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Ferocactus glaucescens inermis

Botanical Name —  Ferocactus glaucescens inermis 

Common Name —  Blue Barrel Cactus

Plant Family —  Cactaceae


Ferocactus glaucescens inermis was cultivated by growers to produce a spineless form of Ferocactus glaucescens.  Ferocactus glaucescens is native to rocky limestone slopes in deciduous dry forests and juniper scrub woodlands of Eastern Central Mexico.  This cacti has a bluish skin which makes it a very popular addition to collections and desert rock gardens.

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Growth Requirements


  • Ferocactus glaucescens inermis prefers direct sun with partial shade during the harshest afternoon hours. It will not tolerate full shade.
  • They thrive in late afternoon sun. If possible give them a spot in a sill with southern or western exposure. A sheer curtain during peak hours could protect the plant from getting sunburned.

Temperature/ Humidity 

  • This arid plant likes high temperatures and low humidity. It will thrive in temperatures above 75°F, but avoid consistent temperatures below 40°F. Keep it indoors on a sunny windowsill during cooler months. 


  • Blue Barrel Cactus are extremely drought tolerant. Water them thoroughly, fully saturating the soil. Always allow the soil to dry out completely in between waterings. 
  • If you are unsure whether or not the soil is dry, wait a few days before watering. It is much better to underwater than overwater. Excessive moisture can quickly lead to root rot.
  • In the winter, when these plants are not actively growing, ease up on watering even more. 


  • Ferocactus glaucescens inermis prefer a sandy, well-draining soil. A cactus or succulent potting mix works great. You can also use regular potting mix amended with sand or fine grit up to 50% to improve texture and drainage. 


  • Large funnel-shaped lemon yellow flowers bloom in late spring and summer which can be followed by a white fruit.


  • Fertilization is not necessary, but if you are going to use one, be sure to use one specifically made for cacti and succulents.  Use once a month in the spring and summer months.


  • Mature plants may produce offsets at the base of the plant.  If available, they can be cut off with a sterile knife and be placed aside to callus for a week.  Then pot in a well-drained cactus mix. 



  • These cacti are not especially prone to pests and diseases. Root rot can easily occur if the plant is overwatered. Keep an eye out for common pests such as mealybugs and scale. 

Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)

  • These hardy plants require very little maintenance. Container grown cacti prefer to be rootbound, so repotting should be necessary only once every two years. Repot into a planter 2” larger in diameter to give the plant plenty of room to continue growing. 


  • While Ferocactus glaucescens inermis is not known to be toxic to pets or humans, it’s safest to limit physical contact with it.
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