Cephalocereus senilis, Old Man Cactus

Cephalocereus senilis

Old Man Cactus
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Mexico
Small tree 10-20 ftFull sunDry conditionsModerate waterThorny or spiny

Cephalocereus senilis is a very popular cactus in cultivation due to its woolly appearance. It grows in a small tree-like form, reaching heights of 10-20 feet and is native to Mexico. The distinctive stem of Cephalocereus senilis is topped with long, thick hair-like spines or thorns, typically in a white coloration.

This cactus is perfect for those looking for a low-maintenance addition to their garden as it tolerates full sun and even moderate water in the right conditions. It grows best in slightly dry conditions, so you won't have to fuss over it too much. Though be warned: during cold winter temperatures, the plant should be protected, particularly when young.

Additionally, Cephalocereus senilis can thrive in pots with the appropriate care. When placed outdoors, it enjoys a full sun position, although it can tolerate some shade. The soil should be both well-draining and slightly damp but not waterlogged. Typically, it needs watering about once a month. In areas with cold winters, pots should be brought indoors to a sheltered spot.

For optimal growth, the cactus should be fertilized with an appropriate cacti fertilizer two or three times a year. As the cactus grows, it may need to be pruned to maintain its desired shape and size.

Cephalocereus senilis is a slow-growing cactus, with a consistent size across its range. It is hardy in USDA Zones 9-11, and its sharp spines act as a strong deterrent to any wildlife or critters looking to make a snack of it. With a few simple steps and tips, Cephalocereus senilis is an easy cactus to grow in most places.

Cephalocereus senilis, Old Man Cactus

Link to this plant: