Why Are My Cactus Spines Turning Red

As previously said, this typically starts as the cactus begins to mature. The cactus may turn red to defend itself. To guard against the elements of nature, this occurs especially during the winter.

In the winter, cactus plants themselves may begin to turn red, especially in colder locations. The plant turns red as a result of that, which occurs as the chlorophyll disperses. Too much sun exposure could cause your cactus to become red. According to some plant scientists, this color change shields the plant from ultraviolet rays.

Why are the needles on my cactus becoming red?

Cactus are tough plants that are used to harsh conditions. Your cactus may, however, start to become red if certain environmental stressors are present.

This is a symptom that something is wrong with your plant, yet it does not necessarily mean it is harmful. The good news is that you can restore your plant’s original color by altering its care and getting rid of the stressor.

When stressed by alterations in the environment, such as too much heat, too much sun, or a lack of water, cacti will turn red. In addition to these, pathogenic infections and root infections can also cause the color of your cactus to change to red.

The treatments offered will assist the plant in returning to its original color because the red signifies that the plant’s natural defense systems are in use.

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 are red cacti fixed?

One of the typical issues with Christmas cacti is cultural stress, particularly if the plant is exposed to bright sunlight in the summer or isn’t given enough water. This cactus thrives in partial shade during the hotter months because it is a tropical forest species, but it loves full sunlight in the middle of the year. It should be irrigated if the soil feels dry 1 inch below the surface because it needs a little bit more water than many other cactus species do. Examine the light exposure of an established Christmas cactus if its foliage turns reddish but otherwise seems healthy. If required, reposition it. Similarly, alter the soil’s moisture content and avoid letting it go too long without watering.

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.

What causes my cactus to become pink?

When cactuses don’t get enough water, they can become pink. The life of a cactus won’t often be in danger if it turns pink. For the cactus to get back to normal, you might wish to water it more frequently. A cactus has to be watered once or twice a week on average to stay healthy. When exposed to sunlight, certain cactus species even spontaneously change color to pink.

What causes my cactus to bleed?

Sap from a cactus can leak for a number of reasons. It may be a sign of a fungus, a pest issue, tissue damage, or even the outcome of freezing or too much sun exposure. To identify the problem using the method of elimination, you will need to assume the role of a detective and collect the clues. It’s crucial to confirm that the necessary care is being given, as poor cultivation can also result in a cactus seeping sap. Put on your bowler and frock coat and let’s start our investigation!

Cultivation Problems

Cactus plants that are oozing might occur for a variety of reasons. Overwatering, poor drainage, lack of light, too much concentrated sun, and even the type of water you use can all cause tissue damage and release cactus sap.

Plants can sustain mechanical damage, rot, sunburn, and even decay when inappropriate cultivation is used. Any damaged location will drip fluid because cactus store water in their stems and pads. Most cacti will recover from minor wounds, but their vigor may be significantly diminished.


Botanists were troubled by the Saguaro cacti’s gushing black fluid in the middle of the 1990s. Though the cause was hotly contested, it was never fully established. The larger “nurse saguaro plants were removed, along with pollution, ozone depletion, and other factors, which may have led to the enormous cacti’s health issues.

The infections caused by fungi and bacteria, which make plants react defensively and cause sap to leak from cacti, are more frequent for amateur gardeners. If the cactus sap appears brown or black, there is a bacterial issue. Fungus spores can be airborne or in the soil.

The likelihood of bacterial problems can be reduced by repotting the cactus every two years, and keeping the soil dry to the touch lowers the growth of fungal spores.


Outside-growing cacti are vulnerable to a variety of pests. Smaller invaders, like insects, may wreak havoc on the plants. Birds can peck at the trunks, rodents can gnaw on the flesh. One pest that harms cacti is the cactus moth. Its larva induce gushing cactus plants and skin discoloration. The Gulf Coast is where you may mostly find these moths.

When they burrow, other larval types induce cactus to ooze sap. Keep an eye out for them and use organic insecticides or hand eradication to combat them.

What kind of plant are overwatered cactus?

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.

How can you tell whether a cactus is being overwatered or underwatered?

A cactus can suffer considerably more harm from overwatering than from underwatering. Most of the time, it ought to be fairly clear if the cactus has been overwatered.

Symptoms of cactus typically include the following:

  • The stems and leaves of the cactus will begin to change color. typically dark or
  • The cactus’ base will begin to turn brown or black.
  • The cactus will start to rot and leak.
  • It will begin to look as though the cactus is rotting or decomposing.

Root rot does not always become apparent right away. For a while, the outside of your plant could appear normal, but one day you might notice that the lower stem is turning black and becoming a little sticky. The news is quite horrible!

It’s interesting to note that a cactus that has received too much water may occasionally exhibit underwatering symptoms as a result of root rot killing the roots. Overwatered plants can actually get dehydrated because their roots will die and stop transferring water to the rest of the plant.

What Color Should Cactus Spines Be?

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.

Why is the color of my cactus changing?

Some symptoms can indicate major issues that could ultimately cause your plant to die. In case you still have time to save your cactus, make careful to take action as soon as you see any of these symptoms.


Cacti plants typically begin to lose their natural color when under stress or pressure. The discoloration may start at the top end of stem segments or from the plant’s base, depending on where the true problem is.

Death is almost certain if you do not act quickly in cases of severe discolouration.

Your plant become wobbly

If your cactus has started to sway, you should be concerned as this is an obvious indicator of root rot. Remember that since succulents grow slowly, indications of underlying issues manifest gradually as well.

It’s possible that the roots have already become irreparably rotting by the time you notice the symptoms.

The cactus may already be in a serious condition if the base of your plant has turned yellow or brown.

One of the most frequent causes of cactus death is by far root rot. A lack of rigidity and turgidity in the plant’s leaves and stem is a common symptom of root rot.

Take your plant off the ground, find all the rotting roots, and cut them off to try and save it.

Depending on the degree of rot, rotten roots could seem brown or even blackish, whereas healthy roots would be pale in color.

Presence of soft segments around the plant

Most often, stem sections will appear fragile and swollen along with discoloration. These pieces are easily breakable with little effort.

Pulling a spine off is the simplest approach to determine whether there are any soft segments around your plant. You should be concerned if it comes off without any effort and slips off easily.

Fungal infection

Another indication that a cactus plant is dying is a fungus infection. Fungal infections are simple to spot since they cause lacerations in the cactus plant’s tissues. Any area of the exterior tissue, including the areolae, can get lacerated.

There are several various forms and hues of fungi, but there are only two that are widespread.

A fungal infection is indicated by the presence of brown dents on the plant’s exterior tissue that are rounded in most places like half-moons. Another indication of a fungus infection is the formation of white-gray patches.

Despite not being as harmful as root rot, fungus infections on the aerial section of the plant are nevertheless detrimental.

Spraying your plant with a natural fungicide is the best approach to stop future harm caused by such illnesses. To cure such infections, the majority of people prefer using tea tree oil diluted in water.

As an alternative, you could soak the impacted regions in alcohol for until long is necessary. Consider chopping off the afflicted region and sterilizing the wound, but only if the infection was too serious and has already harmed a portion of your plant.

Foul smell coming from your plant

You should be concerned if your cactus plant starts to smell awful because this is a warning indicator. If the plant has a bad scent, it probably can’t be saved because a large portion of it is fully rotting.

In other words, your plant is dead and no longer in the process of dying. If you still need a cactus plant around, your only option in this situation is to get rid of the old one and buy a new one.