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Native to the arid regions of central Mexico, Echinocactus grusonii, known as the golden barrel cactus, is a very popular choice among plant enthusiasts; it is used a lot in high-end desert landscapes and rock gardens. The golden barrel cactus is a vibrant member of the Echinocactus genus and is also known as a mother-in-law's seat or golden ball cactus. Its distinctive round shape, resembling a barrel, gives it its common name. 


The golden barrel cactus has a slow growth rate but can eventually reach an impressive size of around 3 feet in diameter, making it a striking focal point in any garden or indoor space.

And
it's not just tough on the outside; it has an impressive lifespan of 100 years if given optimal conditions.

The golden barrel cactus
flower rarely blooms indoors, which can take up to 15 years, and produces vibrant orange or yellow flowers that bloom from the top of the cactus.

These flowers are typically tubular and can attract pollinators such as bees and birds. The blooming period is usually in late spring or early summer, and the flowers can last for several weeks. 

Key Facts About Golden Barrel Cactus

  1. The golden barrel cactus can live for over a hundred years, with some reaching 150 years or more.
  2. This cactus gets its name from the golden-yellow spines that cover its spherical body.
  3. It can grow to be quite large, reaching heights of up to 3 feet and 2 feet wide.
  4. The golden barrel cactus is known for its ability to withstand extreme desert conditions, including high temperatures and drought.
  5. It produces vibrant yellow flowers that bloom in the summer after 15 years, adding a splash of color to its appearance.
  6. This cactus is a popular choice for desert landscapes, rock gardens, and xeriscaping because of its low maintenance requirements.

At the top of the cylindrical cactus, they form a discreet ring of beautiful spines. Over time, these cacti can take on an oblong shape and tend to lean towards the south. This leaning helps the spines better protect the cactus body from the intense desert sun. It's nature's way of providing shade and ensuring the cactus stays healthy and protected.

Golden Barrel is Endangered in the Wild

Since the early 20th century, the golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) has been popular for landscaping and has led to a species reduction in its former native habitat of the Chihuahuan desert. Despite being found in nurseries and botanical gardens worldwide, it remains endangered in the wild due to illegal poaching.

Note: When it comes to barrel cacti, there are indeed six main types of barrel cacti, each with its own unique characteristics. Its striking golden spines and spherical shape make it a visually stunning addition to any arid garden or landscape. Not only does it add a touch of beauty, but it also thrives in the desert environment, making it a perfect choice for those looking to create an authentic desert oasis in their outdoor spaces.

Propagating the golden barrel cactus can be done through stem cuttings or seeds. With some patience and care, you can nurture these seeds into new golden barrel cactus plants. 

Watering Needs

Watering your barrel cactus in a new planting container is important, especially during its first season. These cacti need infrequent watering to keep the soil moist but not too wet. Make sure you check the soil before watering, as these cacti do not like to be waterlogged or soggy. 

When the cactus is dormant in the winter, water it less, soaking it completely.  Despite the right watering frequency, cactus roots can be damaged if the soil is not fast draining.   

Light Requirements  

A potted indoor golden barrel cactus requires four hours of direct sunlight, which can be achieved by locating it on a sunny south- or west-facing windowsill. However, be cautious of intense, direct sunlight, as it can scorch the cactus. If you notice the cactus becoming pale or yellowish, it may be an indication that it's receiving too much light. Adjust its placement accordingly to provide the right balance.

If you are growing your barrel cactus outdoors, this cactus is a sun-loving plant and enjoys full sunlight. It thrives in bright, direct sunlight for most of the day. If you're planning to grow it in your garden or landscape, choose a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The more sunlight it receives, the better it will flourish.

If they don't receive enough sun exposure, their stems may grow leggy and become paler, and their spines will shorten, so make your Echinocactus grusonii happy and give it plenty of light. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

Like many other cacti, golden barrel cactus plants can't avoid excess moisture and favor sandy, well-drained soil because these Echinocactus grusonii plants can promote root and stem rot. Planet Desert specializes in cactus, and we have a specialized cactus potting mix that will help your golden barrel cactus thrive. As an alternative, you can create your customized potting mix by combining equal portions of perlite, coarse sand, and potting soil.  

Organic or 100% natural fertilizers (low nitrogen, high potassium fertilizer) are the best choices. They last longer and keep your soil alive by adding other beneficial compounds and microbes that encourage golden barrel cactus health and nutrient absorption. So, skip those harsh chemicals and give your Echinocactus grusonii some love with a good natural fertilizer, once a year in the spring.

