How Do You Separate Baby Barrel Cactus?

How Do You Separate Baby Barrel Cactus?

The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out how big your barrel cactus has grown. They grow quickly and can double in size every couple of months if they’re kept well—a good indication that it’s time to separate them is when you notice that their roots are starting to escape from the drainage holes in the bottom of their pot. 

 When you see two or more barrel cacti growing in close proximity, it’s natural to want to separate them to give each one room to grow. The problem is that removing a barrel cactus from its roots will kill it, so the trick to separating them is getting each one out of the ground without disturbing its roots.

 How Do You Remove Puppies from Golden Barrel Cactus?

 It’s best to take cuttings in fall (September, October) or spring (March, April, May). 

Use a knife with a wide blade to gently pry new, small barrels off established golden barrel cacti. 

Lay cuttings in the shade to allow the open wound to dry and callus. (Don’t put in sun or the plant tissue will burn.) 

The larger the cutting, the longer it takes to dry. To test, push your fingernail gently into the cut area. If hard, it’s ready for planting. If soft, it needs to callus further. 

Plant in extremely well-drained soil. Be careful not to overwater, which will rot the young new roots. Moisten the soil and then let it dry out between waterings.

 It may take about 6 months for roots to establish. Good luck!

How Do You Take a Cutting from a Barrel Cactus?

If you’re looking to add a dash of vivid color to your home, and you have access to a barrel cactus, you’ll be pleased to discover that it’s surprisingly easy to take a cutting.

A cutting is basically a small section of the plant itself—you can even call them “plantlets.” The easiest way to get one is to cut the cactus at ground level with a sharp knife or saw. The cutting should include some roots, which will help it grow into its own cactus in no time. It’s best to take multiple cuttings from the same cactus so they can help each other grow. After you’ve taken your cutting, let it sit out in the sun for at least a week so that the cut end dries and calluses over. Once that’s done, gently plant your new friend in soil or a container with drainage holes and water it regularly until it grows its own roots.

Facts about Barrel Cactus

– Scientific or Latin name: Echinocactus grusonii .

Common or vulgar names: Mother-in-law’s seat, Grusoni, Equinocactus, Golden Ball, Gold Barrel, Hedgehog Cactus, Hedgehog Cactus, Mother-in-law’s Cushion.

Origin: central Mexico, from San Luis de Potosí to Hidalgo.

– Spherical cactus covered with sharp yellow spines.

– Size: up to 80 cm in diameter (15 cm high and wide or 10 years). In the wild, it can reach more than 1 m in height.

Flowering: summer. It only occurs in adult specimens. Its flowers do not open more than in the sun and last three days. They measure 4-6 cm long and even a little more. They are funnel-shaped and yellow.

– Grown indoors, it rarely blooms.

Longevity: sometimes up to more than 100 years.

– Hardy, tidy, and easy to grow.

– Looks better in groups.

Light: bright environment but slightly hidden from the sun. Put it by a sunny window.

– In adult plants, full sun is necessary to achieve a beautiful spininess formation.

Temperatures: a recommended minimum is about 5ºC. However, many Echinocactus tolerate up to -4ºC as long as they are healthy, adult, well-established plants and with dry soil.

– In winter it requires somewhat low temperatures for its rest; in summer you can take it outside.

– It is better to leave it in a cool place in winter (at a minimum temperature of 5ºC), with as much light as possible and completely dry.

– If you keep it in the living room, you’ll have to water it a bit.

– At this time its growth must be avoided because winter development with low light levels will produce a deformed plant.

Environmental humidity: normal; a very dry atmosphere inside the house would lead to flattening of the ribs during the winter.

Substrate: a commercial substrate for cacti, coarse sand.

Irrigation: in summer regular watering, is never too abundant so that the soil does not remain impregnated with water for a long time.

– In winter, irrigation should be very scarce in an environment with moderate humidity.

Fertilizer: from spring to summer (in the Northern Hemisphere, from April to September), add a little soft fertilizer every 20 days, for example, liquid fertilizer for cacti.

Cleaning: once a month removes the dust that accumulates on the ribs of your echinocactus using a hair dryer set to the “fresh air” position.

Pests: sensitive to mealybugs; aphids can also be present.

Transplant: due to its slow growth, it does not need an annual pot change, but rather every 2 years.

– Transplant to a larger container when it reaches an excessive size. The operation is delicate due to the density of the sharp needles.

Multiplication: propagation is generally done by seeds. Germination takes place between 5 and 7 days.

Golden Barrel Cactus

  • A majestic plant that originates from the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico, Golden Barrel Cactus has a pale green, barrel-shaped stem that can reach 2 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. On top of that, it can produce bright yellow flowers from late spring to summer. It should be planted in well-drained soil alongside full sunlight exposure.
  • The majestic Golden Barrel Cactus, a plant native to the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico, has become the unlikely symbol for today’s business model innovation. Golden Barrel Cactus thrives in harsh climates with little water and infertile soil, making it a perfect metaphor to represent the emerging business models of today.
  • Golden Barrel Cactus needs plenty of sunshine. You do not need to fertilize the cactus. It grows naturally in the wild so you do not need to worry about overfeeding your cactus.
  • There are many types of cactus you’ll find in gardens and in the wild. They make great landscaping plants, but they grow best when planted in a well-drained, porous cactus mix (not regular garden soil).
  • This is a beautiful cactus that adds color and shape to any landscape garden. It’s good for dessert or Mediterranean gardens, and it’s also good in decorative containers.


  • Its little pieces looked super cute.
  •  It was packaged very well too.
  • No damage and the cactus looks really nice.
  • Beautiful little cactus.
  • The cactus is exquisitely packaged in the best of health. 
  • Nice size for the price.
  • The plant is fine. Slow growing.
  • Cute little cactus.


  • Smaller than expected.

Final Points

Barrel cactus is kind of all the same. You don’t want to separate them when they are small because you could accidentally separate off the new plant. Wait until they have 4-6 sets of leaves and then separate them. If you do accidentally separate them in smaller pots, it is alright. Just put the smaller plants in another pot while the bigger ones are acclimating to their new pot. It may take a few months for them to gain healthy roots again but once they do, they will grow just as fast as any other cactus.

One of the most common mistakes made with baby barrel cactus is subjecting them to stress through improper watering. Overwatering is even more harmful than underwatering, so don’t soak the soil either. Provide these plants with well-draining soil, and water sparingly. Healthy soil that drains quickly encourages root growth, which helps your plant acclimate to the change in environment.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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