How Big Do Golden Barrel Cactus Get?

Golden barrel cacti are amongst some of the most popular cacti you can find in any indoor garden.

These cacti are also commonly known as Mother-in-law’s cushions because of their unique shape, which resembles a cluster of pin cushions.

A normal golden barrel cactus can grow to be 3-4 ft in length and also 3 ft in width.

Of course, not every golden barrel cactus you come across will be the same size.

The size of the cactus can possibly differ depending on the environment it grows in and the kind of care it gets.

The characteristics of the golden barrel cactus remain the same throughout, though.

These cacti have sharp, stiff, yellow needles that grow in clusters on the cactus.

Of course, these spines are very sharp and make it quite difficult for people to handle the cactus without proper care normally.

If you want your golden barrel cactus to grow properly to reach its standard height, you have to take special care of the cactus.

How To Grow Golden Barrel Cactus

The golden barrel cactus is a lovely addition to any garden.

Of course, it is integral to know how to grow a golden barrel cactus to ensure that you see it grow to its maximum height.

Remember that golden barrel cactus is grown and propagated mainly through seeds.

To grow your own golden barrel cactus with the help of seeds, you need to first obtain golden barrel cactus seeds from any supplier.

After that, you need to place the seed in the cactus mix, making sure it is not too deep and closer to the surface of the soil.

You need to keep the cactus mix warm and moist while the seed is planted inside and wait for it to start growing.

Make sure you practice good cactus care tips when growing a golden barrel cactus, and it will likely grow to be at least 3 ft tall.

Golden barrel cacti also bloom around summertime. They sprout yellow flowers on top of the plant, which eventually become fruit as well if the plant is cared for properly.

When it is blooming, you might also begin to see cactus pups of the golden barrel cactus grow around the base of the plant.

You can use these cactus pups to propagate another golden barrel cactus for your garden or for a cactus display. You can even gift this plant to someone for their own cactus garden.

To grow your own golden barrel cactus with the help of cactus pups and ensure that they grow to be 3-4 ft tall, you need to first remove the soil around the pup;

Then, take a clean, sterile, and sharp knife to remove the pup from its parent plant. You need to then allow the pup to callus for a few days.

Callusing is a wound healing process that many plants undergo, and it involves the newly cut side of the plant drying and hardening.

Once the pup has callused, you should plant it in a pot with the cactus mix. As soon as the pup has been planted, add an adequate amount of water to the cactus mix.

However, since the pup is that of a cactus, you should not water it too often. In fact, you should not water a golden barrel cactus pup till it begins to grow roots.

Of course, it takes some time for the roots to form when you are propagating a plant, so if it seemingly takes a long time for the roots of your golden barrel cactus to form, you should practice patience and we can assure you that you will be able to see roots after some time.

Special Features Of Golden Barrel Cactus

Golden barrel cacti are mainly recognized by their pin-cushion appearance, which is why they are informally known as mother-in-law’s cushions in a humorous way.

The spines grow in clusters along the ribs of the plant, and they are very spiky.

Handling a golden barrel cactus when you want to prune it or propagate it requires special care because of these sharp spines. They can injure you easily and be very painful.

The plant often blooms in summer and grows yellow flowers along the top of the cactus.

These yellow flowers grow in whorls and form a nice little crown on top of the cactus and look very beautiful.

Remember that if you take proper care of your golden barrel cactus, there is nothing that will prevent it from growing up to 3-4 ft in length.

The good news is that these cacti don’t even require much care, which is why you often see them grow this long as well.

However, you need to remember that the golden barrel cactus is quite a slow-growing plant as well.

This means that the cactus will not grow to be 4 ft tall within a few weeks; it will take time and regular care and maintenance for the plant to get there.

Of course, it is a cactus and therefore thrives in desert environments.

However, it is important to note that the plant has now become endangered in the wild, and you will not be able to see too many of these plants in the wild.

They are more common in people’s homes and gardens.

Caring For Golden Barrel Cacti

If you want to grow your golden barrel cactus to be 3-4 ft tall and wide, you need to take good care of it.

Of course, since it is a cactus, it does not require much probing and prodding to grow to its fullest potential.

However, you still need to be vigilant about some things when growing your own golden barrel cactus, and here are some of them:


The main thing you have to take care of when growing your own golden barrel cactus is that it needs to be watered just enough.

A normal golden barrel cactus requires water once a month only.

However, if you live in an exceptionally hot and dry climate, you should check and see if the soil is fully dried or still moist after 2-3 weeks.

If the soil is completely dry after a week or so, it means that it is time to water the cactus again.

Golden barrel cacti are drought-resistant. This means that they can easily grow in areas with a hot and dry climate and scarcity of water.

In fact, if you give this plant more water than it actually needs, it will be overwatered.

Overwatered plants end up rotting in the roots and eventually suffocating and dying if the water is not dried out.

In fact, if your golden barrel cactus has stopped growing after some time and you cannot figure out why, it is possible that the roots are drowning in the water and the plant is rotting from within, and you are unaware of it.

So the main thing you have to take care of when growing a golden barrel cactus is the watering frequency. The plant takes care of itself otherwise.


The other thing you need to be vigilant about is the light. The golden barrel cactus is very much a desert cactus and is used to the hot sun.

So you need to grow it in either direct sunlight or in a space where it can get filtered light.

If your golden barrel cactus does not receive adequate light as it grows, it might not grow to be as tall as it usually gets.

Not only will the plant’s growth be stunted, but there will also be other issues you will see springing up like maybe the plant will not bloom or bear fruit, and maybe there will be some discoloration as well.

All in all, it is integral that your plant receives as much light as possible

Other tips for care

The main things that you have to be vigilant about are the water and the light.

However, the golden barrel cactus can show you a slew of other problems as well if it does not receive adequate care even though the plant is generally low maintenance.

One of the possible issues includes pest attacks, which require lots of cleaning, insecticides, and sterilization to stop.

Pest attacks can also result from other plants and sometimes infect other plants as well.

Another issue you might face is if your garden has a problem with mice or if your pets play around in the garden.

The golden barrel cactus has sharp, injurious spines, but it can still sustain some damage from pets and mice. So make sure you keep any potential predators away from the plant too.


The golden barrel cactus is one of the most interesting plants you can find in a garden and it can grow to be up to 4 ft tall if it receives proper care.

You can even grow the plant yourself and make it a gorgeous addition to your garden.