Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &
Old Man Cactus &

If you are looking for a unique and low-maintenance plant to add to your cactus collection? Then, look no further than the old man cactus- known as Cephalocereus senilis! This fascinating cactus is also known as the bunny cactus or white Persian cat cactus. 

This slow-growing columnar and erect cactus boasts numerous unbranched stems and can grow up to twenty feet or more in its native habitat. Only the radial spines are visible on its stem, which is covered in woolly grayish-white hairs that resemble an old man's facial hair; it is also known to have survived for over 200 years. These distinct grayish-white hairs serve a dual purpose. In scorching summers, they shield the young cactus from blistering temperatures while providing snug warmth during chilly winters.   

And when springtime arrives, brace yourselves for a breathtaking spectacle! The Old Man Cactus unveils stunning two-inch-long flowers in whitish-pink hues that bloom exclusively under the cover of night – talk about being nocturnally fashionable!

As if that wasn't enough charm already packed into one cactus body, after these ethereal blooms fade away, pinkish-red fruits take their place adorned by delightful yellowish hair. The flowering areoles develop an abundance of wool which confluently forms a dense mass called a pseudocephalium at the top or on one side near the top. 

There are countless tiny sharp yellow modified spines concealed beneath that shaggy coat, ready to prick any unsuspecting intruders who dare to mess with this epic botanical wonder. This hairy cactus can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. Not only is it safe for humans, but it's also friendly to pets! So why wait? 

Watering Needs 

The old Man cactus is a drought-tolerant plant and doesn't require a lot of watering. It's important to let the soil dry out completely between waterings, as overwatering can cause the roots to rot. 

During the summer months, you can water your Old Man cactus once in 2-3 weeks, but during the winter months, you should reduce watering to once a month. When watering, make sure to water the soil directly and avoid getting water on the cactus itself, as this can cause the yellow spines to turn brown and fall off. 

Light Requirements

The old man cactus prefers direct, bright sunlight and can tolerate full sun for most of the day. However, it's important to acclimate the plant to direct sunlight slowly, as sudden exposure to bright light can cause sunburn. 

If your Old man cactus is indoors, make sure to place it near a south-facing window or under a grow light. If this fuzzy cactus isn't getting enough light, it may become leggy, and the yellow spines may turn brown. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

The old man cactus prefers soil that is well-draining, which means that water can flow through it easily. This is important because the cactus is susceptible to root rot if it sits in water for too long. Cactus or succulent soil mixes are a good choice because they are specifically designed to provide good drainage. If you decide to make your own soil mix, you can use equal parts of sand, perlite, and potting soil. Instead, make or buy a well-draining potting mix, or ideally, use our specialized cactus potting mix that contains 5 natural substrates and mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your cactus to thrive. 

When it comes to fertilizing the old man cactus, it's important to remember that this plant doesn't require a lot of nutrients. In fact, over-fertilizing can be harmful to this fuzzy cactus. You can fertilize the cactus once a year during the growing season with balanced, NPK (5-10-5) fertilizers. If you notice that your Cephalocereus senilis isn't growing as quickly as you'd like, you can increase the frequency of fertilization, but be careful not to overdo it. 

Hardiness Zone & More 

As desert dwellers, this hairy cactus enjoys hot temperatures. They prefer constant temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate triple digits in the summer, so don't worry if your cactus gets too hot. 

The old man cactus, on the other hand, cannot handle frost, cold, or freezing temperatures, so make sure it doesn't get below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in its environment. If grown outdoors, this plant grows best in USDA zone 9-11. 

Don't miss out on this opportunity to add something truly exceptional to your garden. Order your very own Cephalocereus senilis - old man cactus today! 

Bloom Season Late spring
Bloom Season Spring, summer
Botanical Name Cephalocereus senilis
Common Name Old man cactus, bunny cactus, white Persian cat cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color Red
Flower Color Red, yellow, or white flowers.
Flower Color Red, yellow, White, pink
Genus Cephalocereus
Growth Habit Columnar, erect
Growth Habit Globus
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 9, 10, 11
Mature Size 12 cm
Mature Size 20 ft. tall
Native Area Eastern mexico
Native Area Mexico
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By stem cuttings
Resistance 30° f
Resistance Drought tolerant, pest resistant, deer resistant, heat tolerant
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type specialized cactus potting mix
Special Features Showy flowers
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Safe for humans, friendly to dogs, friendly to cats
Watering Needs Low

Pests & Common Problems of Old Man Cactus

The Old Man cactus is susceptible to a few pests and problems. One common problem is root rot, which can occur if the Cephalocereus senilis is overwatered or if the soil doesn't drain well. To prevent root rot, make sure the soil is well-drained, and only water your cactus when the soil is completely dry. 

