Prime destination for succulent lovers

Cephalocereus senilis (Old Man Cactus)


Scientific Name

Cephalocereus senilis (Haw.) Pfeiff.

Common Names

Old Man Cactus, Old Man of Mexico, Bunny Cactus, White Persian Cat Cactus


Cephalophorus senilis, Cereus senilis, Pilocereus senilis

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Echinocereeae
Genus: Cephalocereus


Cephalocereus senilis is a columnar cactus with clusters of stems that may grow up to 50 feet (15 m) tall and up to 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter. The stems are usually unbranched and have 12 to 30 ribs, 1 to 5, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long central spines, and 20 to 30 hair-like laterals. Flowers are whitish pink and 2 inches (5 cm) long. Fruits are pinkish-red, covered with yellowish hair, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long.

Cephalocereus senilis (Old Man Cactus)

Photo via


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Old Man Cactus is mostly grown as a houseplant and stays small and easily kept in a container for its entire lives.

Use a cactus mix or blend of sand, perlite, and topsoil for indoor cactus growing. Also, use an unglazed pot for growing Old Man Cactus. This will allow the pot to evaporate any excess moisture. This cactus likes its soil on the dry side, and overwatering is a common cause of rot and disease.

Allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry out completely between waterings. In winter, reduce watering to once or twice during the season.

Fertilize with a cactus food in early spring, and you might be rewarded with thick pink flowers. In the plant's natural habitat, it grows a pinkish-red fruit, but this is rare in captive cultivation.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for an Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus senilis).


Cephalocereus senilis is native to Guanajuato and Hidalgo in eastern Mexico.


Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

Share this with other succulent lovers!