7 Reasons why your Cactus is Turning Brown and How to fix it?

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This article will provide some Reasons why your Cactus is Turning Brown and How to fix it? Cactus is one of the common houseplants that is grown in almost every house. The plants are loved by the gardeners as they are so easy to grow and have very little demand from the gardeners. The soil, even if dry, doesn’t bother the plant that much for many days. The cactus though can still get affected by environmental changes and when the soil is damp for long. The cactus start to show discoloration turning brown on various changes. We will understand these in this article and also will reveal the fixations related to them. 

Why the cactus is turning brown( 7 top causes) – Reasons why your Cactus is Turning Brown

1. Cactus are overwatered

The cactus plants still will be thriving well in underwatered soil but they will act weird when the soil is overwatered. The cactus doesn’t like too much water as the plants use the stored water. The cactus plants that are overwatered can be seen by the base of the stem looking squishy and soft. The cactus turned brown. The soil appearing soggy and mushy is also an indication that the cactus plant is watered more than enough. The soggy soil is dangerous for the cactus plants as it causes root rot as well. 

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How to fix this?

The cactus plant needs to be watered every one to two weeks. Frequent watering can harm the roots and the stem even. The soil needs to be dry first before watering. Use a terracotta pot or mud pot that provides good air to the cactus roots and has good drainage. Use a right-sized pot not too large otherwise the cactus gets easily overwatered. 

2. Too much sunlight 

The cactus will turn brown if the sunlight is too strong or if the cactus plant is exposed to sunlight for too many hours.

The afternoon sun is the strongest. The plant should get a little shade too. The strong heat of the sun will cause sunburn in the cactus plants which can cause brown spots on the cactus plant parts.

For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, Brown Tips and Spots on Snake Plants (Causes and Fixes)

How to fix this?

The cactus plants should be moved to the shaded spot in the peak hours of sunny days. The plants sometimes if moved to the high sunny spot can also cause the browning of it. Move to the window that has a good amount of sunlight but is not too direct.

3. Fungal infection

Even though the cactus can tolerate extreme water conditions and heat the plants if eaten affected by diseases or fungal infections, it is clearly visible on the cactus plants. The brown spots are formed which is an indication that the fungal growth has occurred. Many times the roots get a fungal infection so make sure the roots are not damaged.

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How to fix this?

The cactus plants can be saved if the plants have roots not too destroyed by fungus. The use of good fungicides will help a lot. You can also use neem oil on the cactus that is not chemical and won’t affect the other plants too

In case of disease use an isopropyl solution to get rid of harmful agents causing infection.

Lack of nutrients in the soil 

The soil being deficient in macronutrients can also lead to the browning of the cactus plants.

The nutrients should be in dissolved form and the roots should be in a healthy state to absorb the nutrients. Too much nitrogen in the soil can also lead to brown spots on the soil.

How to fix this?

You should not feed the cactus plant that much but make sure to add soluble fertilizer that has higher phosphorus concentration than nitrogen and soil should be most as well. The roots can easily absorb the diluted nutrients and so the plant can easily use them.

Cactus aging

The corking of the cactus plants can also cause the yellowing or browning of the cactus plants. This indicates that the plant is aging. A lot of the issues will start to harden and tissue will become dead. Though this condition is not dangerous and not to worry about.

The cactus plant has this stage to provide more support to the large and maturing stems.

Root rot

The roots getting bothered highly affect the cactus plants and will probably show dark spots on the cactus plants. The plant will look mushy and soft. The roots will be unable to absorb water even as they are suffocated with too much and less aeration will become weak and damaged. The plant will start to turn brown and ultimately die.

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How to fix this?

Check if the plant has root rot, the soil looks moldy and soggy then there are chances of rot on the roots. Take the plant out of the soil, brush away the extra dirt, or wash the roots with the hydrogen peroxide solution. Cut the rotted roots off using the sharp pruners that are sterilized. Then repot the cactus plant into the clean soil, and a good pot has good drainage holes. If the roots are severely damaged, go for propagating the cactus using the healthy stem. 

Too less light 

The cactus not getting good sunlight can make them soft and less succulent. Many times we place them in the spot that we think has too much light but actually, that is the dark spot for the cactus. The cactus needs bright light if not then the brown or yellow leaves will be visible. 

How to fix it?

Choose a spot where the cactus gets good sunlight during the day. The spot should have a warm temperature, and no direct sunlight so that they can thrive well. 


Should I cut off the brown parts of the cactus? 

The plant parts that are damaged and rotted should be removed or pruned off because the infection can be spread to the other parts making the whole cactus plant dull and damaged, causing death. 

Is a brown cactus dead?

The browning of cacti also has a pattern. If the case is that the browning is occurring in the base region first, then that could be corking, which is basically called aging in cactus plants and is considered normal. If the browning occurs on the top first then the reason is probably something else. 

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