Old man cactus - 10 seeds

Old man cactus - 10 seeds


Cephalophorus senilis is endemic to Mexico, where it is distributed only in the states of Hidalgo and Veracruz (extent of occurrence is approximately 2,170 km2).

This cactus can go outside in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10. Native to Mexico, they need hot, dry climates and bright sunlight. The long hair is used by the plant to keep itself cool in its natural habitat. As an outdoor plant, they can get 45 feet tall but are generally slow growing as potted plants. Old Man Cacti are mostly grown as houseplants and stay small and easily kept in a container for their entire lives. Indoor cactus growing requires a southern- or western-facing window and temperatures of at least 65˚F. (18˚C). For best growth, give it a winter hibernation period in an area where temperatures are below 65˚F (18˚C).

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Old Man Cactus is easy to propagate from cuttings or seed. Seeds take a long time to grow into something recognizable as a cactus, but it is a cheap and fun project for children. Cuttings need to lie out on the counter in a dry location for a couple of days to callus. Then insert the cut end with the dry, white callus into a soilless medium, such as sand or perlite. Keep the cutting in moderate, but not scalding, light where temperatures are at least 70˚F (21˚C) for best rooting. Don't water until the little cutting has rooted. Then treat your new Old Man Cactus houseplants as you would a mature specimen.