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letsgobird7b

Anyone else got an old man cactus?

letsgobird7b
April 10, 2017

He's one of my favorite plants. I found this guy on eBay, he's gone through 2 winters and this will be his third summer. He started at 5 inches, now he's close to 9. If you've got an old man I'd love to see him

Comments (40)

  • ConnyNL (The Netherlands, 8b)

    I have an old man but he doesn't want me to show him here. Love your cactus by the way, reminds me a bit of Santa ;-)

    letsgobird7b thanked ConnyNL (The Netherlands, 8b)
  • hablu

    I am an old man (my youngest said so last week) :(

    no pictures available... sorry

    letsgobird7b thanked hablu
  • Lauren (Zone 9a)

    I have one, and it just won't grow:(

  • letsgobird7b

    How large is it? My sister bought one about 3 inches tall and it seems to never grow. I wonder if they pick up speed after they're established. Mine is in sun about 8 hours a day, morning until about 3pm during summer and in SW window during winter.

  • SoCal Stewart (San Diego, Ca Zone 10A/10B)

    I was thinking Cousin Itt from The Addams Family.

  • letsgobird7b

    I have thought about sunglasses on him, out in the sun all day

  • s g
    The second plant was grown from seed

    letsgobird7b thanked s g
  • letsgobird7b

    Wow, from seed!!! How old are they now?

  • gdinieontarioz5

    That second one has beautiful dense 'fur'.

  • palmbob
    tall ones at a garden in So California (Lotus land)

    what the flower area looks like in a mature plant

    letsgobird7b thanked palmbob
  • Alain (San Jose, CA;9b)

    Here are a few more, could someone ID the first two, thanks

    Cephalocereus selenis?? almost got eyes and nose well positioned:)


    Oreocereus celsianus

  • s g

    I think the seed grown one is at least 15 years old, maybe closer to 20. I only call my Cephalocereus senilis 'old man', not Cleistocactus, Espostoa or Oreocereus as shown above. That is the problem of common names...


    Alain, the top one looks like Cleistocactus strausii, the middle one is an Espostoa, perhaps nana or lanata.

    letsgobird7b thanked s g
  • letsgobird7b

    Yes there are many that go by the common name. Cephalocereus is mine I believe

  • Alain (San Jose, CA;9b)

    Thanks s g. I like the "fur" of the senilis, I guess I have to find myself one...

  • 0nametaken0

    Ok I seriously want one that has A LOT MORE WHITE HAIR than what I have. I wish there were succulent nurseries here in/around Toronto.


    Heres mine. 1) its lost its old hair. Is there is reason for it? Stress? Not enough water? Natural. 2) Also its very thin at the bottom. Is it due to lack of water at the time?


    March 2014

    Today - April 12, 2017

  • s g

    It's an Oreocereus and that is as much hair as they normally get. It lacked light as a younger plant which caused it to grow thin. Lack of light also causes the hair to be less as it shades the body against intense sun.

  • 0nametaken0

    That makes total sense. So Im assuming in order to get it to look like the pic in OP, Id have to take it down south where the sun is very intense? Darn. Either way, Im happy how much its grown.

  • s g

    Like I said in the post above, you do not have a Cephalocereus senilis cactus as in the original post - you have an Oreocereus which do not develop such thick hair. No amount of sun will thicken the hair on your plant so it looks like the OP.

    Oreocereus celcianus

    This is as near as one of my Oreocereus got to having thick hair. It still did not compare to the Cephalocereus senilis

  • 0nametaken0

    I see. I have to shop with a specific name then, really want the bearded one.

  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    Here's my old guys.

    Twins Danny and Arnold


  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    Another set

    Hope you enjoy the sharing

  • letsgobird7b

    Oh wow, those have such thick hair!! Beautiful I like that you named the twins

  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    Yeah, I have them for a while. The hair are feel very soft.

  • LatinLady

    Beautiful! I have one coming in the mail as we speak! I'm so excited ... Can't wait to meet the old geezer!! I'm sure he's a little guy but who cares ... He's all mine!!

    0nametaken0: Yours has old man alopecia ... Too cute!!

    Ycloh1: If I were in Singapore, I'd shamelessly relieve you of 3 of those gorgeous guys! That is a stunningly beautiful display!

    Maria Elena

  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    Maria Elena,

    I'm glad you like those old guys. For that I will snap shot a current photos. Those are old images. Wait up.

    Today photos

    Twins Arnold n Danny

    Also have these 2 plumosa

    Id?? Stiff hair like afro look.

  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    Just got this old guy was abandoned, it was in a 3in pot. The head was twice the size of the pot. Took it home repotted to a 4.5in pot. He has a bigger home now. The hair all grayish dirty. Any one know how to clean it?

  • letsgobird7b

    He's nice looking! His hair on top is nice and white, I wouldn't worry about the dirty sides. Well you might take a soft small artist paint brush and brush off any dust or dirt. My lawn guys blows grass clippings all over my succulents, I brush them off with a small soft brush. Congrats on your new old man

  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    When I got found it, it was left at the farm entrance at the road. When it rain the dirty water splash on the hair... So I ask the farmer can I have this old man. He said ok. The rest is history... But I save it...

  • LatinLady

    You can uproot it, give it a few head-first dunks in a pail of water with a little mild dish liquid, then rinse off thoroughly, shake off, & repot.

    Maybe in time and with proper care, he'll get as gorgeous as your others. He looks like a different variety altogether ... Still nice!

  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    That the 3in pot it was original came with. There is a label name on it.

  • Sue

    The label says Mammillaria hahniana, but I can't read the word on the bottom where the label curls up.

  • Ycloh1 (Singapore)

    It say select XX. Not sure what it mean

  • Sue

    It may refer to the size. A select plant because it is XX (extra extra) large?

  • Tad Auty

    I just got this one, which is 60cm tall and has been neglected. Not sure if this is a genuine old man.

  • Tad Auty

    this is another one....but not old man

  • HU-886998745

    You guys seem like experts, so I was just wondering if A) Is this an old ’old man cactus’ and B) Why are they starting to loose hair like my last one (picture with one cactus)?






    Sorry for including so many pictures!

  • SoCal Stewart (San Diego, Ca Zone 10A/10B)

    How much light is your plant getting?

    Maybe I’m getting this mixed up with something else but I seem to recall reading something about the thicker “hair” and spines being a protective response to light? So the more light it receives the thicker the spines will be to protect the tender plant underneath? Maybe I’m misremembering though.

    Does that sound familiar to anyone else?

  • gdinieontarioz5

    Yours is an Old Man of the Andes: Oreocereus celsianus. Stewart is right that the little one may not be getting enough light, and so grows etiolated and with less hair. Or is the hair literally falling out???

  • LatinLady

    OM Gosh! So glad you guys revived this thread. I absolutely love these. Don't even have a pup, though. The one I traded for never arrived. One day. I wonder how they'd do in the Caribbean? This is the closest thing I have to one. I know, I know ... Humor me, OK!


    Maria Elena

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