Why is My Cactus Turning Yellow?

I got what I think is a type of barrel cactus from my sister when she passed in November. I put it in a south window, but it started turning yellow. A friend told me to give it more water, now It's really turning yellow. It was my mothers, so its at least 20-30 years old. What can I do? I took some pics to help with my answer.


Hardiness Zone: 4a

By Beth from WI

February 5, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Beth, Your cactus turning yellow can be a sign for quite a few things. Just curious...is there a baby growing off of it? Has it been in the same pot for a long time? The root system might have grown and needs to be repotted. It might be lacking nutrients and a good plant food for cactus might help.Just follow directions on package. Make sure it has the right kind of soil. Cactus need a sandy mixture and good drainage at bottom of pot. Don't over water. Sometimes too much attention to cactus is a bad thing. They are use to being on their own and don't require much water. Yellowing means it's experiencing some kind of stress. You just need to rule out the main reasons and it should revive itself. Good luck!

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February 11, 20110 found this helpful

I think (though I may be wrong) that it's getting too much water. I keep killing my cactus because I insist on watering them even if it's only every few weeks. I've read that you should never water them, just spray them once or twice a week with water. Good luck. I actually have some that is living finally, outside, where I completely forget about it. Last summer once or twice I saw it looking like it was drying up so watered it, and it was fine. But I think if I'd have 'mothered it' it would have died for sure. I also think that once cactus starts rotting, there may be nothing you can do, and it might be too late. Good luck! And if you try this, and it helps, please post back so we know it's valid. :)

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February 12, 20111 found this helpful

My dad always said don't water cacti unless it is raining in the Arizona desert.

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