, rocky soil, dry soil and animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Opuntia Microdasys will be fine.
How should you then organize your garden to include your new Bunny Ears? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.
Some owners consider that they compliment well most gardens of gravel and rock garden, and in mediterranean garden styles.
In particular, the Bunny Ears’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a firescaping/fire wise, barrier, container, or a poolside.
So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Bunny Ears in your garden or home.