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The Devil's tongue, also known as Ferocactus latispinus is a unique and eye-catching species of barrel cactus in the Ferocactus genus!  

With its prickly red spikes sticking out like a tongue, it's hard not to do a double-take when you come across this spiky wonder. But don't let its common name fool you – this plant is totally friendly and perfect for any type of gardener, whether they're an experienced green thumb or just starting out. 

This devil's tongue plant blooms in autumn and early winter and lasts for about two weeks, which is one of the reasons it is a popular plant. The funnel-shaped flowers are simply stunning, with rich hues of rose, purple, mauve, and purple-blue, and their eye-catching flower buds stand out against the plant's green foliage.  

Native to the Southwestern united states, this form of devil's tongue cactus, with its cylindrical or spherical shape, can reach heights of up to 6.6 ft and boasts an impressive array of spines that start out bright red before maturing into a striking gray color.  

But those spines aren't just for show – they actually serve multiple purposes like radiating excess heat, collecting moisture from the environment, and protecting the plant from pesky predators who might want to take a bite out of this beauty.  

These cacti are slow-growing, especially at the start of new growth. If well taken care of, they have healthy growth. This solitarily growing cactus can be propagated from seeds and stem cuttings. 

The fruit of Ferocactus plants, including Devil's Tongue, is generally edible and has a sweet, juicy flavor. The fruit is typically red or yellow when ripe and the fruits can be eaten raw or cooked. However, the fruit is covered in spines and can be difficult to harvest. In addition, some people may be allergic to the fruit or experience digestive issues after eating it. While the fruit is edible, it is not commonly consumed and is not widely available in stores. 

So, if you're looking for new plants or something fun and exciting to add to your garden collection, look no further than the devil's tongue barrel cactus -Ferocactus latispinus! 

Watering Needs 

Desert plants, such as cacti, are adapted to grow with minimal water. Devil's tongue store water throughout their stems, and as a result they are one of the ultimate drought-resistant plants.  Cactus are like Camels; they drink up a lot of water quickly and then can last a long time before needing water again. 

In comparison to an older plant, a young devil's tongue cactus will require a bit more water and attention. During the growing season, which is between early spring and autumn, water them once every two or three weeks. Its watering requirements drastically decrease to once a month in the winter when temperatures drop. 

As a general rule, water the plant only after the top layer of soil has completely dried out. If the Ferocactus doesn't receive enough moisture for an extended period of time, discoloration, pale stems, and browning can occur, leading to stunted growth. In contrast, overwatering can cause root rot and fungal infection. 

Light Requirements 

The devil's tongue needs a lot of sunshine - either full sun or partial shade. If you're starting with a new plant that you recently bought from a nursery, don't expose it to too much direct light all at once. Gradually increases its exposure to bright light so that it doesn't get burned by the intense rays. 

When grown in full sun, the foliage of the devil's tongue plant turns almost grayish-green, and the cactus spines turn a reddish-brown, which adds a lot of interest to your outdoor space. 

Keep an eye on your plant's leaves - if they start looking burnt, consider investing in a sunshade or moving it somewhere shadier. And guess what? You can even grow these beauties indoors! Just make sure to position them near southern and western windows for optimal sunlight exposure. 

Don't leave them languishing in dim light though - move them outdoors from time to time when natural light is scarce (like during winter). With proper care and attention paid to their light requirements, this barrel cactus is sure to be a statement piece wherever they grow! 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

The devil's tongue prefers sandy, well-drained soil, as excess moisture in dry soil can promote root and stem rot. Planet Desert specializes in cactus and has specialized cactus potting soil that includes an organic substrate with mycorrhizae to help with the growth of a healthy root system to help your cactus thrive. As an okay alternative, you can create your own potting mix by combining equal portions of perlite, coarse sand, and good natural potting soil. 

And let's not forget about fertilizing! Your cactus only needs a tiny bit applied once a year in springtime with a natural organic fertilizer that has lower doses of NPK (5-10-5). No harsh chemicals here, folks - just pure, natural goodness that lasts longer and encourages nutrient absorption, so your blooming cactus stays happy as a clam. Remember, excessive fertilizer can cause fungal infections. 

