Why Are My Cactus Spines Turning Brown

Your cactus’s preference for light depends on its species. Furthermore, the only way to determine how much light your cactus plant requires is to watch for color changes.

The color of the spines might vary depending on the species of cactus you have, from red to yellow to green to gray or black. The hue of your cactus spines doesn’t always indicate health. nevertheless, have much to do with the cactus’ species.

Don’t stress too much about the hue of your cactus. Let’s pretend for a moment that you noticed your cactus spines to be colored black. Black spines typically appear after rain, which turns the spines that color black. The color then returns to normal when the sun is out.

When to Worry About the Color of Spines

Recall that I indicated before that color has more to do with the species than it does with health issues.

So when is it appropriate to worry about the hue of one’s cactus spines? Keep a watchful eye on the plant’s overall condition. Watch the color change to see how quickly and how long it lasts. When any of the following occurs, you should be concerned:

  • A black blotch that appears on the plant is a sign that a disease is beginning to spread.
  • Cactus plants are unhealthy if you can simply grab one and take it off.
  • Cactus spines that are a deep brown color could indicate that the plant is starting to die from the bottom up. It also implies that the plant needs to be hydrated or that the soil has to have a lot of humus.

Why Are My Cactus Spines Turning Yellow?

Most cactus spines change color with age and species, not because of any health problems. It is typical to notice a color shift.

Mammillaria Elongata, a type of cacti plant, with yellow spines. Spines that are red or brown may be seen in some types. Therefore, yellow cactus spines are OK.

But when the cactus’s actual body turns yellow, that’s when you should start to worry. Your cactus is dying, according to this warning. Quickly take action to save your plant. Among the few causes of cactus plant yellowing are;

  • Overwatering
  • infestation of pests
  • Soil Deficient in Minerals
  • abrupt change in the environment

Why Are My Cactus Spines Turning Black?

After rain or intensive watering, it’s normal for some cacti species to develop black spines. Avoid damp areas because prolonged soil moisture might cause root rot. If not checkedmated, they can harm your plant.

Can I Revive a Brown Cactus?

You can, indeed! But keep in mind that a cactus is not necessarily dead if its spine is brown in hue. To figure out why your cacti are browning, you should pay great attention to them.

Your cactus plant’s brown color is brought on by root rot, pest infestation, infested soil, or insufficient hydration. If it happens, you should be concerned and act quickly to save your plant.

Why Is My Cactus Is Turning Brown at The Bottom?

Your cactus’s root rot is the main cause of it becoming brown from the bottom up. Overwatering and poorly draining soils promote root rot.

A cactus plant may suffer rot if water in the soil surrounding its base is not allowed to evaporate. Corking, or brownish dry areas, can also appear on some cacti.

As a result, avoid damp areas because prolonged soil moisture might cause root rot. If not treated correctly, it could destroy your plant.

Why are My Cactus Spines Turning Brown On Top?

Not every type of cactus thrives in direct sunshine. Some cactus species might not do well in the intense sunlight. As a result, if you see that the spines of your cactus are turning brown on the toes, this means that it has sunburn.

Aging is another explanation. The majority of aged cacti do have brown spines. Additionally, you can see that your cactus spines around the base have a brown tinge in rich humus soil.

What shade should the spines of cacti be?

Maybe you’ve noticed the oddly colored spines on your cactus while inspecting its spines. Given the hue of the spines, you might have wondered if your cactus is even unwell.

What shade should the spines on my cactus be? The color of the spines can vary depending on the kind of cactus, from red to yellow to green to gray to brown to black. The majority of the time, cactus health is not indicated by the color of the spines. More of a relationship between the species and the spine color.

How is Browning cactus fixed?

Look to check if the brown spot and the vicinity are mushy and soft. If so, your cactus has probably started to rot from the inside out and is now displaying symptoms on the outside.

After noticing soft brown areas, the best technique to fix your cactus is to cut off healthy stems (without any signs of rot) and start a new plant.

Before cutting, disinfect a razor blade or a pair of extremely sharp sheers. Cut the cactus above the area of rot, allow it to dry, callus over, and then plant it again.

Use fresh soil, and thoroughly clean and dry the pot if you’re using the same one. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to save your cactus as is once it has begun to decay.

In other words, the only method to revive a cactus that has developed rot is to cut off the healthy stems—those portions of the plant that are still green—and repot them in fresh soil.

What does a cactus that is overwatered look like?

