Plants We Love: Old man cactus

Plant name: Old man cactus, Old man of Mexico, Cabeza de viejo

Botanical name: Cephalocereus senilis

Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA 9-10

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 14°F (-10°C) for short periods

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

Heat Tolerance: Prefers some afternoon shade in the low deserts

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Mexico (Hidalgo, Guanajuato)

Growth Habits: Slow growing to a large column, seldom ramified, 45 feet tall (11 m) by 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter; 12 to 30 ribs; 1 to 5 central spines, up to 2 inches long (5 cm); 20 to 30 hair-like laterals.

Watering Needs: Little to moderate water in summer, almost none in winter, very rot prone particularly when young, needs good drainage

Propagation: Seeds, cuttings

Information courtesy of desert-tropicals.com. Image courtesy of United States Botanic Garden.

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