While cacti are usually a newbie gardener’s best friend thanks to their ease of care, there are some common problems that you might run into with your fairy castle cactus.
One of these is the cactus turning brown.
So what exactly is going on when this happens and what can you do about it?
Why Is My Fairy Castle Cactus Turning Brown?
In some cases, this is nothing to worry about as it could just be a sign of aging, but it could also mean root rot, bug infestations, or sunburn, among other reasons.
Let’s dive in and talk about the reasons why your fairy castle cactus might be turning brown.
Corking – Signs Of Aging
Corking is part of the natural aging process of a fairy castle cactus.
As it grows up, the bottom parts of the oldest stems on the cactus will turn brown and may begin to feel woody.
Though this looks like sickness, it’s not.
It helps support the bottom of the cactus as it grows taller.
However, there are other reasons for brownness on your cactus that are a cause for concern, so you should still check to make sure none of these other issues may be behind the discoloration before writing it off as corking.
Related Article: Why is My Fairy Castle Cactus Drooping?
Another reason why your fairy castle cactus may be turning brown is root rot.
This typically stems from overwatering, which is one of the most common problems people run into with cacti.
If the bottom part of the cactus is turning brown and feels squishy, that’s a good indication that root rot has begun to set in.
Don’t worry, though! There is a chance that you can still save the cactus.
You’ll need to stop watering it and repot the plant in well-drained soil, making sure to cut off the parts of the plant that are rotted.
To help avoid root rot, lessen the frequency of times that you water your cactus.
A good rule of thumb is to only water a cactus when the soil it’s in is completely dry to the touch.
In general, you will probably need to water your fairy castle cactus more in the summer, when it is actively growing, than in the winter, when it goes dormant, but sticking to the rule of only watering it when the soil is dry should keep root rot from becoming a problem.
Damage From Sunburn
Yes, cacti can get sunburned.
If the tops of your fairy castle cactus are turning yellow, white, or brownish, this could be an indication of sunburn.
Fairy castle cacti love bright sunlight, but they only need it for about six hours per day.
If you’re growing your cactus indoors, try to place it next to a window that gets direct sunlight for about that amount of time each day.
If you’re growing it outside, place it strategically so it won’t be under the blazing sun all day long, and consider getting a shade so you can limit the plant’s exposure to the sun’s rays.
Sudden Environmental Changes
Sunburn can also be a problem when you shock your cactus by changing its environmental conditions too quickly.
If your cactus was used to getting plenty of shade and you suddenly move it into 6 hours of strong daily sun, there’s a good chance it will experience sunburn because it won’t have had a chance to adapt to its new environment.
If you think your fairy castle cactus has been starved of sunlight, begin by positioning it in partial shade and then slowly introduce it to additional sunlight until it’s fully acclimatized to the extra rays and higher temperatures.
Begin by exposing your cactus to the less-intense morning sun, and slowly expose it to more intense afternoon sunlight.
It may also need a little extra water if it’s getting extra sun in the summertime.
But just to be safe, always let the soil fully dry out between watering times.
Insects like mealy bugs, scales, and spider mites love cacti, and if they get to your plant, that can cause a lot of problems, starting with brown, squishy spots and ending with the death of the plant.
If you notice that your fairy castle cactus is looking sickly and brown, take a closer look to make sure it doesn’t have bugs on it.
If it does, you should pick them off with some tweezers immediately, and keep an eye on the plant to see if its condition improves or if any more bugs show up.
Alternatively, to make certain that all of the bugs are gone from the cactus’s surface, you could take it outside and blast it with a hosepipe.
If you do this, though, just make sure that the water isn’t so strong that it damages the cactus itself.
How To Stop Your Fairy Castle Cactus From Turning Brown
Cacti are pretty easy plants to care for, but there are still some things you need to watch out for to make sure they stay healthy.
The reason behind brown spots on your fairy castle cactus can range from natural aging to a major problem with the roots’ health.
The best way to keep these issues from coming up is to check up on your cactus and make sure to take action as soon as possible if you notice anything that seems wrong.