Golden Barrel Cactus: Echinocactus grusonii

Golden barrel cactus, sometimes called mother-in-laws cushion, when mature is a spherical, ribbed plant. Most varieties of echinocactus grusonii display clusters of spines that grow long the edges of the ribs. While not a cushion most of us would care to sit upon, these chubby cacti make a lovely addition to xeriscape or rock gardens. They are slow growing, and have a clustering habit when growing in the wild. Plants that are around twenty years old produce a cluster of blooms at the top of the cactus during the summer months.

Echinocactus grusonii does appreciate some water during the summer months. Like many similar succulents, water the plant when the soil begins to be truly dry. Avoid overwatering or letting the barrel cactus sit in poorly drained soil. During winter months, it requires very little water. In fact, too much water will cause it to rot.

Hardy down to -8 degrees C., it prefers temperatures 10 degrees C. and up. Native to Central Mexico, it can be grown in almost any well-drained area, and is a favorite for many xeriscape gardens or even as a low-maintenance container plant.

Fully mature plants will produce a yellow fruit that contains multiple tiny seeds. It is possible to propagate more golden barrel cactus from these tiny seeds, but be prepared to be very patient with this slow-growing plant. The baby plants have a somewhat different appearance from the mature plant, somewhat resembling a spiny tortoise shell texture.

Although classified as rare to endangered in its native habitat, the golden barrel cactus or e-grusonii is widely cultivated and can be obtained from many licensed growers, such as ourselves.

As with all our plants, we are always available to answer questions and to assist you with any problems that might develop with your plants.


1 thought on “Golden Barrel Cactus: Echinocactus grusonii”

  1. at what age is the golden barrel cactus classed as mature please i would like to raise new baby golden barrel cacti as i love the look of them and we can grow our cacti garden further.

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