The Second of Two Questions
2) Attached is also a photo of a prickly pear we purchased from Cactus Jungle. We are unfamiliar with these plants and are wondering if the new growths shown in the photo are new pads and if so, how will we know when we are getting fruit instead of pads. As well, is there a cycle for when new fruits typically emerge?
Number 2) Your Opuntia does look like it is growing a nice crop of pads.
Young flower-sprouts look very similar but look more like spear-points
when they first sprout. Your plant should bloom over the late spring and
summer, but you can encourage flowers by giving it some “Bloom”
fertilizer (a fertilizer with a high middle number like “4-16-3”. We use
Fish Bone Meal as a nice slow release Bloom Fertilizer or for faster
results the liquid “SaferGro”.