How to care for and propagate Oreocereus celsianus Old Man of the AndesOreocereus celsianus Old Man of the Andes care and propagation informationPin

Oreocereus celsianus

Old Man of the Andes

This cylindrical cacti is covered in fine “hairs” that cover it from head to bottom, offering shade and heat protection. Orangish-yellow spikes protrude from around the plant. This cactus is perfect for container gardens. It can also be planted in your garden, if it’s planted in an area that gets plenty of sun.

Quick Look:

  • 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

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Care and Propagation Information

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

Oreocereus celsianus “Old Man of the Andes” is a fun cactus addition to your succulent garden. It does well in containers, but can also be grown in the ground. For those interested in xeriscaping, it's a great choice.


Oreocereus celsianus has typical watering needs for a succulent. It's best to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Do not water when it is overcast or the air is humid.

Where to Plant

Oreocereus celsianus “Old Man of the Andes” is not cold hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than 10° F (-12.2° C), it's best to plant this succulent in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in full to partial sun.

Plant in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day.

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

Oreocereus celsianus “Old Man of the Andes” is a slow-growing cactus, but it is able to be propagated from cuttings and seeds.


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

Learn more about safely handling cacti for propagation here.


Oreocereus celsianus “Old Man of the Andes” can be propagated from seeds. Sow your seeds in a well-draining soil. You can grow Oreocereus seeds outdoors if you live in an zone above 9a. If you live in a cooler area, you can begin sowing indoors under a grow light or on a seed mat.