Cactus Turning White? 5 Reasons Why & How To Fix

If you are a cactus lover, or you just have seen any cactus once in your lifetime, you probably know that cactuses are known for their perfect green color and the spikes that make them special.

However, there is something that many cactus owners deal with, in fact, it is an issue that they face, and it is the cactus turning white! It is super annoying, though! Anyways, we are here to solve that, and I am more than glad to help you guys with it.

In this article, I will mention some of the things that may cause whitening on your cactus and the things that you should do, in order to fix that. You can stick until the end so that you can find ut everything that you need to know!

Now, without further ado, let us get this article started!

Why Is My Cactus Turning White? – Reasons and Fixes

Directly going on to the topic of this article, I will mention for you some of the most important things or factors that can make your cactus fade that amazing green color! Why is your cactus white? What are the reasons? What can you do to fix it? Let us see!


The first reason that your cactus can be turned white stands the light, or more exactly said, it is the sun that does it. It may sound a bit weird because cactuses are plants that are mostly found in deserts, but strangely enough, too much sun damages cactuses, and it causes whitening.

What can you do?
Always avoid placing your cactus in direct sunlight as there can be caused sunburn, and after that, every part of the cactus can be turned white.


Cactuses in general, are not made to withstand any cold temperature, and by mentioning temperatures as the main reason that they can be turned white, I only mean super cold temperatures. Whenever a cactus is exposed to a cold temperature there can be caused frost damage and it is the reason why its green color fades and turns out white in some areas.

What I would like to mention here is that if there is an extremely cold temperature a cactus can be completely dead.

What can you do?
In order to fix this issue, you guys should have in mind to not put your cactus where there are cold temperatures, especially during winter times. In case you have it outdoors, the best thing to do is to take it indoors with you at a constant room temperature.


Whenever I have to talk about the watering process of a plant, I always mention that it can confuse everybody, and it confuses me as well! Watering can become easily a weird thing, as one never knows when there can happen underwatering or overwatering, and just like many other plants, cactuses cannot really stand both of the things mentioned. If there are any of them, underwatering or overwatering, you will notice whitenings, especially in the cactus’ spikes.

What can you do?
Dealing with water, in general, is a bit difficult because you never know when it is enough but what you can do is schedule a time in which you will water your cactus and why not other plants. Having a schedule would be definitely amazing.


Another important reason that causes whitening in cactuses is roots, especially if there is root rot. Rooth rot is called the full decomposition of the roots of any plant, and it can be easily caused in cactuses as well. You should remember to always check the roots if you notice that the problem isn’t caused by the things that I mentioned above.

What can you do?
If the reason that your cactus is turning white comes from the roots then the best thing to do is to cut off the parts of the roots that are damaged. If there is a super small damage, cut it out so that it doesn’t get any bigger and make you throw your cactus in the trash.


Pest is considered any type of organism that can cause disease to any other thing, and basically in plants, especially in cactuses, pests are the insects that will damage it. Whenever you see that there are insects fully surrounding your cactus, you should know that after a small period of time your cactus will become fully white.

What can you do?
You can use different things to deal with bugs or pests, but the best thing to do is to use a dilute alcohol solution. This solution can also kill pests that cannot even be seen by the human eye.

Commonly Asked Questions

How often should one water a cactus?

Cactuses are quite special plants as they are dangerous and great at the same time, and you may know that many people love to have them around. However, as I mentioned above, watering is a definite problem. The best time to water a cactus would be between one or two weeks.

What if I spray my cactus with water?

Never! Even though you may be used to spraying other plants with water, you should never do that to a cactus as it can completely weaken it.

What does a healthy cactus look like?

Everybody is in love with that super-rich green color that cactuses have, and basically, that is the color that shows the healthiness of a cactus. A rich and deep green cactus is a healthy cactus!

Final Words, Conclusion

Coming through the end, the things that I mentioned in this article are the most commonly happening reasons that can cause damage to your cactus, and basically, they can turn it white in a super short period of time. However, it is an issue that should be done completely by cactus owners, so there’s no need of seeking help elsewhere.

While I mentioned help, I really hope that this article will help you deal with the whitening of your cactuses, of course, if it ever happens. However, I hope it doesn’t!

Further Reading

If you liked this blog, I have a feeling you will like the others as well. There are some more blogs that are similar to the one you just read.

One on why your cactus is hairy, for instance.

The quickest growing succulents are covered in one, and there’s also why my succulents have black spots?”

Don’t forget to read about the aloe vera plant’s life cycle and how to revive a dead aloe vera,┬áif you haven’t already.

You will learn how to revive a maize plant as well as a croton plant in addition to that.

Aurora Hansen

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