Echinocactus grusonii

Golden barrel cactus

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Key information

Plant type

Cactus or succulent

Flower colour





Half hardy

Skill level


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Plant details

The golden barrel cactus is armed with golden yellow spines. Spines grow from areoles, modified leaf stalks, and are arranged in rows up and down the plant. It quickly grows to about 10cm (4in) in the first few years, then taking many years for it to double its size. In its native Mexico, plants can eventually grow to around 90cm (3ft) wide, but cultivated usually only grow to around 30cm (12in). Feed plants once a month, during the growing season, with a high potash fertiliser. During winter, do not water the plants but just keep them moist otherwise they will rot.

Family: Cactaceae

Genus: Echinocactus

Species: grusonii

Plant type: Cactus or succulent

Flower colour: Yellow

Feature: Thorns

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 60cm

Spread: 80cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May

Reader reviews


With regular repotting Echinocactus grusonii will grow fairly quickly. Over winter it should be kept completely dry with no water whatsoever or it will possibly rot and quite likely etiolate as it continues to grow when the light levels are too low.


I have one of these which is leaning terribly. Is there some way I can repot in in a container that will support it? What soet of container? I turn it frequently toward the sun, but is is now about18inches tall and becoming a problem!

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