Plant Care Old Man Cactus

Old Man Cactus

4.6 out of 5 (32 experiences)

Old Man Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Old Man Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower


Cephalocereus senilis

How to care for Old Man Cactus


How often to water your Old Man Cactus

Water needs for Old Man Cactus
0.5 cups
every 12

Old Man Cactus needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Old Man Cactus

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size


Check the growing potential in your area

A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.

Select a city to check sunlight intensity

Finding light for Old Man Cactus in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Old Man Cactus: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Old Man Cactus love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Old Man Cactus does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Old Man Cactus in your home 🏡.


How to fertilize Old Man Cactus

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Old Man Cactus: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Old Man Cactus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Care Summary for Old Man Cactus

Old Man Cactus

Old Man Cactus

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 12 days


< 1ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Old Man Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 23
Old Man Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 4
Old Man Cactus has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 1
Old Man Cactus has a Pet friendly plant personality Pet friendly 1
Old Man Cactus has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 1
Greendreams avatar
leaf-1 35 Plants
xp 788 XP

This cactus does not grow fast, but cats love it to groom on, dogs ignore it, and humans can forget it! It will still be that good old man that sits around, never aging.

Pet friendly Pet friendly
Survivor Survivor
Honeyyvoiced avatar
leaf-1 62 Plants
xp 2,636 XP
globe Kenosha, Wisconsin

You can literally pet this plant it’s so soft. Pretty much standard for the care of this plant in relation to other cacti.

Survivor Survivor
Possibly.alice avatar
leaf-1 24 Plants
xp 376 XP
globe Wharton, England

Doesn’t grow too fast but has survived for years

Survivor Survivor
Sidonie avatar
leaf-1 9 Plants
xp 188 XP
globe Isleworth, England

It has grown so much and looks so beautiful

Fast grower Fast grower
Chlodon avatar
leaf-1 26 Plants
xp 569 XP
globe London, England

It doesn’t sit very well in its soil and leans to the side. Can’t do too much about it as the needles get stuck in your fingers if you touch it.

Survivor Survivor
Nowns avatar
leaf-1 25 Plants
xp 658 XP
globe Binghamton, New York

It’s furry. Furrrrrrry.

Jumpyhylian avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 196 XP

I know the spikes look small and harmless but those little guys sting like crazy, I knocked mine over once and stupidly tried to catch it. Long story short I was using tweezers for the next hour getting them out of my hand. But it’s really low maintenance and looks cute :)

Survivor Survivor
Paige_22535 avatar
leaf-1 7 Plants
xp 93 XP
globe London, Ontario

This guy is super chill, doesn’t need a lot of attendance! Doesn’t need to be watered too often and seems to be growing little by little.

Survivor Survivor
Maria avatar
leaf-1 79 Plants
xp 5,664 XP
globe Highland, California

Old man cactus is endangered but it can live up to 200 years, the hair has also been used for fabric.

Survivor Survivor

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