Though they’re often called “compass cactus,” barrel cactus don’t actually point north (in fact, they can’t even detect the earth’s magnetic field). They grow based on sun orientation so that their surface tissue is protected from intense sunlight. Though the plant can appear to lean toward the sun, it actually grows in a different direction—usually south. This is an adaptation that helps them avoid damage from the sun’s rays.
How Much Sun Does a Barrel Cactus Need?
Seedlings and younger plants should be placed in a location that receives very bright, indirect sunlight. These plants are prone to sunburn, so they should not be placed in direct sunlight or near any heat source such as a heater or air vent.
Mature plants can tolerate full sun; however, temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit could prove to be fatal to the plant and should be avoided. When moving your plant outdoors for the summer months, place it in a location that allows it to receive reflected light from surrounding buildings.
Can a Barrel Cactus Get Too Much Sun?
The barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) is a popular succulent that comes in several varieties, including the Golden Barrel, Giant Blue Barrel cactus and Red-Striped Barrel cactus. Like other succulents, it is also highly susceptible to too much sunlight. If your barrel cactus is exposed to more than six hours of direct sunlight every day, it will develop sunburn.
For best results, repot your barrel cactus every two years using well-drained soil. While this plant does not require a lot of water and can tolerate periods of drought, it will thrive with consistent care. Remember not to overwater the plant; instead, water it once every two weeks in the summer and once every three weeks in the winter. If you notice brown spots on your leaves or stems and they begin to dry out, move your plant into an area with less light or allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions.
How Much Sun Does a Golden Barrel Cactus Need?
The Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) is a succulent that is well-suited for the home. It requires about 6 hours of direct sunlight, but make sure to protect it from strong sun and heat. Provide well-draining soil using general potting mix, sand, and stones. Additionally, this plant requires regular watering to survive, so be sure to check the soil often and water as needed.
A south-facing window is ideal for this plant, but it can be placed in an east or west-facing window if necessary. When the plant is young, it can also be placed outdoors in a partially shaded area if you live in a warm climate.
Why Do Barrel Cacti Fall Over?
Stem rot is one of the most common causes of a drooping or falling barrel cactus. This happens when water gets into the stem and rots it from within. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that the soil never stays too wet and that there’s a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot, which will allow excess water to drain away.
Another problem could be that the plant is being potted in a container that’s too large for it. A barrel cactus will typically grow to around fist size, so if you’re potting it in a planter larger than that, it’ll have plenty of room to stretch its roots out and fill up all the available space. But this also means that there won’t be enough soil to support those long roots, so they start pulling on the plant and pulling it over.
Cacti can easily get eaten by pests such as mealybugs, red spider mites, and caterpillars, which are all very small but can cause a great deal of damage if left unchecked. If your barrel cactus starts showing signs of infestation (such as yellowing leaves), then you should take immediate action.
How Do You Stop a Cactus from Leaning Over?
Although cacti are a popular and attractive addition to homes, they can sometimes be difficult to keep in an upright position. One of the most common reasons a cactus may lean is that it has been planted in too much soft soil. As the cactus grows, it will send out lateral branches, which will often begin to grow horizontally. This will cause the cactus to lean or bend downward. The solution for this problem can be replanting a cactus in dry soil or packing more soil around the base of the cactus. You can also help your cactus grow upright by adding a layer of small rocks or gravel to the surface of the soil.
Wrap It Up
According to the findings of this research, under the influence of desert climate and local topography, some species of cactus are forced to develop a new way of life. They turned into “compass cactus,” leaning south in order to better protect themselves from sunlight. Barrel cactus trunk has a high content of wax which helps suntanning. The trunk develops, and only then is affected by the sun in just the right way.