The obvious indicators of an overwatered cactus caused by a fungus in the soil include black or brown blotches and mushy stems. It’s time to carefully chop them off with a knife if you experience any of these bodily symptoms. Use a sterilized knife while handling a rotting plant to prevent the spread of the infection.

You will have to exert more effort if the damage is severe. Essentially, what you’ll be doing is multiplying the portions of your plant that are still alive. Wear nitrile gloves to protect your hands from the cactus’ spines while you chop off the rotting sections, and exercise extreme caution when handling the plant. After cutting out the damaged areas, let your cuttings air dry for a few days, or around a week.

Can you revive a dead brown cactus?

Overwatering is the cause of cactus rot. The cactus doesn’t require as much maintenance, despite owners’ perceptions that plants should be cared for frequently. The majority of cacti that unintentionally overwater and finally die are brown and black in color.


The cactus is a plant that has to dry out as part of its life cycle, unlike most plants that become ill if they aren’t irrigated frequently. Cactus roots naturally receive very little water, therefore if you give them the same amount of water as you give your tomatoes, they will rot.


It’s crucial to keep an eye out for signs that your cactus is becoming mushy or is beginning to turn brown or black. These indicate overwatering has taken place. Most likely, the roots have already decayed and died. Simply put, avoid overwatering. Keep an eye on the soil around your cactus plants, and only water when the soil is absolutely dry. Although it may seem careless, the cactus is accustomed to that atmosphere in its natural habitat.


It’s time to use a sharp knife to clip them off and repot or replant your cactus. Make sure to combine garden soil (2 parts), coarse sand (2 parts), and peat soil (3 parts) well (1 part). Additionally, make sure the pot you purchase has sufficient drainage holes and is somewhat larger. If you’re growing cacti outside, make sure the soil is well-draining and contains enough sand to aid this effect.

Should the spines of cacti be brown?

Why are the spines on my cactus going brown? This query demonstrates how much you value and care for your indoor plants.

But because of our worries, we fail to remember that these plants are alive. And we owe them our love and attention.

Cacti are low-maintenance plants that grow with less care, well-drained soil, and minimal watering. Both indoor and outdoor plants, they require a suitable amount of light to thrive. These succulents can tolerate harsh circumstances and are less susceptible to pests.

Why then are the spines on your cactus becoming brown? For some reason, cactus spines can be brown, yellow, or black. Age usually causes cactus spines to change color. Sunburn may be at blame if you notice the tops of cactus spines becoming brown. However, root rot could be the issue if the bottom of your cactus is turning brown.

Cactus corking, which is visible on healthy cactus plants as a brownish tissue that resembles bark, is another factor.

Please be aware that cactus color variations typically do not indicate that the plant is dying. The species or age of your cactus is more likely to influence the color of its spines than its health.

How can you spot a dying cactus?

When a cactus looks shriveled and husk-like, it is dead. Additionally, dead cacti can become unstable in their soil and topple over. They could start to smell rancid and becoming mushy, both of which are indicators that they are rotting. Cacti that are dead lose their spines and frequently appear brown.

Fungal Diseases

One of the most frequent causes of disease in houseplants is fungi. Since most fungus require moisture to survive, the majority of these can be attributed to overwatering. The most typical fungus issues with indoor plants are listed below:

  • AnthracnoseAnthracnose manifests as yellowing, then dead leaf tips that later turn dark brown. Those infected leaves should be removed and burned.
  • stem and root rot
  • Fungus can be the cause of both root rot and stem rot, which are primarily brought on by excessively wet soil from inadequate drainage or overwatering. Roots and stem both soften, turn brown or black, wilt, and eventually die. Once you notice this disease, it’s usually too late to preserve the plant; nevertheless, it is readily preventable with proper watering and sufficient drainage. Repotting the plant in a sterilized pot, however, might be beneficial if only some of the roots are impacted.
  • Spots on leavesFungal leaf patches might be small, brown spots with yellow borders or black spots. Because the fungi thrive on decomposing plant debris, remove and destroy the infected houseplant. Neem oil is also beneficial.
  • Botrytis
  • Another condition caused by fungi is botrytis, sometimes known as gray mold. On the stems and foliage, this appears as a moldy, fuzzy substance. It’s preferable to remove the entire plant and sanitize the pot because it spreads quickly. Check indoor plants daily for brown or dead leaves, and remove them right once to avoid botrytis.
  • a powdery mold
  • Every portion of the plant develops a white, powdery coating as a result of powdery mildew. In most cases, fungus from decomposing plant matter or from airborne spores and high humidity are the cause of these diseases. It is advised to provide careful watering and good ventilation. If required, place the plant in a sunny area to allow it to dry out. Remove and kill any plants that are seriously diseased.

