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Cephalocereus senilis (Old man cactus)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
12m
Max height
2m
Max spread
10-20 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Cephalocereus senilis

Other names

Old man cactus, Monkey cactus, Old man's head, Pilocereus senilis

Genus

Cephalocereus Cephalocereus

Species

C. senilis - C. senilis is a tender, columnar cactus with spiny ribs and twisting, bristly, white hairs lengthening with age. Funnel-shaped, pink flowers open at night in summer.


Cephalocereus senilis is: Evergreen

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Plant has spines; use extreme caution when handling.

Flower

Pink in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Mealybugs Mealybugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free

General care

Propagation

Sow seed at 19-24C (66-75F) in spring.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Cephalocereus senilis (Old man cactus) will reach a height of 12m and a spread of 2m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Drought Tolerant, Gravel, Indoor, Rock

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in a mix of 3 parts cactus compost and 1 part limestone chippings in full light. Water moderately in growth and feed a low-nitrogen fertiliser monthly. Keep dry in winter. In frost-free areas, grow outdoors in sharply-drained, poor to moderately fertile, slightly alkaline soil in full sun.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Cephalocereus senilis

Other names

Old man cactus, Monkey cactus, Old man's head, Pilocereus senilis

Genus

Cephalocereus Cephalocereus

Species

C. senilis - C. senilis is a tender, columnar cactus with spiny ribs and twisting, bristly, white hairs lengthening with age. Funnel-shaped, pink flowers open at night in summer.

Native to

Mexico

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Plant has spines; use extreme caution when handling.


Colour

Flower

Pink in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Mealybugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free

General care

Propagation

Sow seed at 19-24C (66-75F) in spring.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Cephalocereus senilis (Old man cactus) will reach a height of 12m and a spread of 2m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Drought Tolerant, Gravel, Indoor, Rock

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in a mix of 3 parts cactus compost and 1 part limestone chippings in full light. Water moderately in growth and feed a low-nitrogen fertiliser monthly. Keep dry in winter. In frost-free areas, grow outdoors in sharply-drained, poor to moderately fertile, slightly alkaline soil in full sun.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 11, Zone 10

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

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