Seed - sow early spring in a very well-drained compost in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection from winter wet. Make sure you have some reserve plants in case those outdoors do not overwinter. Cuttings of leaf pads at any time in the growing season. Remove a pad from the plant and then leave it in a dry sunny place for a couple of days to ensure that the base is thoroughly dry and has begun to callous. Pot up into a sandy compost. Very easy, rooting quickly.
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Requires a sandy or very well-drained soil. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5. Plants must be kept fairly dry in the winter but they like a reasonable supply of water in the growing season. A position at the base of a south-facing wall or somewhere that can be protected from winter rain is best for this plant. Requires warmth and plenty of sun. Plants tolerate considerable neglect. Cultivated in many warm temperate and sub tropical areas for its edible fruits and its use as a stock-proof barrier, it is not very cold-tolerant and is unlikely to survive the winter outdoors in Britain. There are some named varieties, one at least of which is free from spines and irritant hairs.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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