So, go ahead and give your little guy some love with a good natural fertilizer because when it comes to soil and fertilizers, through experience, we know what works best! 

Hardiness Zones & More 

The adorable devil's tongues are not frost-hardy and can thrive in warm and humid conditions, making them perfect for cozy indoor spaces. It can be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10–11. 

In cooler zones, it can be kept outdoors during the heat pack in the summer and brought in as the temperature drops. Ferocactus latispinus typically becomes dormant when temperatures drop below 50 °F. 

During dormancy, the plant's roots will stop growing and conserve its energy until temperatures warm up again. It is important to avoid overwatering the plant during dormancy, as this can lead to root rot. 

We think you will love this plant – order your very own Ferocactus latispinus devil's tongue today and start enjoying its beauty in no time! 

Bloom Season Autumn, early winter
Bloom Season Late autumn early winter
Botanical Name Ferocactus latispinus
Common Name Devil's tongue, devils tongue cactus, devils tongue barrel cactus, crows claw cactus
Common Name Devil'stongue cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color rose, purple, mauve, purpleblue
Flower Color White, rose, purple, mauve, purple-blue
Genus Ferocactus
Growth Habit Globose
Growth Habit Globose stem
Growth Rate Fast
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 10, 11
Hardiness Zone 9, 10, 11
Mature Size 12 in. tall, 16 in. wide
Mature Size Up to 6 ft. tall
Native Area Argentina, Southwestern US
Native Area Mexico
Plant Type Cactus
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By offsets
Propagation By seeds, stem cuttings
Resistance Drought tolerant, deer resistant, pest resistant
Resistance Pest and disease resistant, mild frost resistance, drought tolerant
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type Cactus potting mix soil
Soil Type specialized cactus potting soil
Special Features Barrel shaped cactus, easy to grow
Special Features Showy flowers
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Safe for humans, friendly to dogs, friendly to cats
Toxicity Safe for humans, safe for pets
Watering Needs Moderate

Pests & Common Problems of Devil's Tongue

Ferocactus latispinus (devil's tongue barrel cactus) species are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but they can be susceptible to root rot if overwater or grown in poorly drained soil. Let's discuss the potential ones that could appear from the bare root! 

For mealybugs, apply some 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab and dab the pests. Repeat this process every week until they're gone. 

For scale insects- you can use a pair of thick gloves to remove them from the ground and plant material. 

Rot: This can be caused by overwatering or excessively wet soil. If you notice stem or root rot, you will need to remove the affected parts of the plant and allow it to dry out completely before replanting. 

Stunted Growth: Make sure your plant is getting enough light first and foremost. Low light and high humidity levels will not allow the devil's tongue barrel cactus to grow, and even moderate light will probably not be sufficient. So before planting it, make sure it is getting enough light, and its roots are healthy. If not, propagate it to encourage it to develop new roots. 

FAQs - Devil's Tongue Plant

How big does a devil's tongue cactus get? 

Devil's Tongue (Ferocactus latispinus) is a slow-growing cactus that can reach up to 6 feet in height and up to 3 feet in diameter. However, it can take many years for the cactus to reach its maximum size. 

How do you take care of a devil's tongue cactus? 

Devil's Tongue cactus (Ferocactus latispinus) is a drought-tolerant cactus that requires infrequent watering and well-draining soil. It prefers full sun exposure to partial shade and can reach up to 6 feet in height and up to 3 feet in diameter. The cactus is generally resistant to pests and diseases but can be susceptible to root rot if overwatered or grown in poorly-draining soil.

Prevent plants from frost and freezing temperatures, and propagate them from seeds or offsets. Prune the cactus only to remove damaged or diseased parts. Devil's Tongue is a slow-growing cactus that can take many years to reach its maximum size, but it is a popular choice for xeriscaping and rock gardens. 

