I have had this plant for more than 10 years now but I do not know its name. What is the name of this plant? The issue is that this plant has a lot of white areas, as shown in the pictures. These have been there for a long time now but I don't have any idea what they are. Perhaps it is a fungus?

In addition, one of the stems turned brown a long time ago. A couple of days ago, I tried to peel a small patch from that brown stem to check if it has a disease which I can recognize, and the stem underneath is still green.

Click on the pictures for full size.

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3 Answers 3


The plant that you have is called 'cilindric opuntia' Austrocylindropuntia cylindrica, cactus are capable of scar in similar way than skin, and when they do it that white stuff appears. Probably your cactus was damaged by insects, an injure, chemicals or frost.

In the other hand, the brown coloration of the other cactus, can be caused by very lower temperatures. As I can see, the brown one is located nearby the wall, and this place is much more cold. Also I can see other kind of cactus in the back, and it has the same brown coloration, and its not common in other weather conditions.

  • both pictures show the same plant that contains three stems. The white areas appear on the top one the stems whereas the brown coloration appears in the stem that is nearest to the wall. Chemicals is definitely out of the question as we do not use chemicals. This boils down either to weather or some disease or insect. The weather here is not extremely low. In winter lowest is 10 Degrees Celsius and in summer at most it is 40 Degrees Celsius. I'm not sure if this is an issue. Is there a way to remove the brown skin? Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 20:26
  • after loads of research i found out that the brown coloration could be due to Corking which is natural for cactus. However, I have no explanation for the white spots Source: cactiguide.com/cactipests Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 20:30

After loads of research I found out that the brown coloration (as shown in the second picture) is due to corking. Corking is a natural aging process of cacti. Corking always starts from the base of the cactus and moves upward.

Read more :

  1. http://www.ehow.com/info_8266680_cactus-turning-brown.html
  2. http://cactiguide.com/cactipests/

My guess is that the clay-like spots are spider mite damage. Spider mites are possibly worst (where they exist) in conditions that cacti like, too (hot and dry). They tend to damage plants when water is scarce in order to get water (or so I hear, and it seems to be true in my experience).

Here's another thread that shows a cactus with damage similar to yours, which they say is from red spider mites: https://mycotopia.net/topic/63869-spider-mite-question-on-cacti/

Unfortunately, I'm not sure what kind of cactus you have there, at this time.

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