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Genus Echinocactus.

The Echinocactus or Hedgehog Cactus is a very prickly perennial cactus native to the southern United States and Mexico.

As they are.

They are very beautiful cactus with many and long thorns in ribs, yellowish to golden, of globose or rounded shape, also of wide columnar form and with wool in the upper apex.

Echinocactus grusonii
Echinocactus grusonii

With two sub genres, the Echinocactus and the Homalocephala.

The Echinocactus, have spines in radial and central form. It consists of 8 to 10, which measure about 3 cm in length.

In nature, these cacti can develop a lot and reach two meters in diameter.

They are cacti that are in danger of extinction.

Types of Echinocactus

Flowers and fruit.

The flowers are grow from the large woolly areolas. They bloom in summer and are yellow, pink or magenta, depending on the species.

These cactus if they are cultivated, raramante give rise to the flowering.

They give fruits that are similar in color and shaggy.

Echinocactus horizonthalonius
Echinocactus horizonthalonius

Irrigation and lighting.

Young Echinocactus should be in semi-shade, since they can be burned by prolonged exposure to the sun. When the cactus is adult, they can be put in direct sunlight.

They are quite slow growth. Do not go down from 5º to 10ºC and must be well aerated.

Water moderately during the period of active growth, biweekly. Always let the substrate dry , before re-watering. In winter, almost no water.

Echinocactus Platycanthus, in the wild
Echinocactus Platycanthus, in the wild

Substrate and fertilizers

Use some specific substrate for this cactus or mix if possible, peat with sand and clay.

If you are going to transplant it from a pot or container, wait until the beginning of spring.

You can use a specific fertilizer for this  cactus , with water, but only in spring and summer. In winter, do not use any.

The fertilizer must incorporate nitrogen (N), potassium (K) and mineral microelements such as manganese, iron, copper, zinc, etc., which are basic for its proper development.


The Echinocactus, is multiplied by seeds.

Take a look at our seedbed page and you’ll know how to multiply your cactus by seed.

Echinocactus grusonii golden
Echinocactus grusonii golden

Plagues and diseases.

The Echinocactus are not usually attacked by pests and suffer few diseases , but they can be given and the main ones are;

Aphids (aphids).

Mealybugs, cottony  and woodlice.

Different cactus Genus Astrophytum

Genus Astrophytum – growing and care

Echinocactus grusonii – Golden barrel cactus