Golden Barrel Cactus

Echinocactus Grusonii

Golden Barrel cactus is a beautiful addition to any xeric landscape. As with most desert species, this cactus simply will not tolerate soggy soil, so unless your landscape is well-drained, even rocky, you’ll need to take special care with this plant, installing special beds or even building berms, and backfilling them with very porous soil materials such as sand and decomposed granite.

If adjusting your landscape isn’t an option, barrel cacti are also very happy in containers.

Native to high desert regions, barrel cacti are hardy to 20 degrees, should be planted in full sun, and should almost never be watered once established. The bright green trunk of this cactus will be only barely visible when this plant is young, as it will be covered with small, vibrant yellow spines. As it grows, the spines will begin to line up in regimented columns, exposing more of the trunk.

Eventually getting up to three feet tall and about as wide, golden barrel cactus adds a striking textural element to the landscape and looks great planted either alone as a specimen or in small groupings near other xeric plants. Extremely slow growing, these plants will take many years to reach the flowering stage, when the center will become a gorgeous ring of bright yellow blooms.

Our viewer pics this week come from Kim Simmons, of her Easter barrel cactus, and from Nichole Staehling, of a wasp visiting her Knock Out rose.