Oreocereus celsianus: How to Grow and Care for Old Man of the Andes

Oreocereus celsianus Old Man of the Andes

Scientific name: Oreocereus celsianus

Common name: Old Man of the Andes

This cylindrical cacti is covered in fine hair that protects it from the sun and heat. There are yellow spikes around the plant. The cactus is great for container gardens. If it is planted in an area with plenty of sun, it can be planted in your garden.

Quick Look at Oreocereus celsianus

  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Typical water needs for a succulent
  • Plant grows up to 10′ (3 m) tall
    Plant grows up to 24″ (61 cm) wide
  • Zone 8a (Minimum 10° F | -12.2° C)
  • Not cold hardy
  • Propagation by cuttings and seeds
  • Generally non-toxic to humans and animals
  • Actively grows in Spring and Fall

General Care for Oreocereus celsianus “Old Man of the Andes”

The Old Man of the Andes is a fun cactus to add to your garden. It can be grown in the ground. It’s a good choice for those interested in xeriscaping.


There is a typical watering needs for a plant. The “soak and dry” method will allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Don’t water when the air is humid.

Where to Plant

If you live in a zone that gets colder than 10 F (-12.2 C), it’s best to plant this plant in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in both full and partial sun.

There is an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day.

How to Propagate Oreocereus celsianus “Old Man of the Andes”

The Old Man of the Andes is a slow-growing cactus, but can be grown from seeds and cuttings.


If you want to grow “Old Man of the Andes” from cuttings, use a sterile knife or scissors. Using a pair of tongs, remove a stem from the main plant and allow it to callous for a few days before placing it on well-draining soil. Water whenever the soil has dried out.

Learn how to safely handle cacti for propagation.


The Old Man of the Andes can be raised from seeds. You can place your seeds in a well-draining soil. If you live in an area above 9a, you can grow seeds outdoors. If you live in a cooler area, you can sow indoors under a grow light or on a seed mat.


  1. Oreocereus celsianus (Old Man of the Andes) – Wikipedia

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