Hardiness Zones & More  

When it comes to indoor temperature, the Golden Barrel Cactus prefers a warm and dry environment. It thrives in temperatures between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures during the winter months, but it's best to keep it away from drafts and cold windows. As for humidity, this cactus is native to arid regions and prefers low humidity levels. So, it's important to avoid placing it in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

For outdoor cultivation, this cactus is typically hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11. These zones generally have mild winters and hot summers, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.

If you live in a colder climate outside of these zones, it's best to grow the Golden Barrel Cactus in containers that can be moved indoors during the winter months. This will protect it from freezing temperatures and ensure its survival.

In their native habitat, the Echinocactus grusonii needs adequate ventilation but not humidity or frost. So, avoid areas with extremely humid climates or low, "airless" areas of your home.  

Final Thoughts

Overall, the golden barrel cactus is a stunning succulent with a round shape and pale green stem with golden-yellow spines. This cactus loves bright sunlight and well-draining soil, making it a perfect choice for rock gardens and desert landscapes. Echinocactus are fantastic plants for adding interest and excitement to the garden, and the golden barrel cactus is no exception, with her gorgeous yellow flowers that are sure to stand out!  A well-drained potting mix with drainage holes in the potting container will help you maintain temperatures and prevent too much moisture.  

Just remember to handle your Echinocactus grusonii, - golden barrel cactus plant - with care because those spines can be sharp! 

Bloom Season Mid summer
Botanical Name Echinocactus grusonii
Common Name Golden barrel cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color Yellow
Genus Echinocactus
Growth Habit Globular
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 9, 10, 11
Mature Size 4 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide
Native Area Mexico
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By seeds, offsets
Resistance Drought tolerant, heat resistance, pest resistance, disease resistance
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type specialized cactus potting soil
Special Features Unique appearance, showy flowers
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Mild toxic to humans, pets(Keep away from children)
Watering Needs Low

Pests & Common Problems of Golden Barrel Cactus 

These golden barrel cactus plants are resistant to pests, but they can face the most common problem:

Root rot occurs when the plant is overwatered or has too much moisture. Root rot can be identified by brown mushy stems or roots. Unfortunately, once plant roots rot sets in it's usually too late to do anything about it. However, you can remove the unaffected parts and propagate them to save the remaining portions of the golden barrel cactus. 

Pests’ infestation: 

Mealybugs: These small, white insects can infest the stems, causing damage to the Echinocactus grusonii tissues. 

Spider mite: This tiny pest can cause damage to the stem of your golden barrel cactus, causing them to turn yellow or brown. 

Scale insects: These pests can attach themselves to the stems of your golden barrel cactus plants, causing damage to the cacti tissues. 

With a little care and attention, your 'Echinocactus grusonii - Golden Barrel cactus' will thrive for years to come!  

Frequently
Asked Questions

  • Are golden barrel cacti endangered?  

    A successfully domesticated species, the golden barrel cactus, is currently on the endangered list in its natural habitat Mexico, because of habitat destruction but you can buy it online at Planet Desert. 

  • Is golden barrel cactus toxic?  

    The Golden Barrel Cactus is not considered to be toxic. It is friendly to both humans and pets but be careful around this cactus plant if you have Kids or pets because its spikes can hurt them.

  • Where should a golden barrel cactus be placed?

    Golden barrel cacti can be grown in containers, making them a good choice for homes with curious kids and pets. Golden barrel, however, frequently grows best in water-wise yards with well-drained soil.  Golden barrels require a large amount of space to spread out because they will develop offshoots that may be later pruned or replanted in various locations.  You should still make sure that it receives a lot of sunlight where it is planted.

  • Why are Golden barrel cacti so expensive?  

    Barrel cacti are indeed endangered in the wild, and their slow growth adds to their value. They take so long to grow, the largest ones we have are over 25 years old, which makes them more expensive. Their scarcity and the effort required to cultivate them contribute to their higher price.  It's important to support ethical and sustainable sources when purchasing golden barrel cacti to help protect these incredible cactus plants.

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Golden Barrel Cactus - Echinocactus grusonii

sku: 613

32 reviews
Regular price$ 14.79
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Free Shipping on all orders over $89*


Size
Height:
Diameter:
Height: 3"-5"
Diameter: 4"-6"
Height: 6"-8"
Diameter: 6"- 8"
Height: 7"-10"
Diameter: 8" - 10"
Height: 10"-12"
Diameter: 12"-14"
Height: 11"-14"
Diameter: 13"-17"

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.

