California Barrel Cactus
Ferocactus cylindraceus 'Lecontei' is by far the most widespread of the giant barrel cacti, and is quite variable in spine color - deep red or intermediate shades, but characterized by a long (up to 5 inches), curved central spine that points outwards and downwards and is covered by tiny ridges. Lecontei has central spines that are not twisted and never hooked which often lay closer to the body.
Close by are 3 more outward-pointing spines, slightly shorter, and 8 to 28 smaller, lighter colored radial spines, all contributing to a dense lattice that mostly obscures the green stem and its pronounced ribs, numbering 18 to 31.
Flowers are yellow, appearing in spring and early summer, while the fruits are bright yellow
It prefers the sun in the seasons of passage (spring and autumn), while in the summer it likes the partial shade,
It is suited for any rich, well drained soil such us clay, pumice, lava grit, and only a little peat or leaf-mould. If potted, repot preferably in the spring, if their roots become cramped. Generally, they should be repotted every other year in order to provide fresh soil. However, this doesn't necessarily mean they'll need larger containers. Fill about a quarter of the pot with broken crocks, gravel, etc. to promote good drainage.
Feed every 4 weeks with a Nitrogen-poor and Potassium & Phosphorus-rich fertilizer during summer.
Once a month it is recommended to clean it with a painter's brush, to remove the dust that creeps under the big thorns.
It is an excellent plant for garden rockery settings, desert type landscapes, patios and botanical gardens,
For watering cacti, the golden rule is to make sure the soil is completely dry before watering! This will stop the roots from rotting. It is advised to always use a pot with a drainage hole so that excess water can get drained out. If kept in a sunny area, you will need to water it once every week. If it is in a semi shaded or filtered light area, you might need to water it once in 2 weeks.
Cacti like soil that is well aerated and fast draining. You can fertilise the cactus in the summer months when it is in its growing season. During the winters it is best to cut back on any fertiliser and let the plant rest.
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