Another common issue is sunburn, which can occur if it is exposed to direct sunlight for too long. If you notice that the old man's cactus skin is turning brown or black, it may be getting too much sun. Move the cactus to a shadier location to prevent further damage. 

This old man cactus can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites. Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on the sap of the cactus. They can be treated by wiping the plant down with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. Spider mites are small spider-like insects that are difficult to see with the naked eye.

They can be treated by spraying the old man cactus with a mixture of water and dish soap. If you notice that your old man cactus is looking unhealthy or if you see signs of pests, it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage. 

FAQs - Old Man Cactus Plant

Why is the Old Man Cactus so hairy? 

The Old Man Cactus, also known as Cephalocereus senilis, is famously known for its unique appearance and abundance of hair-like spines covering its surface. These hairs are modified spines that protect the cactus from predators and the harsh sun.  

This hairy characteristic serves as a protective adaptation against the harsh desert environment it naturally inhabits. The dense covering of spines helps to shield the cactus from excessive sunlight, reducing water loss through evaporation and providing insulation during cold nights. 

How do you take care of an old man cactus? 

To take care of an old man cactus, you'll want to make sure it's in a well-draining pot with cactus soil. Place it in a bright spot with plenty of direct sunlight but be careful not to expose it to too much sun, as this can cause sunburn. Water the cactus only when the soil is completely dry, and be careful not to overwater it, as this can cause root rot. If you notice that the cactus is getting too big for its pot, you can repot it into a larger container.  

Remember to wear gloves when handling the cactus, when you are handling cactus. Overall, the old man cactus is a low-maintenance plant that's perfect for gardeners who want to add a touch of desert flair to their homes. 

How long do Old Man Cactus live? 

Old Man Cactus, also known as Cephalocereus senilis, have an impressive lifespan. On average, they can live for around 50 to 100 years. However, with proper care and favorable light for at least 6 hours and with minimal watering, it is also known to survive for over 200 years. 

What are the characteristics of the Old Man Cactus? 

The Old Man Cactus, scientifically known as Cephalocereus senilis, is a unique and fascinating plant native to Mexico. One of its most striking features is its dense covering of long, white hairs that resemble an old man's beard. These hairs are modified spines that serve as a protective adaptation, shielding the cactus from intense sunlight and helping to regulate its temperature.  

It produces small, pink flowers in the summer, which are followed by edible red fruit. The old man cactus is a slow-growing plant that's easy to care for and makes a great addition to any desert-themed garden. Additionally, the Old Man Cactus can grow to impressive heights, reaching up to 20 feet tall in some cases.

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Customer Reviews
4.9 Based on 37 Reviews
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Filter Reviews:
JA
10/18/2019
June A. Jenkins
United States United States

Great so far

It arrived in perfect condition and is doing well,

FM
11/03/2019
Francisco M.
United States United States

Viejito cacti/ old man cactus

Always a great experience when buying from planet desert always meets my expectations,, my cephalocereus senilis arrived looking sharp , I have a 4 year old viejito and was having a hard time finding another one just like it, they are a great addition to your collection

Planet Desert  Review
DE
11/16/2019
Diane E.
United States United States

Hairy Honey

I am absolutely crazy about this sweet little guy. Quite the hairdo!! I might just be back for a few more of these cuties.

A Planet Desert Customer
EB
12/26/2019
Elliott B.
United States United States

cephalocereus senilis

Much smaller than I expected for the price. Would have liked a bigger cactus.

KA
08/04/2020
Kate A.
United States United States

Beautiful, and larger than I expected!

This is my favorite new cactus, it's so cute and it has the same hairdo as my grandma!

Planet Desert  Review

Old Man Cactus 'Cephalocereus senilis'

sku: 2330

29 reviews
Regular price$ 36.50
/
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Size
Height: Height:

Please note: All Landscape Ready plants that are in a 6-inch pot or larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way

If you live in a cold climate and are expecting temperatures below 40 degrees within the next five days after placing your order, we highly recommend adding a heat pack to your order. If you do not order a heat pack, we do not send one with your order.

BUY HEAT PACKS HERE

**FREE HEAT PACK WITH ORDERS OVER $50 before taxes and shipping- BY REQUEST ONLY, PLEASE MAKE A NOTE ON YOUR ORDER.

To prevent plants from freezing while in transit, orders placed for areas with extreme severe freezing temperatures will be held for shipment until it is safe to ship.