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Detailed description of this plant is below...

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.

FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OVER $89 in the
Continental US.

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, If you don't get Free Shipping, then 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

Native to the arid regions of central Mexico, Echinocactus grusonii, known as the golden barrel cactus, is a very popular choice among plant enthusiasts; it is used a lot in high-end desert landscapes and rock gardens. The golden barrel cactus is a vibrant member of the Echinocactus genus and is also known as a mother-in-law's seat or golden ball cactus. Its distinctive round shape, resembling a barrel, gives it its common name. 


The golden barrel cactus has a slow growth rate but can eventually reach an impressive size of around 3 feet in diameter, making it a striking focal point in any garden or indoor space.

And
it's not just tough on the outside; it has an impressive lifespan of 100 years if given optimal conditions.

The golden barrel cactus
flower rarely blooms indoors, which can take up to 15 years, and produces vibrant orange or yellow flowers that bloom from the top of the cactus.

These flowers are typically tubular and can attract pollinators such as bees and birds. The blooming period is usually in late spring or early summer, and the flowers can last for several weeks. 

Key Facts About Golden Barrel Cactus

  1. The golden barrel cactus can live for over a hundred years, with some reaching 150 years or more.
  2. This cactus gets its name from the golden-yellow spines that cover its spherical body.
  3. It can grow to be quite large, reaching heights of up to 3 feet and 2 feet wide.
  4. The golden barrel cactus is known for its ability to withstand extreme desert conditions, including high temperatures and drought.
  5. It produces vibrant yellow flowers that bloom in the summer after 15 years, adding a splash of color to its appearance.
  6. This cactus is a popular choice for desert landscapes, rock gardens, and xeriscaping because of its low maintenance requirements.

At the top of the cylindrical cactus, they form a discreet ring of beautiful spines. Over time, these cacti can take on an oblong shape and tend to lean towards the south. This leaning helps the spines better protect the cactus body from the intense desert sun. It's nature's way of providing shade and ensuring the cactus stays healthy and protected.

Golden Barrel is Endangered in the Wild

Since the early 20th century, the golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) has been popular for landscaping and has led to a species reduction in its former native habitat of the Chihuahuan desert. Despite being found in nurseries and botanical gardens worldwide, it remains endangered in the wild due to illegal poaching.

Note: When it comes to barrel cacti, there are indeed six main types of barrel cacti, each with its own unique characteristics. Its striking golden spines and spherical shape make it a visually stunning addition to any arid garden or landscape. Not only does it add a touch of beauty, but it also thrives in the desert environment, making it a perfect choice for those looking to create an authentic desert oasis in their outdoor spaces.

Propagating the golden barrel cactus can be done through stem cuttings or seeds. With some patience and care, you can nurture these seeds into new golden barrel cactus plants. 

Watering Needs

Watering your barrel cactus in a new planting container is important, especially during its first season. These cacti need infrequent watering to keep the soil moist but not too wet. Make sure you check the soil before watering, as these cacti do not like to be waterlogged or soggy. 

When the cactus is dormant in the winter, water it less, soaking it completely.  Despite the right watering frequency, cactus roots can be damaged if the soil is not fast draining.   

Light Requirements  

A potted indoor golden barrel cactus requires four hours of direct sunlight, which can be achieved by locating it on a sunny south- or west-facing windowsill. However, be cautious of intense, direct sunlight, as it can scorch the cactus. If you notice the cactus becoming pale or yellowish, it may be an indication that it's receiving too much light. Adjust its placement accordingly to provide the right balance.

If you are growing your barrel cactus outdoors, this cactus is a sun-loving plant and enjoys full sunlight. It thrives in bright, direct sunlight for most of the day. If you're planning to grow it in your garden or landscape, choose a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The more sunlight it receives, the better it will flourish.

If they don't receive enough sun exposure, their stems may grow leggy and become paler, and their spines will shorten, so make your Echinocactus grusonii happy and give it plenty of light. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

Like many other cacti, golden barrel cactus plants can't avoid excess moisture and favor sandy, well-drained soil because these Echinocactus grusonii plants can promote root and stem rot. Planet Desert specializes in cactus, and we have a specialized cactus potting mix that will help your golden barrel cactus thrive. As an alternative, you can create your customized potting mix by combining equal portions of perlite, coarse sand, and potting soil.  

