Echinocactus grusonii Hildm.
Golden Barrel Cactus, Golden Barrel, Golden Ball Cactus, Golden Ball, Mother-in-Law's-Cushion, Mother-in-Law's-Seat
Bloom Time: Summer
Echinocactus grusonii is a cactus with a solitary globe-shaped stem that became elongated (barrel-shaped) in maturity. It slowly grows up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall and is nearly equal in diameter. The cultivated plants usually grow to around 12 inches (30 cm) tall. The stem is pale green and heavily ribbed with numerous areoles sprouting radial yellow spines. Flowers are yellow, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and appear in summer around the crown of the plant, but only after twenty years or so.
How to Grow and Care
Overall, these are very attractive cacti for dish gardens or indoor displays. A collection of them is especially attractive, as they look like a collection of balls tossed upon the ground. It's critical, however, to never let these cactus be exposed to prolonged periods in water or even very high humidity. They will suffer from rot in the presence of humidity. Echinocactus are vulnerable to pests, including aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and whitefly. If possible, identify the infestation as early as possible and treat it with the leave toxic option.
Barrel Cactus are typically propagated by seed. Mature cactus will bloom in the summer with flowers that grow in whorls around the top of the plant. To seed a cactus, plant the seeds shallowly in a cactus mix and keep them warm and very slightly moist. It's best to repot at the beginning of the growing season or summer. See more at How to Grow and Care for Echinocactus.
You can sow Golden Barrel Cactus seeds outdoors in warm climates, but sowing them indoors is easier and will result in a higher germination rate. Expect the seeds to germinate in one to two months.
See more at How to Grow Golden Barrel Cactus from Seed.
This species is native to Mexico (Querétaro).
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