Cactus Turning Yellow

Cactus Turning Yellow
31 Jul 2020

Cacti can start to turn yellow when they have too much sunlight. Some cacti love light but with growing cacti it is vital to spot when they may be too exposed. Read on to learn more.


Excess Light

The amount of light your cactus needs depends on the kind of cactus you have. However, you can judge the light it needs by monitoring it for discoloration. Cacti turning orange or yellow have had too much light exposure. If a cactus is moved from moderate light to intense light, it may get scorched by the sun. A scorched cactus produces a discolored ring around the top, that will become permanent.

Position Of Cactus

Cacti need full sunlight to grow for at least six to eight hours on a daily basis. Typically, the southern aspects of a garden will obtain sufficient light to support a cactus. If you are bringing your cactus outside from overwintering indoors, place the cactus in a low light area for a few days. Gradually, increase the light every few days for your cactus. This will give the cactus the best chance of adapting successfully to its new environment, Obviously, cacti that become discolored need to be located into an area where the light levels are lower.


Cacti located in windows yellow discoloration particularly when they are south facing.  Place a net style curtain over the window and observe the plant for any discoloration. The cactus can also be positioned further away from the window if it looks discolored at all. The amount of sun needed does depend to some extent on the individual plant, so it may be necessary to experiment to find the ideal combination.

Not Enough Light

When choosing the best area for your cactus, it is important to recognize signs that your cactus isn’t receiving enough light. Cacti that grow towards light sources need to be moved closer to the light. If the stem of your cactus is actually reaching out for the window, gradually bring the cactus closer. To restore the shape of the cactus, rotate the plant every week so that it receives light from all sides of the plant.

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craig braddick