How Big Does a Golden Barrel Cactus Get?

A Golden Barrel cactus planted in the right environment can grow up to 10 feet tall, but most are only a few feet. When the plant produces new buds, they will start out green before turning yellow and then brown as they age.

The Golden Barrel Cactus is a popular cactus species native to Mexico. It is commonly grown as a houseplant or outdoor decorative plant in warm climates. The Golden Barrel Cactus gets its name from its round, barrel-shaped body, reaching 3 feet in diameter. This cactus species is easily recognized by its yellow-gold spines covering the entire plant surface. Read on to learn more about the size, care, and uses of the Golden Barrel Cactus.

So, how big does the golden barrel cactus get? The golden barrel cactus is a relatively slow-growing succulent. In ideal conditions, it can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) in height and width per year. However, it only grows 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) per year. It can take many years for a golden barrel cactus to reach its full size. The largest recorded golden barrel cactus was 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 8 feet (2.4 m) wide.

Most golden barrel cacti will not get quite that large, however. If you are growing your cactus in a pot, it is unlikely to exceed 3-4 feet (90-120 cm) in height or width due to limited root space. Outdoors, golden barrel cacti can reach up to 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 m) in height and width.

This article covers everything you need to know about the actual size of a golden barrel cactus, including its height, width, and how fast it grows.

We’ll also discuss critical factors that affect the size of a golden barrel cactus and how to care for one so that it reaches its full potential. Read on to learn more.

Golden Barrel Cactus Size

Golden barrel cactus is a generally slow-growing succulent. In ideal conditions, it can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) in height and width per year. However, that is not always the case. The plant mostly grows only 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) per year. That means it can take many years for a golden barrel cactus to reach its full size.

The largest recorded golden barrel cactus was 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 8 feet (2.4 m) wide. In most cases, the cactus won’t get quite that large.

Golden barrel cactus in a black pot.
With proper care your golden barrel cactus will eventually reach its full potential.

If growing in a pot, it is unlikely to exceed 3-4 feet (90-120 cm) in height or width due to limited root space. Outdoors, the golden barrel cactus can reach up to 8 feet in height and width.

The most important thing you need to remember is that the golden barrel cactus grows slowly. Patience is critical when it comes to this plant.

Do not expect it to reach its full size overnight. With proper care, however, your golden barrel cactus will eventually reach its full potential.

What Factors Affect the Size of a Golden Barrel Cactus?

Several factors can affect the size of a golden barrel cactus. These include the following:

1. Soil Type

The type of soil you use can affect the growth rate of your golden barrel cactus. Cacti prefer sandy, well-draining soils. If soil is too dense or clay-like, it can impede the plant’s growth.

Likewise, if your soil does not drain well, this can also lead to stunted growth. For best results, use a cactus or succulent potting mix.

Golden barrel cactus.
The type of soil you use can affect the growth rate of your golden barrel cactus.

Ensure that the potting mix is well-ventilated to allow the roots to breathe. A good way to achieve this is to add some perlite, pumice, or grit to the potting mix. This will help improve drainage while providing the roots with enough moisture and nutrients.

2. Temperature

The temperature can also affect the size of your golden barrel cactus. Cacti are native to warm, arid climates. As such, they do not tolerate cold temperatures well. If the temperature dips below 50°F (10°C), this can damage the plant and lead to stunted growth.

It is best to grow your golden barrel cactus indoors in particularly cold regions. Doing this will protect it from the cold weather and help it to thrive.

A topview of a golden barrel cactus.
Cacti are native to warm, arid climates. As such, they do not tolerate cold temperatures well.

If you live in a hot climate, ensure to provide your cactus with some shade during the hottest hours of the day. That will prevent the plant from getting too much sun and becoming stressed.

3. Pot Size

The size of the pot you use can also affect the size of your golden barrel cactus. If the pot is too small, it will restrict the plant’s root growth, leading to stunted overall growth.