Viral or Bacterial Diseases

Some houseplants contract bacterial or viral illnesses. Virus-affected plants are less prevalent unless they are kept outside, however they may exhibit stunted growth, crinkled leaves, and mottled color. Insects like nematodes and aphids are frequently at blame for viral infections.

A bacterial dropsy or edema-affected houseplant will have water-soaked areas and cork-like swellings along the surface of the leaf and stem. Although houseplants might not totally recover, repotting can increase their prospects by providing better drainage and ventilation. If not, they ought to be taken away and disposed of.

Should I remove the brown cactus parts?

When a cactus begins to rot, all of the rot needs to be removed in order to salvage the plant. If it is not entirely eliminated, it will spread and finally kill your cactus. Additionally, cactus rot spreads swiftly.

You must move quickly if you don’t want to wind up with a dead cactus plant.

What needs to be done to save your cactus depends on where the decay is occurring. Therefore, I’ll start by demonstrating how to rescue a cactus that is rotting top down.

I’ll then discuss how to salvage a cactus that is rotting from the bottom up in the part that follows.

How To Save A Cactus Rotting Top Down

Cactus tip rot might give false hope. If you see a few little brown spots on a cactus, you can mistake them for minor rot.

Then, as you work to eliminate the troublesome areas, you come to the conclusion that the interior is actually much, much worse than the exterior.

So, before you begin chopping, take a moment to mentally get ready for what you might discover. Ready? Okay, follow these instructions to get rid of cactus stem rot.

Step 1: Select your pruning instrument.

To get rid of the rot, use a sharp knife or pruning shears. I advise using a sharp knife if your cactus is particularly thick.

Otherwise, precision pruners or bonsai shears would be excellent for little plants with thin stems. Just make sure they’re razor sharp to prevent crushing the cactus stem.

Clean your cutting instrument in Step 2—do not omit this step!

Before making any incisions, it is crucial that the equipment you select to use is sterile and thoroughly clean.

It will be easier to stop the spread of illness and fungus spores if you use a clean pruning instrument. You only need to clean your pruning shears or knife with soap and water before drying it off and beginning.

Additionally, I advise cleaning and drying it once more in between each cut. To disinfect it, you might also dip it in rubbing alcohol.

Step 3: Layerarily remove the cactus stem rot

To ensure that all of the rot has been eliminated, it is advisable to trim off the affected areas in stages.

You can see that my cactus plant’s middle, despite appearing to be healthy, nevertheless has interior rot. Consequently, we must continue.

Step 4: Continue stripping away layers until no rot is visible.

The rot will become thinner and thinner as you remove plant layers one by one.

But keep in mind that even a small amount of rot can spread. Therefore, until there are no longer any indications of rot on the plant, be sure to remove all indications of brown, squishy, and mushy cactus material.

Make the last cut on your cactus at an angle if it’s an outside plant to prevent water from pooling on top of the wound (which will likely just cause it to rot again).

If at all feasible, I would also relocate the plant to a dry location shielded from the elements until the wound had calloused over.

Unfortunately, before I realized that the top of my plant was going brown, the rot was already rather bad. To completely remove the cactus, I had to cut off more than half of it.

Even though it was challenging for me to cut this cactus in half, I know that if I had left any rot behind, my plant would have died within a few weeks.

Cactus Care Tips After Pruning

If you have to operate on one of your favorite plants, be sure to watch it closely afterward to make sure it doesn’t continue to decay. If it starts to decay once more, eliminate the new rot by following the same instructions as before.

The wound should callus over within a few days, and your cactus will eventually send out new growth close to the cut.

I hated having to chop my cactus in half to get rid of the rot. However, in the end, I believe it gave the plant more personality.

How To Save A Cactus Rotting Bottom Up

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to salvage a cactus that is decaying from the ground up or has damaged roots.

In this situation, cutting healthy stem sections off and replanting the cuttings is the best course of action.

To ensure that all of the rot is removed from the cuttings, prune your cactus back in layers as instructed in the steps above. Till the cut end has callused over, let the cutting dry for a few days.

Wait to irrigate the soil until the cutting has new growth. Cactus cuttings can take several weeks to root, depending on the kind you have.