Echinocactus grusonii, or the golden barrel cacti, is a well-known cacti species native to east-central Mexico. Despite being common in cultivation, their populations in the wild have been declining where only an estimated 11,000 individuals remain. Echinocactus grusonii have heavily ribbed globular stems that can grow over 3 feet tall. In young plants, the ribs are not as pronounced and the areoles appear at the end of Tubricals.
They have cream-colored wool at the apex and yellow radial spines protruding from the numerous areoles along the ribs. E. grusonii have bright yellow flowers measuring up to 2 inches in diameter that flower in rings around the apex from late spring to summer. Echinocactus grusonii are hardy to zones 9-12.
Golden Barrel Echinocactus grusonii has usually a single slowly growing globe-shaped stem that became elongated (barrel-shaped) in maturity, up to 90 cm (180 cm) in height and spread.
Sow the Echinocactus grusonii seeds on the surface of a well-draining potting mix, mist the seeds with a spray bottle, and cover the soil with plastic wrap or a plastic bag to retain humidity. Keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet, and keep between 70°F and 80°F in a well-lit area for best results.
Once germinated, slowly uncover over several days to acclimate the seedlings to the ambient humidity. Germination typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to occur. Even with optimal conditions, germination may be slow and sporadic.