Cacti are a great addition to any home, but they’re not always easy to care for.
Their spines protect them from predators, but they also make them susceptible to problems when they don’t have the right environment.
If your cactus looks like it’s turning white, then there may be something wrong with its environment or care, ranging from indoor lighting to soil moisture.
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Check The Light Levels
If you’re growing a cactus in an indoor environment, it’s important to be aware of the light levels they receive.
As succulents, these plants are adapted to handle fluctuating conditions, but not all varieties of cacti do well in low-light environments.
For example, if your plant is getting less than 1,000 lux per day (equivalent to being lit by a bright sunny day), it may start displaying signs of stress such as leaf loss or abnormal coloration.
If your plant is receiving too much direct sunlight for long periods of time—even with its leaves closed—then this could also cause damage to its photosynthetic tissue which leads to discoloration and other issues like leaf loss and death due to desiccation (dryness).
Watering problems are one of the most common causes of white spots on a cactus.
If you’re watering your plant, but it still looks droopy, you may be overwatering.
The best way to avoid this is to test the soil before you water it; stick your finger in until it’s moist and then remove it.
Then water the plant just enough so that the entire root ball is wetted out but not soggy or standing in water (you can check this by gently shaking the pot).
If too much time has passed since your last watering, do not give too much water at once—it can cause root rot or even tip-over injury.
Instead, water slowly over five minutes with a soft sprayer until thoroughly soaked down into the soil.
Then let it dry out completely before re-watering again; never let it sit in standing water for more than three days.
There are a few chemicals that can cause this reaction. The first is chlorine, which is found in tap water.
If you’re using tap water to water your cactus, use only rainwater or distilled water instead.
The second chemical is boron, which can be found in some fertilizers and pesticides.
To avoid this problem, make sure any fertilizer you use does not contain boron—and if it does, discontinue its use immediately.
The third chemical we should consider is iron (Fe). Iron can be added to city water supplies as a disinfectant and an oxygenator;
However, it also causes white spots on plants’ leaves if they’re exposed to too much of it—which means that the best thing you can do for your indoor cacti is to treat all of your home’s drinking and bathing water with a filtration system like a reverse osmosis filter before using it again on them.
Soil pH level
Soil pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline your soil is.
Soil pH affects the availability of nutrients in the soil, as well as its ability to retain water and support plant growth.
The ideal soil pH for cacti is between 6.0 and 7.0; anything outside this range will cause issues with nutrient uptake, root health, and even growth itself—which can lead to white spotting on your cactus leaves if it’s too low or high.
So what do you do if you’ve noticed white spots on your indoor cactus? First off: don’t panic.
There are several things that could be causing this problem, but they’re all pretty easy fixes once you know what the problem is—and luckily for you, we’re here to help.
Pests And Diseases
In addition to pests and diseases, cacti can also be affected by a number of other problems. These include:
- Watering too much or too little.
- Too little light. Cactus plants prefer bright, but indirect sunlight, such as that found in a west-facing window during the morning and afternoon hours. In the winter months, you may have to move your plant closer to your window so that it gets more light. Be careful not to burn your plant’s leaves by placing them too close to a hot windowpane or heating vent.
- Overwatering. If a cactus seems droopy on top with its leaves wilting, you should water more sparingly until they perk back up again (you’ll know this has happened once they start standing straight up instead of hanging down). On the other hand, if its roots are brown, they need water immediately. Just remember: “Brown = thirsty” and “Green = full.”
Cacti can do well inside, but if their care is not right, they can react in several ways.
Cacti can do well inside, but if their care is not right, they can react in several ways. Some of these reactions include turning white or whitish-green and dropping leaves.
If you are new to growing cacti, it’s important that you pay attention to the following:
- Cacti can be grown in pots or in the ground. The first method is easier for beginners because it limits root growth and forces the plant into a smaller area where it’ll have access to less water than if the roots were allowed to spread out over open space as a yard would allow them. However, this method does limit your options for what kind of potting mixture or soil you use on your plants’ roots (you may want something more natural).
- Cacti need plenty of light; make sure yours has plenty before placing them near windows that aren’t shaded by trees or other buildings nearby—especially those west-facing ones.
Our Final Thoughts
It’s normal for some of the lower leaves on your cactus to turn white.
But if you’re noticing that more than half of the leaves on your cactus are turning white, or if you’ve noticed that the new growth is also turning white, then it’s time to take action.
The most common reason for this is overwatering. Don’t be afraid to let your cactus dry out between waterings.
You should also inspect your soil for signs of mold or mildew—if you do find any, it’s time to repot.
So, there you have it. We hope this article has helped you figure out what to do when your indoor cactus starts turning white.
If so, please let us know in the comments section below.
We think it’s important to share knowledge with other plant lovers like ourselves, and we want everyone to know how much fun it can be taking care of these wonderful little plants.