Growing Cactus Outdoors in Cold Weather Climates

I was giggling when I overheard an employee at our local home improvement store telling a customer that you couldn’t grow any form of cactus outdoors in Wisconsin.  Oh, really? I beg to differ.  Growing cactus outdoors in cold weather climates is possible.

I have a different opinion on growing cactus in cold weather climates. You most certainly can.

I have had wonderful luck with my Yellow Rose of Texas a variety of the prickly pear cactus outdoors in Green Bay, Wisconsin alongside my garage.

Let’s face it, if the hone of the Frozen Tundra can grow cactus, you can too.

Two Ways To Grow Prickly Pear Cactus


1.) Grow Prickly Pear Cactus From Nopale

Each cactus in the prickly pear family is planted from a nopale (or prickly pear pad) or by seed.

The color of the flowers ranges in a wide variety of colors. My plant variety s yellow and called The Yellow Rose of Texas.

The plant is growing in the soil along my garage and it lives there year-round.I never dig it out for the winter months.

2.) How To Plant From Seed

1.) Choose a bright and sunny location with well-drained soil.

2.) Plant nopales or seed in a raised bed or against the house to protect the plant from harsh winter winds.

3.) The soil for planting only needs to be average, amending only clay soils.

4.) The root system is extremely shallow. Be sure to mulch around the base of your cactus.

What Family Do They Belong To?

Cacti are part of the succulent family. Succulents can store water in their roots, stems and leaves. But not all succulents are cacti. A cactus has small bumps where the spines, pads, and flowers grow from.

Outdoor Care

1.) I have found if you mulch around the base, you do not have to water the plant. Mother Nature takes care of everything for you.

2.) The first few years after planting, cover your plant in late fall with burlap after the plant starts to dry up. This will protect the plant from the harsh winds of winter.

3.) In the spring, remove the burlap and add a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to keep even moisture and heat from spring to summer.

4.) After the plant is established, you do not after to cover it with burlap.

That is it, Simple! You can grow cactus in cold weather climates. They bloom and thrive.

Purchase Your Cactus and Supplies…
Schultz 2-7-7 Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food 4 fl.oz
Prickly Pear Cactus 15 Seeds – Mixed Opuntia Species
Prickly Pear Cactus (Large Spikes)(live Bare Root Plant)

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