Why is My Cactus Turning Brown? (Explained!)

A cactus plant is a small, succulent plant that grows wild in many parts of the world. Cacti belong to the family Cactaceae and are native to temperate and arid regions. These plants are known for their spines, which often have sharp, barbed tips. In this article we are going to go over the main reasons why cactus are turning brown, lets dive in!

Why a Cactus Plant turns brown?

1. Ageing (aka Corking):

Aging is the first main reason that why a cactus plant turns brown. Cacti plants live a long time and grow very slowly.

Due to this, they are relatively old by the time they bloom and can be several years old even before they become mature.

As such, ageing will lead to the cactus plant turning brown because as it ages, it will naturally lose its green color as chlorophyll (the pigment that causes plants to have their green color) begins to degrade over time.

2. Fungal disease:

Some diseases that cactus may encounter are fungal diseases. The most common fungal disease is ‘ Anthracnose’. The fungus creates large clumps of webbing, which covers the entire cactus plant and leaves it looking very unappealing.

There are many other diseases that could cause a cactus to turn brown, and the best way to tell if a cactus is suffering from any diseases is by checking for the symptoms.

3. A high humidity level:

Many people keep their plants in humid environments, when they do so they neglect to add enough water. This might make the plant feel parched and this can lead to it turning brown. The higher the humidity level is, the more likely this might happen to your plant.

4. The cactus got too much sun:

Too much sun can be a very common reason why a cactus turns brown. Many people are scared of letting their cactus plant be exposed to sunlight, but this is actually not true. Even though too much sun will cause the plant to turn brown, it will also help the cactus grow healthier and stronger as well.

4. Overwatering:

Cactus plants are tough and can survive in any condition, but they can easily be damaged if watered too much. This could result in them feeling parched and causing them to turn brown. It is crucial that you water your cactus plant only when the soil is dried up.

5. Lack of light:

The main reason why a cactus plant turns brown is because of a lack of light. Cacti require lots of sunlight, so make sure that you place your cactus in an area that receives lots of sunlight. Lack of light will cause the leaves to turn brown and if they do not get enough sun they may die.

6. Pest infestation:

Pests are a major problem for cactus plants because they can spread to other plants too. This can be very damaging if left unchecked so check the plant regularly to make sure that it is not being affected by pests. Mites , scale insects, and spider mites are the most common pests that attack cacti.

What happens when a cactus turns brown?

Now you know why a cactus might turn brown, but what does it mean for your cactus? When a cactus turns brown it is usually a sign that it is not receiving the proper amount of sunlight. If your plant starts losing its leaves and turning brown, then chances are that it is receiving too little sunlight.

The other reason why a cactus plants turns brown is because of water. If you do overwater the plant, then it will start to lose its color and turn brown it is recommended you only water a cacti once in a month.

Can a brown cactus come back to life?

If your cactus turns brown, don’t panic just yet. Chances are that your cute little cactus will come back to life with a proper amount of sunlight. In fact, many people believe that the best time to water their cacti is in the morning because it has received all the sunlight it needs throughout the night. Also, keep in mind that there is no need to water a browning cactus because it will only make things worse for the plant.


In conclusion, we have discussed why a cactus turns brown. We have also learned how to prevent it from turning brown, but if your cactus is already turning brown then don’t worry! As long as you know the reason why it is turning brown, then you can help turn it back to its original health.