Español  English  

Consulta Plantas

Gardening and plant care since 2001

Find plants

Care of the plant Pilosocereus leucocephalus or Old Man Cactus.

Care of the cactus Pilosocereus leucocephalus or Old Man Cactus

The genus Pilosocereus, family Cactaceae, comprises 30 species of cacti distributed from Mexico to Brazil. Some species are: Pilosocereus leucocephalus, Pilosocereus magnificus, Pilosocereus pachycladus, Pilosocereus gounellei, Pilosocereus tuberculatus.

Common names: Woolly Torch, Old Man Cactus, Old Man of Mexico. Scientific synonyms: Cereus leucocephalus, Cereus flavicomus, Cephalocereus leucocephalus. This species is native to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

They are bluish-green branched columnar cacti that reach 6 meters (19.68 feet) in height. They have 7-9 prominent rounded ribs. The areolas are large and have numerous white hairs. They have 7-12 radial brown spines (yellow in young plants) and 1-2 thicker central spines. The flowers are 8 cm (3.14") in diameter, reddish and pink in color, and funnel or bell-shaped. They bloom on summer nights.

They are used in pots when they are young but when they grow up they are used to form barriers, in groups and as isolated specimens.

Pilosocereus leucocephalus needs full sun exposure, high temperatures, and dry weather. The winter temperature should not be lower than 8 ºC (46.4 ºF).

When they are young and grown in pots, use a commercial soil for cacti. In the garden use a mixture, in the same proportions, of coarse sand and leaf mulch. Planting is done in early spring.

Water very moderately, leaving the substrate dry for several days before watering again. Do not water from mid-fall to early spring.

Fertilize once in spring with mineral fertilizer for cacti.

They do not need pruning.

They are very sensitive plants to excess humidity.

They are propagated by cuttings in spring and summer or from seeds sown in spring in a slightly humid sandy substrate; they grow slowly during the first 4 years.

Images of the cactus Pilosocereus leucocephalus or Old Man Cactus

Pilosocereus leucocephalus
Pilosocereus leucocephalus
Pilosocereus leucocephalus
Pilosocereus leucocephalus