Cactus turning brown is a worry that a plant enthusiast can have because this feature can be alarming that a matter has triggered its health. Every plant owner wants to know the reason that is making their cacti look like that and the ways that they could stop it.Cactus Turning Brown

Fortunately, you can get your precious cacti back on track with the right solutions. This article diagnoses all the possible reasons and gives the right solutions.

What Are The Causes of Cactus Turning Brown?

The causes of the cactus turning brown are giving it too much water, or when it doesn’t have adequate lighting reaching it. In addition, it can also be because of excessive sunlight coming, or rotting taking place, as well as fungi, diseases, or pests.

Cacti are one of the most sophisticated plants you can discover, with their bold designs and wonderful green hue variations. They are appropriate for a variety of home decor types. Not only that, but taking care of them is simple, making it extremely scary when sections of your beloved cactus begin to turn brown.

– Too Much Water

One of the most common cactus problems people have with indoor cacti is an overwatered cactus. If you need to know if it needs water, err on the side of not watering it. Your cactus will survive much better if it is not over-watered.

A cactus differs from most other houseplants, and it will continue to take up the water that it is provided since, coming from the desert, every drop of water counts, as it has the ability to store the quantity of water.

– Inadequate Lighting

One of the first symptoms of your cactus needing more light is when the new growth is tall, lean, and reaching the light source not long after cactus corking will appear here. So watch for this symptom to catch it early before it’s too late.

Check the position of your cactus in the pot if you believe you’re giving it enough light. If the soil and cactus sit too low in the soil pot, a few inches down, it may not receive enough light – even if it has been sitting near a sunny window, and you will see it slowly turning brown, and in the long run, it will take over.

In this case, air circulation will also be restricted. This can happen gradually as the earth compacts and compresses, so try repotting your plants.Reasons of Cactus Turning Brown

– Excessive Lighting

There is such a thing that your cactus can get too much sunlight, especially in front of a warm window. If you notice cactus brown stains on the tips of your cactus, this could be a symptom of sunburn.

These dots can appear dark yellow, turning brown, rusty, orange, or red. If the outdoor cactus turns yellow, sunburn is another reason for that. This is a symptom that your cactus is sun-stressed, which may be readily remedied by moving it to an area with less direct sunshine because it is causing it to have a sunburn.

– Rot in Cactus

The more hydration you give your cactus, the more it will drink; eventually, the cactus rot, as you would also see at times and worry about cactus turning black; this is the reason. Many plant owners want to know, “how to save a rotting cactus?” Brown stains on your cactus could be an indication of root disease.

Examine the brown spot and the surrounding area for softness and mushiness. If this is the scenario, it is most likely because your cactus has begun to rot from the interior and now displays signs on the exterior. You may also feel a strange smell coming from the pot, and the texture of the plant would seem pulp.

– Fungi, Diseases, and Pests

Brown spotting or patches on your cactus could be caused by fungus, illness, pests, or maybe even all three. Examine the brown patch. If it is still hard and the cactus feels like the rest of the nourishing part of the cactus, it could be fungus rather than rot. A fungicide should keep the unsightly areas from worsening, but the brown stains are permanent and will remain as scars.

A scale infestation is another possibility for hard brown cactus markings on your columnar cactus. Scale insects feed on your cactus’ or succulent’s liquids, causing hard, brown blotches.

What Are Solutions to the Cactus Becoming Brown?

The solutions to the cactus becoming brown are to give it the right amount of water and make sure to prevent sunburn from taking place, or fertilizer burn. Try to repot it and eliminate the pests, prevent the increase of fungal infections, or any frost damage.

– Give the Right Amount of Water

If you have been overwatering your cactus, you must wait until it dries up before you irrigate it again. It could also need to be repotted in a pot with sufficient drainage. If your cactus has soft brown spots from overwatering, you can remedy it by trimming the afflicted areas of the plant and then watering it less frequently. To avoid overwatering, hydrate your cactus only when the top half inch of soil is arid, and choose a pot with enough drainage.

You must also be consistent with the schedule that you are watering it in, so for this, you should water your cactus every one to three weeks, varying on the climate and how much rain it receives. You may need to hydrate your cactus more frequently in a hot, dry region.

Picking up the pot is an easy test, and if the potting soil seems light and airy, as if all you’re holding is the weight of the pot and the plant, it’s a good clue that it’s dried out. Stop overwatering your cactus by placing it in the appropriate-sized pot. You want the pot to be manageable because this will result in an environment with more soil to hold more water. Put your cactus in a pot slightly larger than its root ball.

