Posing for you all today are my three hairy guys, Espostoa lanata on the left, Rebutia albipilosa in the front, and Cephalocereus senilis on the right, at the back. All are New World cacti, yet all sport very different hair stylings. That's creativity.
What everyone wants to know about their "Old Men" or "Old Women" cacti is, how to make that hair grow long and lush? The key is a lot of morning sunshine. They are not crazy about strong afternoon sun or extreme heat, but several hours of morning sunshine, outside, suits them very well. If they can't be outside now and then, a sunny east-facing window does well, too. I don't like growing these outside all the time, because their hair gets dirty and turns yellow-gray. Yuck.
The hair's function is to reflect sunlight and trap pests. It also helps retain water, so they can be a little more rot-prone than other cacti. Another reason to grow small ones like this indoors. Outdoors, some columnar hairy cacti can become quite huge! Not a good choice for the living room in that case....
Hairy cacti make a great mini-collection within a wider succulent collection- they are a lot of fun.
Now I have to get back to prepping for TS Isaac, soon to be Hurricane Isaac. Never dull around here in summer!
(Photo from OSHA, USA)