Is Ferocactus poisonous? 

Ferocactus plants, including Devil's Tongue, are not known to be toxic to humans or pets. However, the cactus has sharp spines that can cause injury if handled improperly. It is important to wear gloves and use caution when handling or using candy cactus or pruning the cactus to avoid injury. 

What does Ferocactus fruit taste like? 

The fruit of Ferocactus plants, including Devil's Tongue, is generally edible and has a sweet, juicy flavor. The fruit is typically red or yellow when ripe, and the fruits can be eaten raw or cooked.

However, the fruit is covered in spines and can be difficult to harvest. In addition, some people may be allergic to the fruit or experience digestive issues after eating it. While the fruit is edible, it is not commonly consumed and is not widely available in stores. 

How often do you water the devil's tongue? 

Devil's tongue barrel cactus is a drought-tolerant cactus that requires infrequent watering. Water the cactus deeply but only when the soil is completely dry, which may be every 2-3 weeks or longer, depending on the climate and growing conditions. Overwatering can cause root rot, so it is important to ensure that the soil is well-draining and the cactus is not sitting in standing water. In general, it is better to underwater than to overwater Devil's Tongue.

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Devil's Tongue 'Ferocactus latispinus'

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26 reviews
Regular price$ 14.97
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Size
Height:
Diameter:
Height:
Diameter:
Height: 4"-5"
Diameter: 7"-8"

Please note: All Landscape Ready plants that are in a 6-inch pot or larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way

Please note: Our large plants are many years old, and as a result, they might have minor scaring but will arrive 100% healthy and looking great.

Please note: Our large plants are shipped bare root. They are also many years old, and as a result, they might have minor scaring but will arrive healthy and looking great.

If you live in a cold climate and are expecting temperatures below 40 degrees within the next five days after placing your order, we highly recommend adding a heat pack to your order. If you do not order a heat pack, we do not send one with your order.

BUY HEAT PACKS HERE

**FREE HEAT PACK WITH ORDERS OVER $50 before taxes and shipping- BY REQUEST ONLY, PLEASE MAKE A NOTE ON YOUR ORDER.

To prevent plants from freezing while in transit, orders placed for areas with extreme severe freezing temperatures will be held for shipment until it is safe to ship.

Plants that are in 3.5" pots and smaller will be shipped in its pot to prevent any damage to the roots. Any plant that is 6" and larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

Depending on the species and season, you will receive a very similar plant to the one in the picture. It may or may not be blooming at the time of your purchase.

We ship via USPS Priority Mail, and we calculate the shipping cost based on the weight and volume of your purchase. Care instructions are included in every package you order. Please allow us up to 3 business days to process your order. Depending on your location, we will ship the plants on a certain day to avoid transit time during weekends or holidays. If you wish to receive your order on a specific date, or have special instructions, please add a note on your order. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time.

  • Description
  • Key Plant Features

The Devil's tongue, also known as Ferocactus latispinus is a unique and eye-catching species of barrel cactus in the Ferocactus genus!  

With its prickly red spikes sticking out like a tongue, it's hard not to do a double-take when you come across this spiky wonder. But don't let its common name fool you – this plant is totally friendly and perfect for any type of gardener, whether they're an experienced green thumb or just starting out. 

This devil's tongue plant blooms in autumn and early winter and lasts for about two weeks, which is one of the reasons it is a popular plant. The funnel-shaped flowers are simply stunning, with rich hues of rose, purple, mauve, and purple-blue, and their eye-catching flower buds stand out against the plant's green foliage.  

Native to the Southwestern united states, this form of devil's tongue cactus, with its cylindrical or spherical shape, can reach heights of up to 6.6 ft and boasts an impressive array of spines that start out bright red before maturing into a striking gray color.  

But those spines aren't just for show – they actually serve multiple purposes like radiating excess heat, collecting moisture from the environment, and protecting the plant from pesky predators who might want to take a bite out of this beauty.  

These cacti are slow-growing, especially at the start of new growth. If well taken care of, they have healthy growth. This solitarily growing cactus can be propagated from seeds and stem cuttings. 

