Emory Cactus Care – How To Grow An Emory’s Barrel Cactus

Ferocactus emoryi
Ferocactus emoryi
(Image credit: shihina)

Native to the lower elevations of northwestern Mexico and portions southern Arizona, Ferocactus emoryi are robust cacti perfect for drought-prone gardens and dry landscapes. Commonly referred to as Emory’s barrel cactus, these cylindrical spiny plants are an interesting choice for containers and addition to desert rock gardens.

Emory’s Barrel Cactus Info

Emory ferocactus grows outdoors in USDA zones 9 through 11. Even though they are hardy within these zones, plants grow best in regions with relatively little rainfall, since too much moisture can lead to root rot. Reaching heights of up to 4-8 feet (1.2-2.5 m.), these cacti thrive in desert and rock gardens. Though the plants may be able to handle an occasional light frost, it's best that temperatures do not fall below 50 F. (10 C.). Those wishing to grow these cacti without proper conditions are still able to do so; however, plants must be cultivated in containers indoors.

Emory Cactus Care

Caring for Emory’s barrel cactus require little experience, making it perfect for beginning gardeners and those new to growing plants indoors. Plant maintenance is relatively carefree, as the plants do not require any specific treatments for pests or disease. As with many cacti, Ferocactus emoryi requires well-draining soil. When grown in containers, soil mixes specifically formulated for use with cacti and succulents can drastically improve the overall plant health. These soils can be found at home improvement stores and local nurseries. Gardeners can also make their own cactus soil mix by combining mediums such as sand and peat. Plant barrel cacti in locations that receive full sun. While specifically grown in dry landscapes, plants do require occasional watering when conditions are especially dry. When watering, make certain to avoid direct contact with the cactus plant, as water droplets on plant tissue can cause the succulents to sunburn in hot, arid climates.

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/@tonyawiththeflowers.