Plants that are in 3.5" pots and smaller will be shipped in its pot to prevent any damage to the roots. Any plant that is 6" and larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

Depending on the species and season, you will receive a very similar plant to the one in the picture. It may or may not be blooming at the time of your purchase.

We ship via USPS Priority Mail, and we calculate the shipping cost based on the weight and volume of your purchase. Care instructions are included in every package you order. Please allow us up to 3 business days to process your order. Depending on your location, we will ship the plants on a certain day to avoid transit time during weekends or holidays. If you wish to receive your order on a specific date, or have special instructions, please add a note on your order. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time.

  • Description
  • Features

If you are looking for a unique and low-maintenance plant to add to your cactus collection? Then, look no further than the old man cactus- known as Cephalocereus senilis! This fascinating cactus is also known as the bunny cactus or white Persian cat cactus. 

This slow-growing columnar and erect cactus boasts numerous unbranched stems and can grow up to twenty feet or more in its native habitat. Only the radial spines are visible on its stem, which is covered in woolly grayish-white hairs that resemble an old man's facial hair; it is also known to have survived for over 200 years. These distinct grayish-white hairs serve a dual purpose. In scorching summers, they shield the young cactus from blistering temperatures while providing snug warmth during chilly winters.   

And when springtime arrives, brace yourselves for a breathtaking spectacle! The Old Man Cactus unveils stunning two-inch-long flowers in whitish-pink hues that bloom exclusively under the cover of night – talk about being nocturnally fashionable!

As if that wasn't enough charm already packed into one cactus body, after these ethereal blooms fade away, pinkish-red fruits take their place adorned by delightful yellowish hair. The flowering areoles develop an abundance of wool which confluently forms a dense mass called a pseudocephalium at the top or on one side near the top. 

There are countless tiny sharp yellow modified spines concealed beneath that shaggy coat, ready to prick any unsuspecting intruders who dare to mess with this epic botanical wonder. This hairy cactus can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. Not only is it safe for humans, but it's also friendly to pets! So why wait? 

Watering Needs 

The old Man cactus is a drought-tolerant plant and doesn't require a lot of watering. It's important to let the soil dry out completely between waterings, as overwatering can cause the roots to rot. 

During the summer months, you can water your Old Man cactus once in 2-3 weeks, but during the winter months, you should reduce watering to once a month. When watering, make sure to water the soil directly and avoid getting water on the cactus itself, as this can cause the yellow spines to turn brown and fall off. 

Light Requirements

The old man cactus prefers direct, bright sunlight and can tolerate full sun for most of the day. However, it's important to acclimate the plant to direct sunlight slowly, as sudden exposure to bright light can cause sunburn. 

If your Old man cactus is indoors, make sure to place it near a south-facing window or under a grow light. If this fuzzy cactus isn't getting enough light, it may become leggy, and the yellow spines may turn brown. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

The old man cactus prefers soil that is well-draining, which means that water can flow through it easily. This is important because the cactus is susceptible to root rot if it sits in water for too long. Cactus or succulent soil mixes are a good choice because they are specifically designed to provide good drainage. If you decide to make your own soil mix, you can use equal parts of sand, perlite, and potting soil. Instead, make or buy a well-draining potting mix, or ideally, use our specialized cactus potting mix that contains 5 natural substrates and mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your cactus to thrive. 

When it comes to fertilizing the old man cactus, it's important to remember that this plant doesn't require a lot of nutrients. In fact, over-fertilizing can be harmful to this fuzzy cactus. You can fertilize the cactus once a year during the growing season with balanced, NPK (5-10-5) fertilizers. If you notice that your Cephalocereus senilis isn't growing as quickly as you'd like, you can increase the frequency of fertilization, but be careful not to overdo it. 

Hardiness Zone & More 

As desert dwellers, this hairy cactus enjoys hot temperatures. They prefer constant temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate triple digits in the summer, so don't worry if your cactus gets too hot. 

The old man cactus, on the other hand, cannot handle frost, cold, or freezing temperatures, so make sure it doesn't get below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in its environment. If grown outdoors, this plant grows best in USDA zone 9-11. 

Don't miss out on this opportunity to add something truly exceptional to your garden. Order your very own Cephalocereus senilis - old man cactus today! 