If the pot is too large, the roots will have too much room to spread out. This can lead to slower growth as the roots will not be as dense. For best results, use a pot that is only slightly larger than the root ball of your plant.

4. Watering Schedule

How often you water your golden barrel cactus can also affect its size. If you water too often, the roots will become waterlogged and can begin to rot. Too much water will lead to stunted growth or even the death of your cactus.

On the other hand, if you fail to water them often enough, the plant will begin to dehydrate. Lack of water can also lead to stunted growth as the plant will not have enough moisture to support its growth.

A huge golden barrel cactus,
You may need to water less often in cooler climates or during the winter months.

Water your golden barrel cactus every 1-2 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings. If you live in a hot, arid climate, you may need to water more often. You may need to water less often in cooler climates or during the winter months.

5. Light Conditions

The light your golden barrel cactus receives can also affect its size. If the plant does not get enough light, it will stretch out and become leggy as it tries to reach for the light. Eventually, this may lead to stunted growth.

On the other hand, if the plant gets too much light, it can begin to scorch and turn brown. Excessive light will also lead to stunted growth as the plant cannot photosynthesize properly.

For best results, place your golden barrel cactus in an area that receives full sun to partial shade. If you live in a hot climate, provide your cactus with some afternoon shade to prevent it from getting too much direct sunlight.

6. Fertilizing Schedule

How often you fertilize your golden barrel cactus can also affect its size. If you fertilize too often, the plant can become overfed and begin to grow too quickly. Too much fertilizer can lead to weak, leggy growth more susceptible to damage.

If you do not use fertilizer often enough, the plant will not have the nutrients it needs to grow properly.

For best results, fertilize your golden barrel cactus every 2-4 weeks during the growing season. Use a balanced cactus fertilizer diluted to half-strength.

7. Humidity

Lastly, the humidity levels in your home can also affect the size of your golden barrel cactus. Cacti are native to dry, arid environments and do not tolerate high humidity well. If the humidity level in your home is too high, it can lead to fungal growth or root rot.

High humidity can damage the plant and lead to stunted growth. If you live in a humid climate, it is best to grow your golden barrel cactus in an area with good air circulation to prevent these problems.

General Golden Barrel Cactus Growth Rate

Golden Barrels are slow-growing cacti; they typically only add about 1 inch of height per year. However, they can grow a bit faster if they are given extra water and fertilizer.

Be patient if you want your Golden Barrel to reach its full potential! It will take several years to reach its mature height and width.

Golden Barrel Cactus Care

The Golden Barrel Cactus is a relatively low-maintenance plant that does not require much care. It should be planted in well-draining soil and placed in an area that receives full sun.

Water the plant deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out completely between watering sessions.

During the winter months, water even less frequently to prevent root rot. Apply fertilizer once per month during the spring and summer growing seasons.

If you live in a hot, arid climate, it is best to provide some afternoon shade to prevent the plant from getting too much direct sunlight.

A gardener repotting the golden barrel cactus.
The Golden Barrel Cactus is a relatively low-maintenance plant that does not require much care.

If you live in a humid climate, it is best to grow your Golden Barrel Cactus in an area with good air circulation to prevent problems with fungal growth or root rot.

With proper care, your Golden Barrel Cactus will thrive and provide you with years of enjoyment!

Golden Barrel Cactus Uses

The Golden Barrel Cactus makes an excellent houseplant or outdoor decorative plant. Due to its dense growth habit, it can also be used as a living fence or hedge.

This cactus species is also popular among gardeners who enjoy collecting and growing different cacti and succulents.

Summary

The Golden Barrel Cactus is a beautiful and popular plant that can grow quite large. However, its slow growth rate means it will take many years to reach its full-size potential.

Gardeners who are patient enough to wait will be rewarded with a stunning addition to their landscape!

We hope you enjoyed the Golden Barrel Cactus growth rate and care article. So, feel free to add a Golden Barrel Cactus to your collection today! Thanks for reading!

Last update on 2024-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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