Why Is My Cactus Turning Pink?

Cactus, once a thorny, flowering plant only found in deserts; has today become a much sought-after essential ornamental house plant . Due to its adaptable nature; it requires relatively less care which makes it an ideal house plant. However, sometimes the cactus tends to turn pink.

While this happens due to the cactus trying to adapt to circumstances , it also signifies that the plant is suffering from added stress. Hence, steps need to be taken to ensure that the cactus becomes healthy again.

Why Is My Cactus Turning Pink?

The following are some of the common reasons which lead to a pink cactus-

  • Inappropriate Sunlight
  • Nutrient Deficiency
  • Improper Watering
  • Pest & Disease Infestation

1. Inappropriate Sunlight

If cactus is kept in direct sunlight for a long duration, it can be prone to sunburn. This happens when they come in contact with excessive or direct sunlight. Similarly, some types of cacti can also turn pink when there is inadequate lighting.

Since it produces anthocyanins in order to adapt to the stress due to excessive heat or inadequate lighting, the color tends to turn pink.


The ideal solution is to place the plant in a place that is away from any direct sunlight or heat. It is also necessary to ensure that it receives sufficient bright, indirect light for at least 6 hours a day.

2. Nutrient Deficiency

Cacti tend to turn pink when there is a deficiency of major nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, or nitrogen; which are required for carrying out the essential life functions of the plants.


Re-potting the tub with fresh, high fertility soil as well as adding light house plant fertilizers can help the cactus regain the required nutrients. For cases of magnesium deficiency, Epsom salt can be added.

3. Improper Watering

Even though Cacti are succulent plants adapted to low water conditions, excessive under-watering may cause the plant to turn pink before drying out and dying.

Similarly, over-watering the cactus may also cause serious issues such as root rot, causing the cactus to turn pink and eventually die. Poor drainage also causes root rot due to the stagnant water left behind.


In the case of an under-watered cactus, the plant must be watered intensively and deeply until it regains its initial health.

In case of an over-watered cactus, the plant must be checked for diseased roots, and the same must be removed and treated with the relevant fungicides before being re-potted with fresh soil in a tub with proper drainage.

4. Pest & Disease

Certain pests and diseases such as cactus cyst, spider mites, scales, and root or stem rot can also cause discoloration of the cactus into pink. Some signs of a diseased plant are rotting smell, dark spots, sick look, and stunted growth.


The diseased cactus ought to be isolated and treated immediately . This can be done by cutting off the affected parts of the plant and applying the relevant pesticides and fungicides before being re-potted and nurtured back to health.

So we see that despite cactus being an extremely adaptable plant; it still needs a basic level of care in order to ensure that they remain healthy and survive for a long period of time.

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