Echinocactus grusonii - the golden barrel cactus, golden ball or mother-in-law's cushion - is a species of cactus native to east-central Mexico.
It is rare and endangered in the wild, oriinally growing in volcanic rock on slopes, at altitudes around 1,400 metres, but widely cultivated as an ornamental plant, increasingly becoming popular as an architectural accent plant in contemporary garden designs.
Growing as a large roughly spherical globe - slowly growing to 2 ft (60 cm) wide and tall, with sharp spines, straight or slightly curved, and various shades of yellow or, occasionally, white. Small yellow flowers may appear in summer around the crown of the plant, but only after twenty years or so.
Sowing & planting
5 - 30
6.7 - 7
Plant my golden barrel
Plant your Echinocactus in a light, porous and well-drained substrate to prevent water from stagnating around the roots - enriched with sand, it's a great idea! Echinocactus need as much light as possible.
In pots inside, place them in front of the windows so that they are beautiful even in winter.
In winter, they will prefer a cool room. In summer, do not hesitate to take them out if the conditions are favorable.
Water my golden barrel
Echinocactus tolerate infrequent watering, and hate stagnant water, especially in heavy soil.
The rate of watering varies with the season, as your cactus "evaporates" more when it receives a lot of light.
How to water? You can use tap water or reclaimed water. Sprinkle gently, and if you see water in the dish, empty it after several minutes.
Fertilize my golden barrel
Cactuses can live or survive with very little nutrients! But if you want beautiful vigorous plants, a supply of fertilizer can help.
Use a liquid fertilizer, geranium or tomato fertilizer is just fine. The special fertilizer for cacti is almost identical, but more expensive! Fertilize on every other watering during the growing season.
Repot my golden barrel
Repot at the beginning of the beautiful days, at the end of the winter rest, right before they resume their growth. This allows them to recover from the inconvenience, and to be ready for a new year.
If you missed the moment, it's not very a big problem, you can do it all year!
Repot your Echinocactus every 3 or 4 years with potting soil mixed with a lot of sand. Know that the growth is related to the frequency of repotting: a Echinocactus never repotted will stop growing!
When repotting, remove the old soil and dead roots as much as possible, while being careful not to damage the larger ones, which are alive.
To facilitate drainage, place a layer of coarse sand in the bottom of the pot, or even pebbles for large plants.
Once the repotting is complete, wait one to two weeks to resume watering, so that the damaged roots heal. Otherwise, there is a risk of rottening the plant.
Check on my golden barrel
The number one enemy of cacti and succulents is decay due to too much humidity! Do not forget to be reasonable with watering, and especially to give your cactus a well draining substratum!
Other fungal diseases can happen, especially botrytis. Do not hesitate to prune the sick parts of the plant to prevent the spread of the disease. Mealybugs and other mites are particularly fond of succulents. Sprays with soapy water will get rid of a large part of them.
Do not forget to disinfect your equipment regularly (pots, pruning shears...) to avoid contaminations.
Shelter my golden barrel
Bring it inside well before the first cool nights, in a room not too heated so that it "feels" that it is winter: 5 to 10 ° C at night without artificial light!
You should stop all watering until spring.
Put outside my golden barrel
Do not hesitate to take out your Echinocactus for the summer! If it has spent the winter in the shade, just avoid placing it directly in full sun, acclimate it more gently ...
You should put it back inside at the end of the summer.