Ferocactus viridescens

San Diego Barrel Cactus

Plant Type: Cactus
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 1' X 1.5'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



This little barrel cactus is native to coastal areas of San Diego County and Baja. It is generally wider than it is tall and grows in time to about 18 inches. The flesh is dark green with thick ribs supporting clusters of red-tinted spines. Like many cactuses, the spring flowers are large and striking. Their color is yellow with a hint of green. When grown well, the San Diego barrel cactus will produce offshoots at its base. A well draining medium is best, with no supplemental irrigation. Of course, winter cold temperatures are a concern as one moves north. While prolonged or repeated freezing temperatures may prove fatal, occasional excursions to about 30F appear to be well tolerated. I have grown this barrel cactus in a pot in San Jose for several years without difficulty. A growing site against a south facing wall would provide supplemental heat and light, and a little protection from winter frost. San Diego barrel cactus is an excellent candidate for a potted cactus.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: