In nature, cacti are usually green everywhere. If you have been growing cacti for some time, you will already be familiar with this fact. However, sometimes cactus corking affects the succulent in a way that turns a large area brown instead of remaining green like it normally would.
It’s okay that this happens; it’s meant to happen for many cacti, but how does cactus corking occur?
What is Cactus Corking Anyway?
Cactus corking is the change in color and texture of a cactus that occurs as a result of the aging process, as well as how weathered the cactus is.
A cactus will naturally begin to cork over time in order to create a firm foundation for future development. Consider it a self-consolidating basis.
When cacti cork, they form a bark-like structure that starts at the plant’s base and extends straight up all around it for a variable period of time depending on the cactus.
Cactus corking gets its name from its resemblance to a cork-like structure.
Although it may look strange that a green cactus is becoming brown, there is nothing to be concerned about if it is corking and not turning brown due to other unhealthy factors such as rot.
So, if your cactus is corking, it’s just prepping for future growth and making sure it can support its own weight without falling over.
Read more about how to tell the difference here
Touching the brown portion of the plant is the best method to identify if your cactus is corking or not. The cactus is most likely corking if the region feels stiff to the touch and nearly bark-like.
Also, because this is a lengthy process, if you observe a large brown patch emerge overnight, that is not the case and something is amiss.
If your cactus has experienced something similar, it’s likely due to rot, sunburn, cold conditions, or other circumstances.
If the cactus is soft or mushy to the touch and is brown, you’ve got rot on your hands and should inspect the roots for damage.
To summarize, corking is a bark-like structure that is hard and grows gently up your cactus; anything else is not.
There are also other factors that cause corking
Cactus can begin to cork when cultivated in very strong light for lengthy periods of time, in addition to the aging process. So, if you want to boost the chances of this happening to your cactus, supply more light than normal and for a longer period of time.
It is important to remember that doing so will expose your cacti to light, but it will also hasten the corking process.
Giving your cactus more shade than usual will prevent it from corking. This will reduce its chances of corking.
If you don’t want your cactus to turn brown naturally, this isn’t a certainty, but it’s certainly better than doing nothing.
Is Cactus Corking permanent?
Cactus corking is a permanent feature once the process has begun. This is either bad or good, depending on how you look at it.
Your cactus will always be brown on a certain part of the plant, no matter what you do.
But that’s fine, because most cacti do this naturally and it’s what most people expect.
There is a chance that it isn’t as beautiful as you thought it would be, but who knows? You might end up liking it.