Echinocactus horizonthalonius is a small barrel cactus. It is gray-green to blue-gray in color and spherical, hemispherical, columnar, or flat-topped in shape and normally grows unbranched. It reaches a maximum size of about 45 centimeters tall by 20 wide. The body is made up of curving sections that twist around the body in a helical fashion. These sections are lined with areoles bearing up to 10 spines each. The pink, gray, or brown spines may be over 4 centimeters long. The bright pink to magenta flowers are up to 7 to 9 centimeters wide. Flowers open around midday and close for the night. They also open after the plant receives rainfall, and although most of the flowers occur in June, they may bloom again in late summer and fall if rain occurs. The fruit is hairy or woolly and pink or red in color.
Scientific Name: Echinocactus horizonthalonius
Synonyms: Echinocactus equitans, Echinocactus horizontalis, Echinocactus horizonthalonius subsp. horizonthalonius, Echinocactus laticostatus, Echinocactus pachycornis, Meyerocactus horizonthalonius.
Common Names: Eagle’s Claw, Eagle’s Claw Cactus, Devil’s Head Cactus, Devilshead, Turk’s Head Cactus, Turk’s Head, Blue Barrel Cactus, Silverbell Cactus, Horse Maimer, Horse Crippler, Visnaga meloncillo.
How to grow and maintain Echinocactus horizonthalonius (Eagle’s Claw):
It grows well in full sun. Echinocactus do best in a very sunny window, perhaps a southern exposure. Cactus plants that do not get enough sunlight will grow more slowly and fail to thrive.
It prefers any rich, well-drained soil such us clay, pumice, lava grit, and if you use a regular peat-based mix, be sure to add sand or extra perlite to enhance drainage and repot the plant when the soil begins to break down. Or use a cactus soil mix. is ideal.
Echinocactus prefers average temperatures between 50 degrees Fahrenheit – 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 10 degrees Celsius – 24 degrees Celsius is ideal but not below 40 degrees Fahrenheit / 5 degrees Celsius and avoid frost.
Water moderately, during the growing season. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry out before watering again. During the winter season, do not water the plants but just keep them moist otherwise they will rot.
Fertilize your Echinocactus plant once a month, during the growing season, with a weak liquid cactus fertilizer.
Echinocactus can be propagated by seed. To seed a cactus, plant the seeds shallowly in a cactus mix and keep them warm and very slightly moist.
It is best to re-pot at the start of the developing season, or summer. To re-pot cacti, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently expel the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you re-pot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest and diseases problems. Watch for infestations of mealybug, scale insects, and spider mite. Expel mealybugs by dipping cotton swabs in rubbing alcohol and dabbing them or spray the cactus thoroughly with insecticidal soap once a week until they’re gone.