The fruit of Ferocactus plants, including Devil's Tongue, is generally edible and has a sweet, juicy flavor. The fruit is typically red or yellow when ripe and the fruits can be eaten raw or cooked. However, the fruit is covered in spines and can be difficult to harvest. In addition, some people may be allergic to the fruit or experience digestive issues after eating it. While the fruit is edible, it is not commonly consumed and is not widely available in stores. 

So, if you're looking for new plants or something fun and exciting to add to your garden collection, look no further than the devil's tongue barrel cactus -Ferocactus latispinus! 

Watering Needs 

Desert plants, such as cacti, are adapted to grow with minimal water. Devil's tongue store water throughout their stems, and as a result they are one of the ultimate drought-resistant plants.  Cactus are like Camels; they drink up a lot of water quickly and then can last a long time before needing water again. 

In comparison to an older plant, a young devil's tongue cactus will require a bit more water and attention. During the growing season, which is between early spring and autumn, water them once every two or three weeks. Its watering requirements drastically decrease to once a month in the winter when temperatures drop. 

As a general rule, water the plant only after the top layer of soil has completely dried out. If the Ferocactus doesn't receive enough moisture for an extended period of time, discoloration, pale stems, and browning can occur, leading to stunted growth. In contrast, overwatering can cause root rot and fungal infection. 

Light Requirements 

The devil's tongue needs a lot of sunshine - either full sun or partial shade. If you're starting with a new plant that you recently bought from a nursery, don't expose it to too much direct light all at once. Gradually increases its exposure to bright light so that it doesn't get burned by the intense rays. 

When grown in full sun, the foliage of the devil's tongue plant turns almost grayish-green, and the cactus spines turn a reddish-brown, which adds a lot of interest to your outdoor space. 

Keep an eye on your plant's leaves - if they start looking burnt, consider investing in a sunshade or moving it somewhere shadier. And guess what? You can even grow these beauties indoors! Just make sure to position them near southern and western windows for optimal sunlight exposure. 

Don't leave them languishing in dim light though - move them outdoors from time to time when natural light is scarce (like during winter). With proper care and attention paid to their light requirements, this barrel cactus is sure to be a statement piece wherever they grow! 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

The devil's tongue prefers sandy, well-drained soil, as excess moisture in dry soil can promote root and stem rot. Planet Desert specializes in cactus and has specialized cactus potting soil that includes an organic substrate with mycorrhizae to help with the growth of a healthy root system to help your cactus thrive. As an okay alternative, you can create your own potting mix by combining equal portions of perlite, coarse sand, and good natural potting soil. 

And let's not forget about fertilizing! Your cactus only needs a tiny bit applied once a year in springtime with a natural organic fertilizer that has lower doses of NPK (5-10-5). No harsh chemicals here, folks - just pure, natural goodness that lasts longer and encourages nutrient absorption, so your blooming cactus stays happy as a clam. Remember, excessive fertilizer can cause fungal infections. 

So, go ahead and give your little guy some love with a good natural fertilizer because when it comes to soil and fertilizers, through experience, we know what works best! 

Hardiness Zones & More 

The adorable devil's tongues are not frost-hardy and can thrive in warm and humid conditions, making them perfect for cozy indoor spaces. It can be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10–11. 

In cooler zones, it can be kept outdoors during the heat pack in the summer and brought in as the temperature drops. Ferocactus latispinus typically becomes dormant when temperatures drop below 50 °F. 

During dormancy, the plant's roots will stop growing and conserve its energy until temperatures warm up again. It is important to avoid overwatering the plant during dormancy, as this can lead to root rot. 

We think you will love this plant – order your very own Ferocactus latispinus devil's tongue today and start enjoying its beauty in no time! 

