Ferocactus latispinus

For cactus fans today we want to bring you the Ferocactus latispinus, do you know him? It is a plant native to Mexico, but it can be found all over the world.

If it is unknown to you and you would like to discover it, we have prepared a file in which you can find out what its characteristics are as well as the care it will need. Shall we start?

How is the Ferocactus latispinus

aerial view of flowering cactus

The Ferocactus latispinus is also known as the devil’s tongue (or devil’s tongue). It is a cactus that has a rounded shape (they are called globose), but at the top it is flat. Its size is medium, reaching 40 centimeters in height (and also in width) at maturity.

In its natural habitat it is found in dry areas or grasslands, as well as in bushes or even in forests, rock slopes, coastal areas, or even on the edge of roads.

The priority color of this cactus is grayish green but depending on the light it gives it, it can be a more intense green or a more intense gray. Its body is divided into ribs and these have woolly areolas.

Regarding its spines, it has four main ones, the central ones, which differ from others in the red color they take. However, they are not the only ones, since it has other radials that are smaller. Even so, It is one of the cacti that will have the most thorns, so to handle it you have to be very careful.

The Ferocactus latispinus is not a rare plant, far from it. It is very easy to find it. Although that does not imply that cactus lovers do not want to have one in their collections.

With luck, and always in the months of October to December, it will flower. These flowers can be white, red, blue, or even purple. They will measure about 3.5 centimeters. And best of all, you don’t have to wait for the specimen to be an adult to see its flowers. (contrary to what happens with other cacti). By the time it is about 15 centimeters in diameter you can expect it to flower. These usually have a bit of fragrance which is quite nice.

And, after this, comes the fruit, which is usually elongated and rounded. It can measure between 2.5 and 8 centimeters. Inside you will find the seeds, which are small and dark brown (almost black).

Care of Ferocactus latispinus

cactus details

After learning a little more about the Ferocactus latispinus, Would you like to have one and take good care of it? Well, here we leave you what are the most important care that you should control so that it lasts you for many years (and grows until you are an adult). We already warned you that it is very easy to have it.

location and temperature

The Ferocactus latispinus is a cactus. That is clear to us. And as such, it needs sunlight. So the best location for this is outside, and specifically in full sun. It is necessary that it be exposed to a large amount of daily light (between 6 and 8 hours minimum, if more, better).

Regarding the temperature, the Ferocactus latispinus does not have any problem with the heat (and high temperatures). But not so much the lows. In fact, when the cactus is young it is more delicate, and when it drops below 7-8ºC, it normally does not resist if you do not protect it. In the case of adults, they can already withstand -5ºC.

Also, you should keep in mind that this cactus hibernates. To do this, the drop in temperature and the increase in humidity combine, which makes it acquire a red or orange hue, but also makes it weaker in the face of inclement weather.


The best substrate you can provide for Ferocactus latispinus is one rich in nutrients and with good drainage. For example, one that many experts recommend is silica sand and leaf mulch. But another option is cactus soil with perlite or orchid soil.


During the months of spring to October the Ferocactus latispinus needs water. Not the rest of the year. For this reason, the irrigation must be concentrated in those months, but not overdo it. First, make sure the soil is completely dry before watering. If so, you can add water but never wetting the cactus, less if it is in full sun. It is better to pour the water around so that the roots are not overwhelmed by water.


Regarding the fertilizer, in the spring and summer months an extra nutrient will make it grow faster. Therefore, try adding one that is low in nitrogen.

Now this is not required. If the plant has a good substrate, and you have changed it that same year, then The best thing is that you do not give it fertilizer because you can saturate it and make it sick.


cactus flower

Pruning? In a cactus? It’s not so much the pruning, because it really has nothing to prune. But many have doubts about whether cactus spines can be cut. These have the function of protecting your body, in such a way that, if they did not have it, animals, insects, etc. they could make a dent in it.

If there is no such problem where you have it, and you don’t like thorns excessively (especially if they are very long), yes, they can be cut. Although it wouldn’t be so much a cactus anymore.

Plagues and diseases

The Ferocactus latispinus is a plant that resists pests well, especially if you comply with all the above care. This means that if attacked, it will defend itself and you will hardly notice the effects. Now, what are your enemies? Specifically: the red spider mite, the cottony mealybug and the aphid. Those three must be watched because, although they can attack him and the plant defend itself, it is worth giving him a hand.

With regard to diseases, the most important may be rot.


In the case of propagation of Ferocactus latispinus, the best method (and the most effective) is through the seeds. These are collected in autumn or winter and can be planted in spring, when the temperature is already warmer and there is no frost. You have to put them in seedbeds and then plant them in pots (only when the seedlings already have a good root).

As you can see, the Ferocactus latispinus can be a good addition to your cactus collection. Would you cheer up with one?

Ferocactus latispinus

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