Is Your Cactus Turning White? There Are Reasons For This

If you’re sitting at home enjoying your lovely cactus plant and see that it’s becoming white, you should be concerned. A variety of factors might cause a cactus to become white. In this essay, I’ll go through all of the common reasons why a cactus turns white.

If you’re wondering why your cactus is going black or why it’s soft, read on.

Cacti are well-known for being low-maintenance and simple to look after. They are desert plants, so they prefer warm, sunny locations in the house and can go for a few days without being watered! This isn’t to say that owning a cactus houseplant doesn’t come with its own set of issues.

One of the most typical cactus issues is when it starts to look pale, discolored, or white.

What is causing my cactus to turn white?

If you’ve arrived at this website, you’re probably wondering why your cactus is going white. There are four main reasons why a cactus becomes white, pale, or discolored.


Sunburn might be the initial cause of your cactus becoming white. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. Sunburn? Cactus, on the other hand, aren’t desert plants? YES. Cactus are desert plants that tolerate light well. They are, nevertheless, prone to sunburn, just like any other succulent.

If you leave your cactus outside or on a window sill without rotating it, the skin will begin to bleach out and turn a shade of white. Despite the fact that cactus can thrive in severe, extreme temperatures, this is a regular problem.

If you place your indoor cactus on a window sill near a south-facing window, make sure to rotate it periodically to minimize sun damage. Cacti in the open air frequently acquire a tolerance to the sun.

If you’re replanting your cactus, though, you should first mark the south side of the plant so you know how to orient it. It will be more likely to burn and turn white if it is planted in a different direction since it will not have developed a tolerance to the sun.


Alternatively, if your cactus has been exposed to insufficient sunshine, it may experience etiolation. When your plant is deprived of light, it will turn white or pale. Another typical symptom is that your cactus appears stretched, leggy, or extended, which you may notice initially. Because it is expanding towards the nearest source of light, this is the case.

Etiolation is a disease that affects all plant kinds, including succulents.

When a cactus becomes white as a result of etiolation, it is essentially indicating that it is not producing enough chlorophyll (the component that is responsible for the green color of leaves and stems). This is known as chlorosis, and it indicates that the cactus is unable to complete photosynthesis, which is an essential aspect of any healthy plant cycle.

If you suspect your cactus is going white due to etiolation, transfer it to a brighter location straight away. Typically, you’ll be able to determine by your cactus’ growth pattern. Unfortunately, etiolation’s effects are irreversible, although they’re mostly ornamental and won’t hurt your cactus. A pale, stretched cactus, on the other hand, might seem eccentric and unusual!


The term we all hate hearing. PESTS. Mealybugs, in particular. If your cactus starts to turn white, be sure you don’t have an infestation on your hands. Mealybugs are teeny-tiny pests who prefer to operate in groups.

Your cactus may appear to turn white because they cluster in clusters and are white or cream in color. Alternatively, they might be mistaken for a speck of dust and resemble a cotton patch.

If you have a mealybug infestation, you should attempt to get rid of them as soon as possible. The first step is to keep your cactus away from any other houseplants since they can quickly spread.

Mealybugs like sticking to your cacti’s tissues and sucking all of the sap from the stems. You may end up with a drooping, floppy cactus as a result of this.

A 70 percent or less isopropyl solution is the most effective mealybug treatment. Make careful to dilute the solution with water and fill a spray container with it. Spray your cactus plant thoroughly and thoroughly, getting into all of the nooks and crevices where bugs prefer to hide.

Frequently, just one therapy is effective. If you don’t, the mealybugs will be back in a few days, and you’ll have to repeat the treatment until they disappear completely.

Bunny ear cactus and barrel cactus are two cacti that are particularly vulnerable to mealybugs.

Temperature Shock

Temperature shock is the most prevalent reason for a cactus becoming white. Cacti are mostly desert plants that flourish in a warm, sunny climate. Damage can be done to a cactus if it is exposed to cold conditions for even a few hours.

The thermal trauma will show up first in the thinnest parts of the body, such as the ridges. The extent of the damage depends on how long your cactus plant was exposed to cold conditions, but it will first appear white or pale yellow. Depending on the severity of the injury, this will ultimately turn black or brown.

If a cactus is only exposed to the cold for a few hours, the damage is most likely cosmetic and will not harm the plant. However, if the plant is exposed to freezing temperatures on a regular basis, it will eventually die.

If you have an outdoor cactus and reside in a region where the temperature decreases dramatically in the winter and autumn, you should bring it inside during this time.

Whitening of the desert gem cactus

People frequently ask me why their desert gem cactus is going white, and this is one of the most common questions I receive.

The solution is straightforward. Desert jewel cacti are vibrant, lovely houseplants, but they’ve been colored chemically. The plant’s base color is usually natural green, and it has undergone a special process to turn brilliant colors on top.

If your desert gem cactus appears to be becoming white, it is due to new growth. The spines of a desert gem cactus will become white as it grows. You may chop the young spines off to keep the hue of your desert jewel.

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