Skip to main content
Prickly Pear Cactus

Q:  I planted some cacti outside and they have been growing very tall but they are very pale green.  I have fertilized them but I don’t see much response.  Do you have any ideas?

A:   Certain types of cacti grown outdoors in Florida may experience the lighter discoloring you mentioned resulting from our high humidity.  Many cacti come from arid environments and although your plant has grown significantly, it is probably out of its normal element and the stress has caused the pale color.  I suspect it will not die but it may become susceptible to a fungal disease.  Continue to watch it but do not over water or over fertilize it.  Fertilize succulents and cacti very sparingly. Overfeeding can kill these slow growing plants or force them to grow at an unnatural rate. Be very careful of them as the spines have been known to go through the soles of shoes.  I speak from experience on this topic having unsuspectingly stepped on one at American Beach this winter.  Ouch!