Bloom Season Autumn, early winter
Bloom Season Late autumn early winter
Botanical Name Ferocactus latispinus
Common Name Devil's tongue, devils tongue cactus, devils tongue barrel cactus, crows claw cactus
Common Name Devil'stongue cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color rose, purple, mauve, purpleblue
Flower Color White, rose, purple, mauve, purple-blue
Genus Ferocactus
Growth Habit Globose
Growth Habit Globose stem
Growth Rate Fast
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 10, 11
Hardiness Zone 9, 10, 11
Mature Size 12 in. tall, 16 in. wide
Mature Size Up to 6 ft. tall
Native Area Argentina, Southwestern US
Native Area Mexico
Plant Type Cactus
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By offsets
Propagation By seeds, stem cuttings
Resistance Drought tolerant, deer resistant, pest resistant
Resistance Pest and disease resistant, mild frost resistance, drought tolerant
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type Cactus potting mix soil
Soil Type specialized cactus potting soil
Special Features Barrel shaped cactus, easy to grow
Special Features Showy flowers
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Safe for humans, friendly to dogs, friendly to cats
Toxicity Safe for humans, safe for pets
Watering Needs Moderate

Pests & Common Problems of Devil's Tongue

Ferocactus latispinus (devil's tongue barrel cactus) species are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but they can be susceptible to root rot if overwater or grown in poorly drained soil. Let's discuss the potential ones that could appear from the bare root! 

For mealybugs, apply some 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab and dab the pests. Repeat this process every week until they're gone. 

For scale insects- you can use a pair of thick gloves to remove them from the ground and plant material. 

Rot: This can be caused by overwatering or excessively wet soil. If you notice stem or root rot, you will need to remove the affected parts of the plant and allow it to dry out completely before replanting. 

Stunted Growth: Make sure your plant is getting enough light first and foremost. Low light and high humidity levels will not allow the devil's tongue barrel cactus to grow, and even moderate light will probably not be sufficient. So before planting it, make sure it is getting enough light, and its roots are healthy. If not, propagate it to encourage it to develop new roots. 

FAQs - Devil's Tongue Plant

How big does a devil's tongue cactus get? 

Devil's Tongue (Ferocactus latispinus) is a slow-growing cactus that can reach up to 6 feet in height and up to 3 feet in diameter. However, it can take many years for the cactus to reach its maximum size. 

How do you take care of a devil's tongue cactus? 

Devil's Tongue cactus (Ferocactus latispinus) is a drought-tolerant cactus that requires infrequent watering and well-draining soil. It prefers full sun exposure to partial shade and can reach up to 6 feet in height and up to 3 feet in diameter. The cactus is generally resistant to pests and diseases but can be susceptible to root rot if overwatered or grown in poorly-draining soil.

Prevent plants from frost and freezing temperatures, and propagate them from seeds or offsets. Prune the cactus only to remove damaged or diseased parts. Devil's Tongue is a slow-growing cactus that can take many years to reach its maximum size, but it is a popular choice for xeriscaping and rock gardens. 

Is Ferocactus poisonous? 

Ferocactus plants, including Devil's Tongue, are not known to be toxic to humans or pets. However, the cactus has sharp spines that can cause injury if handled improperly. It is important to wear gloves and use caution when handling or using candy cactus or pruning the cactus to avoid injury. 

What does Ferocactus fruit taste like? 

The fruit of Ferocactus plants, including Devil's Tongue, is generally edible and has a sweet, juicy flavor. The fruit is typically red or yellow when ripe, and the fruits can be eaten raw or cooked.

However, the fruit is covered in spines and can be difficult to harvest. In addition, some people may be allergic to the fruit or experience digestive issues after eating it. While the fruit is edible, it is not commonly consumed and is not widely available in stores. 

How often do you water the devil's tongue? 

Devil's tongue barrel cactus is a drought-tolerant cactus that requires infrequent watering. Water the cactus deeply but only when the soil is completely dry, which may be every 2-3 weeks or longer, depending on the climate and growing conditions. Overwatering can cause root rot, so it is important to ensure that the soil is well-draining and the cactus is not sitting in standing water. In general, it is better to underwater than to overwater Devil's Tongue.

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