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Cactus SucculentHouseplants

Oreocereus trollii
  • RHS AGM

old man of the Andes

A columnar cactus to 50cm, with cylindrical, ribbed stems and a dense covering of white wool; this is actually the radial spines that have evolved to protect the stem from extreme sun exposure and low temperatures. The central spines are brown, to 5cm long. In summer mature plants may produce tubular, dark pink flowers to 4cm long

Other common names
old man of the mountain
Synonyms
Borzicactus trollii

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green Pink
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Cactaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

A genus of cacti native to the high Andes and covered in a woolly, white coating and long brown spines. They produce trumpet-shaped red flowers in the spring

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Bolivia, N Argentina

How to grow

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in a mix of 4 parts standard cactus compost and 1 part limestone chippings, in full light. From spring to summer water freely and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly; keep dry at other times. See houseplant cacti and succulent cultivation for further information

Propagation

Propagate by sowing seed at 21°C in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Houseplants
  • Patio and container plants
  • Sub-tropical
  • Low Maintenance
  • Conservatory and greenhouse
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to mealybugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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