Why is My Cactus Turning Brown? Easy Answer (2022)

Cactus is a dry native plant. There are some of the causes for which cactus can turn brown or yellow. If it is turning yellow from the top then chances are that the cactus is facing too much sun. But if it is getting yellow from below then it’s bad news for you. The cactus is probably having a root rot.

What actually is a cactus? Why is your cactus turning brown or yellow? What to do to prevent that? Get all your answers in the content below.

Why Is My Cactus Turning Brown?

Your cactus can turn brown for many reasons. It may be getting brown from the top or it may get brown from the roots. It can also have brown spots on it. Even the whole plant can go yellow. There are many explanations for why your cactus is turning brown. It can be a sunburn. Yes, we all know cacti are supposed to be sun-loving plants.

Too much sun even for cactus can go wrong. And who likes to take a sunbathe when instead of getting a beautiful tan, you get sunburned.
It can also happen because of root rot and go beyond saving. It can also be a pest infestation, cold seasons, or as simple as croaking.

What Is A Cactus?

The Cactus is a pot plant. ‘Cacti’ is the plural for cactus. It is a plant in the desert. To sustain life in a dry atmosphere, cactus have succulent thick fleshy stems containing water in them. Most of them contain spikes.

Cactus has no leaves but small flowers. They can live hundreds of years and indoors they can live up to ten years. The Cactus is an ornamental plant. So if you feel like your room looks a little empty but don’t want to make any changes, have a cactus.

Why Is My Cactus Turning Brown From Top?

The answer is Sun Burn. Cacti are plants of drylands. But some of the cactus can be sensitive to the sun. Too much sunlight absorbance can cause the problem you are facing. It happens usually when the cactus is from a nursery or a plant shop. The cactus usually starts to get brown from the top.

Why Is My Cactus Turning Brown And Soft?

Root Rot is the enemy you are looking for. The most common problem with this plant is root rot. It’s a severe one. However, it’s a curable one. If your cactus is turning brown from below, it’s a sign of root rotting. Not only it will get brown but you will find it soft and mushy when touched.

And not always it’s the case of overwatering or pest infestations. Sometimes it’s dehydration. So make sure to give a healthy amount of water to your cactus but not more than it needs.

My Cactus Turning Brown
My Cactus Turning Brown

Can A Cactus Turn Brown In Winter?


As we all know cacti thrive in drylands and dry seasons. They don’t feel good in winter. If you live in a land where the temperature gets really low in winter then your cactus must have to go through a rough time once every year. We have passed cold season very recently and if you are wondering what is wrong with your cactus, it’s probably just the cold.

Can Pests Take A Toll On Cactus And Turn It Brown?


There are not many cases of pest infestation with cacti. They usually are famous for their low maintenance. But it can still happen. Scales, a type of small insects that are found in cactus as brown spots for their hard brown shell coverings. They live on plant juices making them go brown and dull.


Another incident of pest infestation is red spider mites. They are tiny insects who like to suck out juice from the tender parts. It’s usually from where the cactus is growing. You will see rusty brown stops on top of your cactus and the presence of mites.

Why Is My Cactus Shriveling Up And Turning Brown?


Rest assured cause it’s the sign of Croaking. The sudden appearance of firm barklike and brown tissue a few inches above the soil is croaking. This means you don’t need to worry for you have a healthy cactus. Croaking is a sign of natural aging.

How To Save A Cactus When It Turns Brown?

If you find your cactus turning brown there are many ways you can prevent it. Since there are many causes for which cactus can turn brown you have to first find the exact problem your cactus is facing and take the right action. You can as well consult a plant doctor

If your cactus is turning brown from sunburn, the answer is simple. Place them somewhere with a shade on the hottest summer days. You can place them someplace where they can be partially exposed to the sun. You can try different places and positions to see where it fits best. Some are happy in full sun while other plants do better in light shade.

On the other hand, you have to take completely different safety precautions for root rotting. When your cactus starts to get brown below it’s probably because you are giving it too much water or worse, the case of root rot. Sometimes it can also be a fungal infection. And sometimes it happens when you don’t use the right soil.

The soil may not be drying itself fast enough. You can use fast-draining soil. Commercial cactus potting mix combined with perlite or other porous material for a good drainage system. A solution of 2:1 potting mix and perlite would be good for the cactus’s health. Some of them add coarse sand for better drainage.

You can get rid of pest infestations by rubbing some alcohol on them or washing them with a mild formula. You might choose something of your liking for your cactus plant. Make sure not to put them back in the sun right after you rub alcohol on them.

Why is My Cactus Turning Brown
Why is My Cactus Turning Brown

How To Prevent Your Cactus From Turning Brown?


The Cactus is an ornamental low maintenance plant. And who would like it if something happens to their pet plant? As we all know, prevention is better than cure. So the answer to the question is quite simple. Water your cactus properly and let it have enough sun exposure. But if you see even the smallest signs of difficulties it is facing, try to understand and prevent it. Maybe even consult a plant doctor. This way your cactus will have along with sustainable living.

Will My Brown Cactus Turn Green Again?

No, it cannot. First things first, once a cactus has turned yellow or brown it cannot go back to green. The color is caused by dead cells. It may have new green leaves or flowers. But what’s dead is dead.

The fact that will your brown cactus turn green again depends on how bad the browning went. Did you make any recent changes? Was it an indoor plant and you have suddenly moved it outdoor? Is it having too much sun exposure? Do you water it too much? If the whole plant is yellow then it probably has gone beyond help.

But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dear plant. Try and keep it somewhere the sun is not too strong. Keep adequate moisture. Different shade and light changes, the right soil may bring back life in it.

There are many different types of cactus in many shapes and sizes. Different types of cactus can have different problems. So if you are an indoor plant keeper, I have a small tip for you. Keep your plants away from the heater or AC van. Temperature from vans can dry out the plants. And make sure to take good care of your cactus.


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