Will Lime Kill Prickly Pear Cactus?

Will Lime Kill Prickly Pear Cactus?

Limestone does not harm the Prickly Pear cactus, so if you have some in your garden then you do not need to worry about this. Lime is only harmful to the roots, which are in the ground a few feet away from the cactus itself.

To eliminate a prickly pear cactus, take a shovel and cut the top 2-3 inches off the base of it. We do suggest throwing the top few inches of the cactus in your garbage. The stump that is left should be treated with hydrated lime as using agricultural lime may end up slowly destroying your lawn once dry. It is only the roots of the cactus that is affected the acidity of lime.

Before finally cutting those cacti growing all around your concrete, you’ll have to eradicate the root. The roots must be destroyed so that they won’t extend and spread again. You will have to do this slowly but surely – it may take a while until you’re certain that no piece of the root has been left alive on your property.

 This process will take some time and has many options for both killing the pads above ground and for the destruction of roots below ground.

How does Lime Work on the Prickly Pear Cactus?

The problem with trying to use a chemical like lime or salt to kill prickly pear cactus is that the chemical must come in contact with the plant.

Put on some gloves, mix the chemical with water in a spray bottle and then massage it into the catus sides.

You also have to make sure you get the chemical into an open wound on the pad by any means necessary, such as pouring it in through a hole done by an animal or mechanical injury.

The plant was then exposed to lime for several months, after which the plant died and decayed.

Using this method, the pads will remain inlined with lime for several months at a time. Since the plant cannot absorb any moisture from rain during this period, it would appear to be dry ground instead of soft grass.

Another way to kill prickly pear cactus is with herbicides applied during spring when temperatures are rising and before flower buds set.

Types of Lime for the Prickly Pear Cactus

There are many types of lime available at the store when it comes to Prickly Pear Cactus but your best bets would be pelletized lime, or powdered lime.

Pelletized lime: Pelletized lime is evenly sized uniform pellets of lime. It’s very easy to spread on the lawn, especially when it’s damp and needs watering! Farmers use pelletized lime because it’s much easier to apply than traditional lime products.

 Powdered lime: There are different types of powdered lime. Each uses a different type of agricultural spreader to evenly distribute lime at the surface where it can be tilled into the soil.

Liquid lime: This is used on lawns and gardens but can also be used on crops. The liquid form requires less mixing than powder and can be applied through sprayers or watering cans.

How to Apply Lime to  Prickly Pear Cactus Garden

A lime spreader (check price here ) is used to spread powdered lime evenly. It has a hopper in the front that you fill with powdered lime and a mechanism that sprays the lime out as evenly as possible as one walks behind it, pushing it forward.

To apply lime to lawns, fill the spreader with the recommended amount. Walk-in straight lines, ensuring that you spread the lime in the same direction every pass.

To apply lime to prickly pear cactus soil, there are several options. One option is to use a spreader. If you do decide to use a spreader, simply walk one or two passes across the area you are treating with the lime, and be sure to cover all areas of the plot that you wish to lime. Another option is to use a shovel in order to spread it evenly across the ground’s surface. This can be done by making one or two passes over the area.

The lime needs to be placed into the soil of your garden to mix it into the soil so that it’s easier for the plants in your garden. Mix it in the soil to a depth of four to six inches. Lime applied to the soil’s surface can run down around 4 inches after a few rainstorms. However, tilling or mixing it into the soil makes it perform better at the base of the soil, which is the most beneficial.

How Much Lime to Apply to  Prickly Pear Cactus Gardens

Soil test results can help you determine how much lime to apply. Whether your soil is sandy, loamy, or clayey will also help determine how much you need to apply. The pH result will tell you if your soil is acidic, neutral, or alkaline and the texture of the soil reveals its structure and aeration. Soil generally falls into three categories: It’s either sand, loam, or clay-based on texture with a general range between a pH of 5-8 is usually considered desirable.

Clay soil: This kind of soil is defined by tiny particles of soil that are stuck together and make drainage difficult. Clay soil can be dried into hard sheets that are difficult to work with or to dig into. It might be rich in plant nutrients, however, the roots of the plant aren’t able to break through the tiny pieces of clay to access the nutrients.

Sand: Sandy soil has the largest particle sizes and the lowest amount of nutrients. Water drains away rapidly through sandy soil. Sandy soils don’t hold moisture well, so they dry out quickly and the roots of most plants won’t grow deeply in such a soil.

Loam: Loamy soil is a combination of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. It’s also known as rich soil because of the ideal texture that it provides. This texture is something I’ve had to become well versed in after learning that it can be made from other types of dirt or soil through the careful application of compost or other organic materials.

To determine how much lime to add to your garden, first examine the soil you’re working with. You can take a picture of the structure of your soil, soil color, and factors that might affect it (sunlight and water) so that when you visit local nurseries or gardening centers, they can help you decide what kind of ‘lime’ to add depending on the specific needs of your soil.

You can do a simple soil structure test at home:

Take a glass or plastic jar like an empty, clean jelly jar with a screw-top lid.

  1. Place about one cup of garden soil into the jar and fill the jar with water.
  2. Screw the lid onto the jar and shake the mixture for 30 seconds.
  3. Set the jar down and wait five minutes.

Here’s what the results can tell you:

  1. If the sediment in the water settles back down to the bottom of your jar, you have sandy or sandy loam soil.
  1. If the water remains cloudy and there are tiny bits of sediment in it after you draw off some of the water, then you most likely have clay soil. The tiny solid clay particles remain suspended in water for longer than sandy or loam soils.


The stump that is left should be treated with hydrated lime (a mix of water and lime) because using agricultural lime on it will end up destroying your lawn as it dries out. It is only the roots that are affected; not your lawn when dry as long as you use hydrated lime!

The lime needs to be mixed with the soil of your garden. You can use a shovel, pickaxe, or trowel, depending on what you are able to move.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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