How to Take Care of a Golden Barrel Cactus

How to Take Care of a Golden Barrel Cactus

If you are looking for a small cactus to add to your plant collection, consider the Golden Barrel Cactus. This desert-style plant enjoys room temperature environments, no humidity, and low amounts of water during the growing season. Best of all is that the cactus is relatively short in height, which makes it so appealing to put on a bookshelf in your home. Here are the plant care tips for a Golden Barrel Cactus.


Common Names

  • Echinocactus Grusonii
  • Golden Ball
  • Mother in Law’s Cushion
  • Barrel Cacti


What Soil Works Best for a Golden Barrel Cactus?

What Soil Works Best for a Golden Barrel Cactus

Cactus and succulent soil mix work best for this plant. If you use regular potting mix for this plant, consider placing sand and perlite into the soil to better drain. When you notice cracks in the cactus soil, give the plant new soil to help retain the nutrients and foundation for the plant.


Finally, once you have the right soil mix for the plant, you want it to be in a container with drainage holes. Drainage holes allow excess water to flow out of the bottom, essential for all desert plants. Desert plants don’t absorb large amounts of water quickly, so having a well-draining soil mix with drainage holes allows the excess water to escape the bottom of the pot.


Can You Use a Houseplant Fertilizer?

You can give a Golden Barrel Cactus fertilizer during the growing season, which is the spring and summer. When giving the plant fertilizer, look for a high potassium fertilizer bottle. This cactus plant doesn’t need much nitrogen in the potting soil, so don’t go overboard with fertilization.


During the winter months, don’t fertilize the plant. This plant is a slow-grower in general, but in the winter will be even slower. Giving the plant fertilizer during the winter months won’t absorb the nutrients.


How Much Sunlight Does a Golden Barrel Cactus Need?

How Much Sunlight Does a Golden Barrel Cactus Need

Place this cactus in a spot in your home that receives the most direct sunlight if possible. Full sun works excellent for this plant, so don’t worry about burning the leaves from being next to a sunny window. This plant is familiar with growing in dry and sunny environments with no shade, so give it as much sunlight as possible.


What Temperature Works Best for a Golden Barrel Cactus?

The ideal temperature for a Golden Barrel Cactus is in the high 60s to low 80’s degrees Fahrenheit mark. This plant can also tolerate when temperatures drop to about 50 degrees, but anything lower than that can cause growth problems for the plant.


What Humidity Requirements Does a Golden Barrel Cactus Need?

What Humidity Requirements Does a Golden Barrel Cactus Need

A Golden Barrel Cactus enjoys dry climates, so don’t give it extra humidity. Running a humidifier next to the plant can increase the risk of root rot. Since this is a cactus, it absorbs water slowly, and putting it in an environment with lots of humidity won’t allow the plant to drink the water through the cactus mix fully.


How Often Should You Water a Mother-in-Law’s Cushion?

When the top two inches of soil are dry, you can water the plant, especially during the growing season. You can reduce waterings and frequency during the winter since the plant won’t absorb the excess water. Overwatering is a problem with all cactus, so only water when the two inches of soil are dry.


What Size Does a Golden Ball Plant Get to Typically?

What Size Does a Golden Ball Plant Get to Typically

A Golden Ball plant tends to grow less than one foot in height. While there are instances where this plant can grow a bit larger than one foot, most of the time, as an indoor plant, it will be under a foot tall.


Most Common Bugs

Mealybugs and spider mites are common infestation problems for this plant. You can spray the plant down with insecticidal soap if you notice these bugs.


Most Common Diseases for the Plant

Root Rot is a standard problem due to a combination of overwatering and putting the plant in soil that does not drain well and has no drainage holes. If you suspect root rot, you must remove the plant entirely from the current container. Next, remove any dead roots from the bottom of the ball cactus, and then place the plant back into fresh cactus soil.


Can You Prune a Golden Barrel Cactus?

Like most cacti, you don’t prune it unless you need to. If you plan to prune back a part of the plant, make sure you are wearing gloves so you can hold onto the plant and cut back any leggy part of the cactus. If you notice some dead parts on the Golden Barrel Cactus, you can cut those parts away to help preserve energy for the rest of the healthy parts of the plant.


Can You Propagate a Golden Barrel Cactus?

The best way to propagate a Golden Barrel Cactus is using seeds. Here are the propagation steps below for this plant.


  1. Grab the seeds from the flower part of the plant during the growing season
  2. Place the seeds into wet cactus soil and a new pot
  3. Place a plastic wrap over the unique pot to create a warm and moist environment for the seeds
  4. Put the unique pot with the seeds in an area that receives indirect sunlight
  5. After a few weeks, you should see the seeds start to sprout.


Can You Repot a Golden Barrel Cactus?

If you need to repot a Golden Barrel Cactus, you should do so with proper gloves. Once you have the gloves, you can transport the plant from the current container into a pot no more significant than two inches in diameter from the previous home. From there, you can push fresh cactus soil into the pot and allow the plant to settle into the new environment.


Where Does this Plant Originate from Initially?

A Golden Barrel Cactus originates from East-Central Mexico.


What USDA Hardiness Zone Works Best for a Golden Barrel Cactus?

USDA Hardiness Zones of 10-11 work best for a Golden Barrel Cactus.


Is it Toxic?

A Mother-in-Law’s Cushion is not toxic. However, like all indoor cacti in your home, you want to be mindful about punctures when grabbing the plant. Always use gloves when transporting the plant, and don’t leave it in an area where you can brush up accidentally on it in your home.


Conclusion: How to Take Care of a Golden Barrel Cactus

In summary, taking care of a Mother-in-Law’s Cushion is straightforward. To summarize the Golden Barrel Cactus care guide, you want to give this plant plenty of sunlight, water when the top two inches of soil are dry, and some fertilizer during the growing season. This plant won’t get very big, making it popular for people to have on a shelf in their room or on a table in their home.


Similar Posts:

Flapjack Succulent Care

Gardenia Plant Care

Graptopetalum Paraguayense Care

Dwarf Umbrella Tree Care

Crocodile Fern Care

Can you Repot Plants in the Winter?

Raven ZZ Plant Care

What is a Node on a Plant?

Philodendron Goeldii Care

How to Keep Plants Alive While on Vacation

Philodendron Giganteum Plant Care

String of Turtles Plant Care

Scindapsus Pictus Exotica Care

Urn Plant Care

What Does Root Bound Mean?

Can You Bring Plants on a Plane?

Cebu Blue Pothos Care

Ring of Fire Plant Care