Older Barrel Cactus

I am hoping you can help me out. I recenlty moved into a home in Southren California that has 50 large golden barral cactus. The problem is that I am not sure when they were watered last – before we moved in (the house was vacant). We moved in around June and I did water two or three times until someone told me not to water at all. Now all of them are turn dark brown at the base (even the thorns) plus they are also wrinkley at the base. Not sure why this is happening and if this is normal – a few have holes in them. The good things that they have babies.

Please let me know what to do, do they have a disease/ bugs, do they need to be watered, what to do with the babies….?

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Thank you for your time,


The plants look fine. The bottom being brown is age. They do look a bit stressed, and could use some water and fertilizer. I would recommend liquid kelp this time of year, and more nitrogen in the spring. The hole looks like old damage that will probably not be a problem. Make sure that water doesn’t pool in it during the winter – if it does, then cover it through the rains and you may need to do some repairs in the spring.


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