The golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) is a type of cactus native to Mexico. It is also known as the ‘mother-in-law’s cushion’ because of its spiky appearance. The cactus can grow to about three feet tall and five feet wide. It is usually covered in thick, yellow spines. The golden barrel cactus is a relatively popular succulent for both gardens and homes since it is relatively easy to care for.
So, what are some of the amazing facts about the golden barrel cactus? Perhaps, the fascinating thing about this cactus is that it can live for up to 200 years! That means that if you take good care of your golden barrel cactus, it could potentially outlive you.
The golden barrel cactus is native to Mexico and gets its name from its spherical shape and yellow color. The cactus grows in dry, desert climates and can reach up to three feet high. It typically blooms between April and May with yellow, red, or orange flowers. This succulent is not only an interesting plant to look at, but it is also relatively easy to care for.
This blog post highlights the top ten facts about the golden barrel cactus. Read on to learn more about this remarkable succulent!
Golden Barrel Cactus: A Brief Overview
Before we dive into the facts, let’s take a quick overview of the golden barrel cactus. As we briefly mentioned before, this cactus is native to Mexico. It gets its name from its spherical shape and yellow color.
The cactus belongs to the cactus family, one of the most prominent families of flowering plants. There are over 1,500 different species of cactus! Specifically, it belongs to the genus Echinocactus, which contains about 30 other cactus species.
Golden barrel cactus is quite a popular succulent in the world. It stores plenty of water in its leaves and stems, which is crucial to its survival in harsh environments.
It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens or homes since it is easy to care for. The cactus typically grows to about three feet high and five feet wide. It flowers between April and May, with yellow, red, or orange flowers.
Some people believe that having the golden barrel cactus in their home will bring them good luck. It is also known as the mother-in-law’s cushion because of its spiky appearance.
13 Fascinating Facts About Golden Barrel Cactus
Now that we have a brief overview of this plant let us highlight some amazing facts you didn’t know about this cactus. We break down each of the ten facts below.
1. Native to Mexico
The golden barrel cactus is native to Mexico. It is mainly found in the desert regions of northern Mexico, such as Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas. The cactus grows at elevations of up to 4,000 feet above sea level.
It is one of the most popular cacti in cultivation and is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and homes. The golden barrel cactus gets its name from its spherical shape and yellow color.
2. Beautiful Appearance
The golden barrel cactus is a large, spherical succulent that can grow up to three feet tall and five feet wide. It is usually covered in thick, yellow spines. The cactus has a thick, fleshy stem that is green in color.
The golden barrel cactus typically blooms between April and May with yellow, red, or orange flowers.
The cactus is adapted to survive in dry, desert climates. It has deep roots that help it to access water underground. The cactus also can store water in its fleshy stem, which helps it to survive periods of drought.
3. Easy to Care for and Grow at Home
The golden barrel cactus is a relatively easy plant to care for. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil. The cactus should be watered about once a week, allowing the potting mix to dry out between watering sessions.
The cactus can be fertilized with a cactus fertilizer about once a month during the growing season.
The golden barrel cactus is susceptible to fungal diseases if it is overwatered. If your cactus develops brown spots on its stems or leaves, it likely has a fungal disease.
Treatment involves removing the affected parts and increasing the amount of airflow around the cactus.
4. Need Full Sun to Thrive
Golden barrel cacti need full sun to partial shade to thrive. They should be placed in an area of your home or garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
If you live in an area that experiences hot summers, consider providing some afternoon shade for your cactus.
The cactus can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones nine through 11. If you live in a climate too cold for the cactus to survive outdoors, it can be grown indoors as a houseplant.
5. Slow-Growing Plant
The golden barrel cactus is a slow-growing plant. It typically only grows about one inch per year. However, the cactus can reach its full size in just a few years if grown in ideal conditions.
If you are patient, you can allow your cactus to grow to its full size before transplanting it to a larger pot.
Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to encourage faster growth. One is to water your cactus with a diluted fertilizer solution about once a month during the growing season.
You can also increase the amount of light your cactus receives by moving it to a sunny spot or using grow lights.
6. Excellent Container Plant for Patios, Decks, and Other Outdoor Areas
Golden barrel cacti make excellent container plants for patios, decks, and other outdoor areas when they mature. They can also be used as accent plants or focal points in gardens.
7. Highly Susceptible to Pests
This cactus is highly susceptible to mealybugs and scale insects. These pests can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
If your cactus is infested with mealybugs, you will likely see white, cottony masses on the stems and leaves of the plant. Scale insects appear as small, brown bumps on the stem of the cactus.
8. Susceptible to Overwintering
The golden barrel cactus is not frost-tolerant and should be brought indoors during winter.
The cactus should be placed in a sunny spot, and the temperature should be kept above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cactus should be watered about once every two weeks during the winter, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
9. An Interesting Addition to Your Home
This succulent is a beautiful and fascinating plant that is relatively easy to care for. A golden barrel cactus is an excellent option if you are looking for a plant that can add some color and interest to your home.
10. Easily Suffers Root Rot
Root rot is one of the most common problems with the golden barrel cactus. Typically, root rot happens when the plant is overwatered and the roots start to rot.
Signs of root rot include yellowing leaves, wilting, and stunted growth. If you think your cactus has root rot, it is essential to stop watering it and allow the soil to dry out completely.
You can then repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.
11. One of the Most Iconic Cacti
The golden barrel cactus is an iconic plant featured in many movies and TV shows. It is also a popular choice for gardens and homes.
A golden barrel cactus is a great option if you are looking for a plant that is easy to care for and can add some interest to your space.
When you take good care of this plant, you can be rewarded with beautiful blooms, adding more color and life to your home.
12. Endangered Species
The succulent is considered an endangered species in its native habitat due to illegal collecting and habitat loss.
The cactus is protected by Mexican law, and it is illegal to remove it from the wild. To grow this plant, you must purchase it from a reputable dealer.
Help conserve this species by planting one in your garden or home. You can also help by donating to organizations that are working to protect the natural habitat of the golden barrel cactus.
13. Golden Barrel Cactus Fruit Is Edible
Its fruit is edible and has a sweet taste. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. It can also be made into jelly or jam.
If you want to harvest the fruit, it is best to wait until the cactus is ten years old. The fruit is typically ripe in the summer months.
To harvest the fruit, cut it from the cactus with a sharp knife. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the spines.
The golden barrel cactus is a beautiful plant that makes a great addition to any garden or landscape!
The succulent is low maintenance and relatively easy to care for; you only need to give it plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil!
Did you know all of these fascinating facts about the golden barrel cactus? Share this article with your gardening friends so they can learn more about this unique plant!
Last update on 2022-11-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API