Cholla (Opuntia varieties)



Opuntia varieties

Cholla cactus are a sight to behold, especially mass planted, for proof, visit the amazing Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree National Park or make your own! A jointed cactus in the Opuntia family, many species of Cholla can be found thriving in the deserts of the Southwest. The most common found in our landscapes include Chain Fruit (the largest of the chollas), Teddy Bear (said to resemble the fuzzy arms and legs of a teddy bear) and Cane Chollas. We take pride in being unique growers that actually go out into the Southwestern desert to find and stock the most attractive and unique Cholla specimens available!

Most Cholla cactus will have orange or greenish-yellow flowers that typically bloom from spring to early summer. These are a highly desirable plant for both homeowners and landscapers thanks to their predictable structure and slow to moderate growth rate. In fact, if you have a southwest-style garden, any of the Opuntia varieties are a must-have addition, just be sure that they get plenty of full sun exposure. These are drought tolerant plants with low to moderate watering needs once established. We love to plant them in any landscape to showcase the different shapes, sizes and habits of this unique cactus.

If you’re looking to make a wonderful cactus garden with Chollas, we recommend using our professional landscape installation. That way, we can do all the hard work, from the digging to the planting, all you need to do is come visit us and let us help you find the perfect cacti for your landscape!

  • Found in all of the hot deserts of the Southwest
  • The only cactus with papery sheaths covering their spines
  • Opuntia are unique because of their glochids, which are clusters of fine, tiny, barbed spines


Full sun

Drought tolerant