Bloom Season Late spring
Bloom Season Spring, summer
Botanical Name Cephalocereus senilis
Common Name Old man cactus, bunny cactus, white Persian cat cactus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color Red
Flower Color Red, yellow, or white flowers.
Flower Color Red, yellow, White, pink
Genus Cephalocereus
Growth Habit Columnar, erect
Growth Habit Globus
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness Zone 9, 10, 11
Mature Size 12 cm
Mature Size 20 ft. tall
Native Area Eastern mexico
Native Area Mexico
Plant Type Perennial cactus
Propagation By stem cuttings
Resistance 30° f
Resistance Drought tolerant, pest resistant, deer resistant, heat tolerant
Soil PH 6.5, Acidic, Neutral
Soil Type specialized cactus potting mix
Special Features Showy flowers
Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade
Toxicity Safe for humans, friendly to dogs, friendly to cats
Watering Needs Low

Pests & Common Problems of Old Man Cactus

The Old Man cactus is susceptible to a few pests and problems. One common problem is root rot, which can occur if the Cephalocereus senilis is overwatered or if the soil doesn't drain well. To prevent root rot, make sure the soil is well-drained, and only water your cactus when the soil is completely dry. 

Another common issue is sunburn, which can occur if it is exposed to direct sunlight for too long. If you notice that the old man's cactus skin is turning brown or black, it may be getting too much sun. Move the cactus to a shadier location to prevent further damage. 

This old man cactus can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites. Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on the sap of the cactus. They can be treated by wiping the plant down with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. Spider mites are small spider-like insects that are difficult to see with the naked eye.

They can be treated by spraying the old man cactus with a mixture of water and dish soap. If you notice that your old man cactus is looking unhealthy or if you see signs of pests, it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage. 

FAQs - Old Man Cactus Plant

Why is the Old Man Cactus so hairy? 

The Old Man Cactus, also known as Cephalocereus senilis, is famously known for its unique appearance and abundance of hair-like spines covering its surface. These hairs are modified spines that protect the cactus from predators and the harsh sun.  

This hairy characteristic serves as a protective adaptation against the harsh desert environment it naturally inhabits. The dense covering of spines helps to shield the cactus from excessive sunlight, reducing water loss through evaporation and providing insulation during cold nights. 

How do you take care of an old man cactus? 

To take care of an old man cactus, you'll want to make sure it's in a well-draining pot with cactus soil. Place it in a bright spot with plenty of direct sunlight but be careful not to expose it to too much sun, as this can cause sunburn. Water the cactus only when the soil is completely dry, and be careful not to overwater it, as this can cause root rot. If you notice that the cactus is getting too big for its pot, you can repot it into a larger container.  

Remember to wear gloves when handling the cactus, when you are handling cactus. Overall, the old man cactus is a low-maintenance plant that's perfect for gardeners who want to add a touch of desert flair to their homes. 

How long do Old Man Cactus live? 

Old Man Cactus, also known as Cephalocereus senilis, have an impressive lifespan. On average, they can live for around 50 to 100 years. However, with proper care and favorable light for at least 6 hours and with minimal watering, it is also known to survive for over 200 years. 

What are the characteristics of the Old Man Cactus? 

The Old Man Cactus, scientifically known as Cephalocereus senilis, is a unique and fascinating plant native to Mexico. One of its most striking features is its dense covering of long, white hairs that resemble an old man's beard. These hairs are modified spines that serve as a protective adaptation, shielding the cactus from intense sunlight and helping to regulate its temperature.  

It produces small, pink flowers in the summer, which are followed by edible red fruit. The old man cactus is a slow-growing plant that's easy to care for and makes a great addition to any desert-themed garden. Additionally, the Old Man Cactus can grow to impressive heights, reaching up to 20 feet tall in some cases.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Customer Reviews
4.9 Based on 37 Reviews
5 ★
95% 
35
4 ★
0% 
0
3 ★
5% 
2
2 ★
0% 
0
1 ★
0% 
0
Customer Photos
Write a Review Ask a Question

Thank you for submitting a review!

Your input is very much appreciated. Share it with your friends so they can enjoy it too!

Filter Reviews:
JA
10/18/2019
June A. Jenkins
United States United States

Great so far

It arrived in perfect condition and is doing well,

FM
11/03/2019
Francisco M.
United States United States

Viejito cacti/ old man cactus

Always a great experience when buying from planet desert always meets my expectations,, my cephalocereus senilis arrived looking sharp , I have a 4 year old viejito and was having a hard time finding another one just like it, they are a great addition to your collection

Planet Desert  Review
DE
11/16/2019
Diane E.
United States United States

Hairy Honey

I am absolutely crazy about this sweet little guy. Quite the hairdo!! I might just be back for a few more of these cuties.

A Planet Desert Customer
EB
12/26/2019
Elliott B.
United States United States

cephalocereus senilis

Much smaller than I expected for the price. Would have liked a bigger cactus.

KA
08/04/2020
Kate A.
United States United States

Beautiful, and larger than I expected!

This is my favorite new cactus, it's so cute and it has the same hairdo as my grandma!

Planet Desert  Review

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