What is the Golden Barrel Cactus? 

The Echinocactus grusonii, also known as the Golden Barrel Cactus, is an award-winning plant known for its slow growth. It features a barrel-shaped stem in pale green, characterized by prominent ribs adorned with areoles from which bright golden spines emerge. During late spring to summer, mature specimens receiving ample full sun produce striking 2-inch-wide bright yellow flowers. These flowers are diurnal and form a subtle ring at the top of the plant.


Quick Facts

Botanical Name: Echinocactus grusonii

Plant Type: Succulent, cactus

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Flower Color: Yellow

Foliage Color: Green

Height: Can reach up to 2 feet tall 

Seasonality: Year-round (blooms in late spring-summer)

Native Regions: Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Mexico 

Related Plants:  Barrel cactus, Prickly pear cactus, and Organ pipe cactus



The Golden Barrel Cactus

Our barrel cacti are grown in their native environment here in Arizona. Grown outdoors with precise watering and fertilization, they retain their natural form when delivered to you. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, these cacti are already adapted to various growing conditions, ensuring their hardiness. You’ll receive them looking just as they do in their native habitats.


Whether you choose to plant them in a container for indoor spaces like sunrooms, patios, or window planters, or directly in the ground alongside agaves, they’re ready to thrive without requiring acclimation.


Best Ways to Care for Your Golden Barrel Cactus

Soil – Well-draining soil is essential to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. A mixture of sand, gravel, and some organic matter is the perfect mix. 

Water – Water once per month during the warm, dry season. Too much water can cause this cactus to rot. 

Temperature – Golden Barrel Cacti thrive in hot desert climates, tolerating brief periods of freezing temperatures but may need protection during frost. 

Fertilizer – Use a balanced cactus or succulent fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer). Apply sparingly. 

Pruning – These cacti require minimal pruning. Late winter to early spring is the perfect time to prune. 

Pests – Common pests for golden barrel cacti include spider mites and mealybugs.  Monitor plants regularly for signs of pests and contact professionals to treat any infestations. 


Incorporating The Golden Barrel Into Your High-Desert Landscape Design

For assistance in selecting plants like golden barrels for your backyard, feel free to reach out to us at Desert Foothills Landscape for a consultation.