Why Is My Barrel Cactus Turning Brown? ( Know the Best Reason &Tips)

As with all cacti, Golden Barrel cacti are known for their stunning green appearance. They are a perfect match for succulents in general.

When you see the golden barrel cactus turn brown, you could be thinking there’s something wrong and in the majority of cases, you’re correct.

It is typically a sign that your cactus may not be in good health and there are many factors that can cause this strange appearance that you should know about.

Without further delay here are a few reasons why the gold barrel has turned brown instead of beautiful green.

Mold has invaded your golden pot

Like most cacti, fungal infections can infest the succulent and cause severe damage, not only to the plant itself but as well its roots which support it.

If you’re fortunate it’s possible that the fungal disease will only be visible on the exterior of the golden barrel however if the cactus has changed color it is likely that the fungus has got to the root.

It will make your cactus into a mushy brown color If those are the symptoms the succulent you have is suffering, that might be the reason.

If you’re wondering what caused the fungus, the humid or overwatering conditions are the most common causes.

It is possible that you have over-watered or used the incorrect kind of soil in order to obtain the gold barrel that way.

In any case, these are the areas you must consider in order to avoid this to occur again.

In this situation it is not something you can do to help the gold barrel cacti, in actual fact, you need to remove it from your home to ensure that the fungal disease isn’t spread to the other plants in your garden.

If you spot the problem with mold in the early stages, you may make use of high-quality spray oil to rid yourself of the problem fast.

Pests have also invaded cacti

Another aspect to be aware of in relation to the barrel of gold is the pests.

Even though this cactus has spines to guard itself but pests such as mealybugs and Aphids are still able to penetrate and harm the plant.

If you observe that your plant is browning in particular areas and you’re sure there isn’t an issue caused by fungal or another issue, it could be a pest that is causing this issue.

The most evident indicator that the issue is there is when you can see tiny white spots on your golden barrel, which indicates that there are bugs in this plant, particularly mealybugs.

To solve this issue you’ll need the cotton swab along with some ruby alcohol to kill the bugs manually, and then be sure to watch the cactus for a few days.

It is possible to pot this succulent in a new way to make sure it’s protected in the event that these animals have laid eggs and you don’t need to remove them manually over and over.

“Again, like the Fungai problem, you can use some good neem oil to get rid of these pests because it actually works quite well and is very easy to use.”

Brown cacti turning indicates that they have contracted a disease called stem rot. This disease is caused by the fungal pathogens virens phialocephala, theobromae, and Fusarium Lasiodiplodia.

over watering

The cause of stem rot is gardeners who overwater their cactus plants in winter after the plant is dormant. Bacteria and pathogenic fungi thrive in soil that is moist. Gardeners can avoid stem decay by letting their cactus dry out during the fall and winter. During these months, provide your cactus with water only sparsely — enough to moisten the dry soil, according to researchers at the University of Illinois

Stem Damage 

Stem injury creates a pathway for harmful pathogens to get into. The browning can be seen to appear near the site of injury. Cacti that have stem rot display symptoms close to the bottom and the base of the plant. As the disease is progressing the affected areas will turn dark brown or black, and then move upwards on the stem of the plant. Other symptoms include a dark liquid that is leaking from the diseased tissue of the cactus, as per the Cactus Museum. If stem rot isn’t serious, you can employ techniques of the culture to treat the condition.

cut out disease

Use a sharp knife to remove any diseased or discolored areas of the cacti. Spray the knife with a mixture of 70 percent denatured alcohol and 30 percent water in between cuts to prevent the spread of any pathogens. Remove the area that is bordering the infection, as it is probably harboring pathogens, even if the symptoms haven’t been exposed yet. Dust the area with powdered sulfur to stop the fungus spores from spreading. If the top of the cactus is healthy, cut off the bottom of the cap and replant in sandy soil, as recommended by the Cactus Museum.

protector solar

As with all succulents, Cactus with a golden barrel may change color or develop brown spots when it is continuously burned.

It could only show small white discolorations if the sunburn is not severe. In this situation, it is possible to relocate the cactus to an area shaded by shade or an umbrella to avoid further harm.

However, if the sunburns have been ongoing, you will surely be noticing brown spots. This is a permanent affliction for your Cactus.

It’s the same for temperatures below zero and if it appears to be too cold plan to bring or put this cactus inside an attractive mini greenhouse.

Your barrel of gold is getting Aged

The reason why your gold barrel has become brown could be caused by the process of aging known as corking.

This is a sign that the cactus with the golden barrel has survived long enough and is now seeking to sustain it by turning brown beginning at the bottom of the cactus, and then moving up.

If the surface feels hard it is a sign that the cactus has become clogged and is not a concern for the plant.

While it is unattractive but there is no reason to be concerned or take intervention in this situation since it is normal and is expected of Cactus.

Cause Analysis

The third reason that flower lovers encounter most in their daily planting and maintenance is cactus rust. For this issue, I think rust is the most likely cause. barrel cactus rust has the following typical characteristics:

  • A small number of yellow-brown spots on the epidermis began to appear, which were then connected into pieces.
  • It is contagious between plants, and once infected, it develops rapidly and can even cover the entire sphere in a short time.
  • It often occurs in spring and summer when it is rainy, humid, high temperature, and poorly ventilated.
  • As environmental conditions improve, it is possible that the new growth will no longer be infected.
  • The disease is more likely to occur when there is insufficient light (lack of sunlight exposure).

If the cactus has rust, the main reasons are:

  • Too much nitrogen fertilizer, too little phosphorus and potassium fertilizer in the soil, the plant tissue is too brittle and tender, and the stress resistance is poor.
  • It is caused by environmental factors such as rain, stagnant water, and poor ventilation in high temperatures and rainy seasons.
  • Insufficient light, weak growth, reduced disease resistance, and fungal entry.
  • Plants with this disease are not well isolated, and they are mixed with healthy plants to introduce pathogens, which can cause infection when the environmental conditions are favorable.

Once the cactus has rust, the damage to the plant is more obvious, mainly as follows:

  • Affect photosynthesis, resulting in poor or stagnant growth of cactus.
  • Poor plant growth reduced resistance and increased rust development.
  • Epidermis brown spots into pieces, greatly reducing the ornamental value.
  • While a moderate degree of rust will not cause the barrel cactus to wilt and die, severe cases can cause blackening, pitting, and festering at the infestation, and eventually, the entire tree will rot.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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