– Prevent Sunburn

Brown stains on cactus can also be caused by sunburn. Cactus sunburn is frequently produced by exposing the cactus to excessive sunlight for a lengthy period, which is why they would turn brown, considering that they have excessive water in their sap. Although cacti require some sunshine to develop, excessive direct sunlight and heat can cause sunburn.

Cacti require approximately six hours of direct sunlight daily but should also be shaded during the warmest part of the day. If your cactus has become sunburned, relocate it to a shaded location and decrease the direct sunshine it receives.

Avoid exposing it to the scorching noon sun by putting it in an area that receives indirect sunlight. If the brown spotting is significant, you may need to trim the afflicted plant sections and water them less frequently.Solutions to Cactus Turning Brown

– Prevent Fertilizer Burn

If your cactus has fertilizer burn, you must take steps to assist it in recovery. First, reduce the amount of fertilizer you use. Second, water the plant more often to flush out extra fertilizer. Finally, give the plant some time to heal; the brown spotting may fade after a few weeks.

If the cactus is seriously damaged, it may need to be replanted to recuperate. A cactus does not require much fertilizer and should only be fertilized once every three to four months throughout the growing season. The excessive amount can hinder its growth, in the long run, and cause it to look damaged.

– Repot it

If your cactus develops root rot, you must take steps to assist it in recovery. After noticing soft brown areas on your cactus, the only way to sort this out is to cut off healthy stems, with no signs of rot, and start a new plant tissue. Before cutting, disinfect an extremely sharp pair of sheers or a razor blade. Cut the cactus above the rot, allow it to dry out, callous over, and then replant it.

So first, you must begin to control the amount of water that you give it and let the soil dry up completely. Then, cut away any rotten or damaged roots using a sharp knife. After that, report the cactus in new soil and water it sparingly until it establishes new, strong roots.

Deciding to pick the right pot, and in this case, it is terracotta or clay, as it can greatly assist you in avoiding excess moisture. If you’re just starting to see your cactus getting brown, you might be able to resurrect it by completely drying it out before watering it again. Refrain from being deceived by the top layer of soil; the bottom of the container may still be quite wet.

Be patient; the rot in the cactus may take several months to recover fully. If the cactus is highly diseased and the rot has extended to the stem, you must remove the afflicted area and replant the plant.

– Eliminate Pests

If your cactus has a pest infestation, you must take steps to eliminate it. The most functional way is to use a natural pesticide, such as neem oil, and as you spread it, it will help to get rid of the pests. Repeat as needed, and apply the oil to the affected areas. A mite infestation can also be controlled by this method.Pests in Cactus Plants

Also, regularly clean the plant’s leaves to remove any eggs or pests hiding there. You can do this with a gentle brush or a moist towel. The easy way to keep bugs away from your cactus is to keep it clean and healthy. When you get a new cactus, quarantine it for a couple of weeks to confirm it has no bugs. Inspect the leaves regularly for signs of pests.

Pick each scale site and then apply an insecticide, such as neem oil or bone granules. If you can’t get the scale off, soak a Q-tip in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for a few seconds before gently scraping it away.

– Prevent Fungal Infections

If your cactus plant is infected with fungus, you must treat it, so first, cease watering the plant and let the soil dry up. Then, using a sharp knife, remove any sick roots or stems and discard them. The plant should next be treated with a fungicide, and after you have done this, you should make sure to gently report the cactus in fresh soil and water until new roots emerge, and when the plant is healthy again, you can resume normal watering.

– Prevent Frost Damage

Frost damage is a typical cause of brown patches on cactus plants. It happens when the plant is subjected to freezing temperatures, which can harm and kill the cells. When the cell dies and turns brown, the plant begins to decay. The dead tissue must be removed if your cactus plant has been harmed by frost.

Cactus Turning Brown Details

Cut away the brown tissue with a sharp knife or scissors until you reach healthy green tissue. You may need to replace the plant if a substantial amount of it has been harmed. Make careful to use a cactus-specific potting mix and to water thoroughly.

Keeping your cactus warm is The easiest way to avoid frost damage, so practice good plant care. Bring them inside or place a blanket or sheet when the temperature falls below freezing. Provide them with a warm setting, such as a sunny windowsill. Place them away from drafty locations, such as doors and windows.


So there you have it, knowing how there are tons of solutions to fix browning in cacti; just remember to do the following:

  • If your brown spotting resembles lesions or sprouting little holes, fungus from cool and wet environments may be to blame.
  • As you can see, there are several reasons for your cactus to turn brown.
  • To ensure that you treat your brown spots correctly, you must first recognize the additional indications and symptoms accompanying them.
  • Refrain from unthinkingly trying everything because the wrong solution could cause unneeded stress to your plant and worsen the situation.

After discovering why the browning and discoloration occurred, you can bring your dying cactus back to life with the proper cactus care and a little extra love.

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