Golden Barrel Cactus

Scientific Name: Echinocactus Grusonii

Common Name: Golden Barrel Cactus

Golden Barrel Cactus care is an easy Cactus to grow and care for as long as you can give the plant a warm environment and lots of direct sunlight. If you are looking for a unique Cactus, a Golden Barrel Cactus plant may be for you.

To give this Cactus plant the best care, it requires well-draining soil, water after the soil has become dry, provide it with bright direct sunlight, temperatures ranging from 60-75F, and low humidity levels.

Quick Care Overview

Common NameGolden Barrel Cactus
Scientific NameEchinocactus Grusonii
Growth RateSlow
IdentificationBarrel shaped plant with stiff yellow needles
HeightUp to 8 inches tall
SoilWell-draining soil
WaterWater when the soil is dry
SunlightBright direct sunlight
Toxic to Cats & DogsNo
Toxic to HumansNo
PestsScale, fungus gnats
DiseasesRoot rot

Below we will dive deep into this Golden Barrel Cactus care guide.

Golden Barrel Cactus Care

Golden Barrel Cactus History

Mexico native, Echinocactus Grusonii, known as the Golden Barrel Cactus or Mother in Law’s Cushion, is a fun, deep green, globe-shaped succulent. This cactus is called golden due to its yellow, sharp spikes that cover it, giving it a golden hue. However, some varieties now come in a spineless version. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Identification

The Golden Barrel Cactus presents with a compact globe-like shape and is covered in stiff yellow needles that grow in cluster along is name. This cactus is shaped like a barrel, hence its name. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Growth Facts

In its native environment, this slow-growing cactus can grow up to 50 inches tall. However, when grown indoors, it will remain relatively short. Interestingly, some people choose to grow these plants indoors and place them underneath low windows as a type of defensive planning for added home security. 

How Big Does a Golden Barrel Cactus Get?

The Golden Barrel Cactus can grow up to 8 inches tall when grown indoors. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Care

This plant will require plenty of direct sunlight to be happy. As long as you provide your cactus with plenty of warmth and sunlight, you should be able to keep this funky cactus happy. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Soil

Your Golden Barrel Cactus will do best if kept in well-draining, loose soil. You may opt to choose a commercial potting soil indicated for succulents and cacti. However, you may choose to make your own potting mix by blending a commercial potting mix with incorporations of coarse sand and perlite to increase drainage. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Fertilizer

Fertilization of this Cactus is not necessary, although fertilization may aid in the stimulation of bloom growth. However, keep in mind that only mature golden barrel cacti will bloom. Select a fertilizer indicated for cacti and use sparingly. Ensure that you follow all label instructions and do not overfertilize.

Golden Barrel Cactus Watering

You should treat your Barrell Cactus similarly to many other cacti and succulents when it comes to watering. The roots of your cacti are very sensitive to overwatering and dampness. Therefore, you should water your cactus about once a week when the soil has dried. Watering frequency may be reduced in winter to about once a month. Ensure that you do not overwater this plant and that you do not allow it to sit in excess water within its drainage tray. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Light Requirements

Your Barrell Cactus will require several hours of direct sunlight daily to keep it happy. Placing your cactus near a bright, southern-facing window will keep it comfortable. However, ensure that you do not expose it to too intense of light, especially during summer, as this may lead to scorching, especially with young plants. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Temperature & Humidity

You should keep your Golden Barrel Cactus warm, between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit, and never below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as this may cause permanent damage. Your Golden Barrel Cactus prefers low-humidity, arid environments at 50% or less. It will tolerate average household humidity. 

Repotting Golden Barrel Cactus

As the Golden Barrel Cactus is a slow grower, it will not need to be repotted often. However, you still should refresh its soil annually. However, if its roots are tangled and cramped within its container, you may repot your plant in the next container size. Ensure that you wear protective gloves when handling this cactus to protect you from its spikes. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Maintenance & Pruning

The Golden Barrel Cactus will rarely need to be pruned. If pruning or repotting the cactus, ensure that you wear thick gloves to protect yourself from its spikes. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Propagation

Unfortunately, the Golden Barrel Cactus may only be propagated by seed. As your plant will rarely flower while indoors, you may need to purchase seeds. Keep in mind that this cactus is endangered in the wild. 

How to Care for Golden Barrel Cactus

Golden Barrel Cactus Toxicity

Toxicity to Humans

The Golden Barrel Cactus is not considered toxic. However, its spikes can injure you, so ensure that small children and babies take care around this plant. 

Toxicity to Cats & Dogs

Although the Golden Barrel Cactus is not considered toxic, you should not allow your pet to contact this plant, as they may become injured by its spikes. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Problems

Golden Barrel Cactus Leaves Turning Yellow

Golden Barrel Cacti may turn yellow due to improper watering or lighting. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Leaves Turning Brown

Golden Barrel Cacti may turn brown due to overwatering issues and too much direct sunlight. Additionally, pests may cause brown spots to appear, such as from scale. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Diseases

Although Golden Barrel Cacti are considered relatively disease resistant, they may become affected by issues due to overwatering, such as root rot. Ensure that you do not overwater your golden barrel cactus or allow it to sit in excess standing water within its drainage tray. 

Golden Barrel Cactus Pests

Although this plant is relatively disease resistant, it still can become affected by some common indoor houseplant pests, such as scale. Periodically check your Golden Barrel Cactus for signs of infestation. Upon identifying an infestation, isolate your plant, and treat it with a pesticide such as neem oil or insecticidal soap. Ensure to follow all label instructions. 


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