Organic or 100% natural fertilizers (low nitrogen, high potassium fertilizer) are the best choices. They last longer and keep your soil alive by adding other beneficial compounds and microbes that encourage golden barrel cactus health and nutrient absorption. So, skip those harsh chemicals and give your Echinocactus grusonii some love with a good natural fertilizer, once a year in the spring.

Hardiness Zones & More  

When it comes to indoor temperature, the Golden Barrel Cactus prefers a warm and dry environment. It thrives in temperatures between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures during the winter months, but it's best to keep it away from drafts and cold windows. As for humidity, this cactus is native to arid regions and prefers low humidity levels. So, it's important to avoid placing it in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

For outdoor cultivation, this cactus is typically hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11. These zones generally have mild winters and hot summers, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.

If you live in a colder climate outside of these zones, it's best to grow the Golden Barrel Cactus in containers that can be moved indoors during the winter months. This will protect it from freezing temperatures and ensure its survival.

In their native habitat, the Echinocactus grusonii needs adequate ventilation but not humidity or frost. So, avoid areas with extremely humid climates or low, "airless" areas of your home.  

Final Thoughts

Overall, the golden barrel cactus is a stunning succulent with a round shape and pale green stem with golden-yellow spines. This cactus loves bright sunlight and well-draining soil, making it a perfect choice for rock gardens and desert landscapes. Echinocactus are fantastic plants for adding interest and excitement to the garden, and the golden barrel cactus is no exception, with her gorgeous yellow flowers that are sure to stand out!  A well-drained potting mix with drainage holes in the potting container will help you maintain temperatures and prevent too much moisture.  

Just remember to handle your Echinocactus grusonii, - golden barrel cactus plant - with care because those spines can be sharp! 

Bloom Season Mid summer
Botanical Name Echinocactus grusonii
Common Name Golden barrel cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color Yellow
Genus Echinocactus
Growth Habit Globular
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 9, 10, 11
Mature Size 4 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide
Native Area Mexico
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By seeds, offsets
Resistance Drought tolerant, heat resistance, pest resistance, disease resistance
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type specialized cactus potting soil
Special Features Unique appearance, showy flowers
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Mild toxic to humans, pets(Keep away from children)
Watering Needs Low

Pests & Common Problems of Golden Barrel Cactus 

These golden barrel cactus plants are resistant to pests, but they can face the most common problem:

Root rot occurs when the plant is overwatered or has too much moisture. Root rot can be identified by brown mushy stems or roots. Unfortunately, once plant roots rot sets in it's usually too late to do anything about it. However, you can remove the unaffected parts and propagate them to save the remaining portions of the golden barrel cactus. 

Pests’ infestation: 

Mealybugs: These small, white insects can infest the stems, causing damage to the Echinocactus grusonii tissues. 

Spider mite: This tiny pest can cause damage to the stem of your golden barrel cactus, causing them to turn yellow or brown. 

Scale insects: These pests can attach themselves to the stems of your golden barrel cactus plants, causing damage to the cacti tissues. 

With a little care and attention, your 'Echinocactus grusonii - Golden Barrel cactus' will thrive for years to come!  

Frequently
Asked Questions

  • Are golden barrel cacti endangered?  

    A successfully domesticated species, the golden barrel cactus, is currently on the endangered list in its natural habitat Mexico, because of habitat destruction but you can buy it online at Planet Desert. 

  • Is golden barrel cactus toxic?  

    The Golden Barrel Cactus is not considered to be toxic. It is friendly to both humans and pets but be careful around this cactus plant if you have Kids or pets because its spikes can hurt them.

  • Where should a golden barrel cactus be placed?

    Golden barrel cacti can be grown in containers, making them a good choice for homes with curious kids and pets. Golden barrel, however, frequently grows best in water-wise yards with well-drained soil.  Golden barrels require a large amount of space to spread out because they will develop offshoots that may be later pruned or replanted in various locations.  You should still make sure that it receives a lot of sunlight where it is planted.

  • Why are Golden barrel cacti so expensive?  

    Barrel cacti are indeed endangered in the wild, and their slow growth adds to their value. They take so long to grow, the largest ones we have are over 25 years old, which makes them more expensive. Their scarcity and the effort required to cultivate them contribute to their higher price.  It's important to support ethical and sustainable sources when purchasing golden barrel cacti to help protect these incredible cactus plants.

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3 gal golden barrel