Old Man Cactus Plant (Cephalocereus Senilis) Care – How to Take Care & Grow Old Man Cactus Plant

This is the post about  Cephalocereus Senilis which is also known as OLD-MAN CACTUS and here is how you can grow it and care. The common name for this cactus is derived from the long, fine white hairs that shroud the fleshy columnar body and hide the sharp spines beneath them.

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The hairs serve to protect the plant from the sun, and the brighter the light, the denser they will be. When the hairs become discolored, they may be washed in a weak solution of detergent, using a soft brush such as a shaving brush or paintbrush. This will remove any dirt, but not the darkening of the hairs due to age.

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The flowers, which are red and white, seldom form on potted plants and appear only on older specimens. These cacti are very slow-growing, adding perhaps lin/2.5cm a year.


ORIGIN Mexico.
HEIGHT To 12in/30cm or more.
POTTING MIX Soil- or peat-moss-based with added perlite or coarse sand in the ratio of 2:1.
REPOTTING If roots have filled the pot, move the plant into a pot one size larger in spring. Older plants may be top-dressed instead.
PROPAGATION Only by sowing seed in spring.
KEEPING PLANTS These plants look best massed with other cacti in a cactus garden.

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  • Direct sunlight.
  • A minimum temperature of 40°F/4°C in winter; otherwise, normal room temperature.
  • Allow the surface of the potting mix to dry out completely between waterings; water only enough during the winter rest period to prevent the plant shriveling.
  • Be careful not to splash the hairs when watering.
  • Apply a high-potash liquid fertilizer every 3 weeks between spring and fall.

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