When To Move Christmas Cactus Outside? (What To Consider+How To Move)


Planters like to move their plants for different purposes or for fun. However, it could be good for them and also lead to stress and damage. 

Many are not sure when to move their plant. Is it okay to shift the Christmas cactus outside? Let’s see how and when.

Christmas cactus can be shifted outdoors during late spring and summer. Move them gradually to acclimate them to outdoor conditions. Do not expose the Christmas cactus to direct sun, water them when the soil dries out, and check the soil before watering. 

Different factors are connected and should be kept in mind while moving your Christmas cactus outside. Placement, watering regime, light, etc. are some factors to be considered to help the plant maintain its health.

Let us learn about the data and process required to keep in mind while moving your Christmas cactus. Read the article to learn the same.

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Do Christmas cactus do well outside?

Christmas cactus will do great outdoors, but some care demands will change. 

Though, they might ask for some extra care and perfect environmental conditions when kept outside.

In their usual environment, they live outdoors, but after planters started growing them as indoor plants, the plant has limited arrangements.

After you have moved the Christmas cactus, be prepared to give extra effort to them. 

Make them comfortable and acclimated to the new condition gradually. 

Go slow while moving the plant outdoors to give them enough time to get comfortable in the new condition.

Indoors need enough light, temperature, and other cultural conditions in check to survive and thrive later. 

Though cultural conditions are not in our hands, you have to protect them from any adverse conditions such as wind, direct light, etc.

If the temperature changes frequently, you need to keep your Christmas cactus indoors to minimize any possible harmful effects. 

Never keep them in harsh direct light outdoors, as they are not used to direct light after living indoors. 

You might see signs of distress if they are not comfortable with the new environment.

Factors to keep in mind while moving the Christmas cactus outside

We recommend planters keep a few factors in mind while moving their Christmas cactus outdoors. 

These factors should be in favor of your plant’s needs. They are:

  • Light
  • Temperature
  • Placement
  • Watering regime

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Light

Light is the prime factor for any plant to grow; as we all know, it boosts the growth and health of the plant. 

Christmas cacti love light and do best when they get ample indirect light. 

Your Christmas cactus living indoors is used to indirect light, due to which they cannot bear direct harsh sunlight when moved outdoors.

You must be very careful of the light your moved plant is getting. 

The afternoon sun is very strong and harsh for your Christmas cactus, and the leaf segments may turn red due to sunburn.

The light they will receive now is more than before. Since everything is interrelated, other requirements will also change and get affected. 

Keeping them in a safe spot where they can be protected from direct sun, under a shade, etc., is safe.

Can the Christmas cactus be in direct sunlight?

Yes, the Christmas cactus can be in direct light by keeping some points in mind:

  • Morning direct sun is best suited for them.
  • Do not expose them to afternoon harsh sunlight.
  • More than 2 hours of direct light can cause sunburn.

Also read: How Much Light Does My Christmas Cactus Need?

Temperature

The right warmth level is not only essential for the growth of the plant but also for its flowering. 

They are desert plants, so they like high-temperature levels in summers and cool temperatures during cooler months.

They are resilient to slight shifts in temperature levels, but sudden and frequent shifting can affect their health. 

If the temperature exceeds the ideal temperature level for many days, the plants start to suffer.

The change in cultural conditions does not affect the Christmas cactus living indoors. 

But outdoors, you might find them stressed due to a change in temperature in a very short time. 

Consider the temperature outdoors before moving your Christmas cactus.

What temperature can a Christmas cactus tolerate?

Christmas cactus prefer high-temperature levels ranging between 70°F to 80°F. 

During cooler months, they can bear as low as 50°F but cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.

They will suffer if kept in temperature levels beyond the ranges mentioned above for longer periods. 

Always keep them in a warmer place when there is a freezing temperature in your area. Avoid keeping them outdoors in such conditions.

Can a Christmas cactus survive winter outside?

Christmas cactus will survive in cooler temperatures but cannot survive frost. 

Though, they need cool, balmy temperatures to flower. Leaving them outdoors in fall, expect cold damage.

A temperature below 50°F is unsuitable for your Christmas cactus. 

Please keep them monitored during winter, as they need cool temperatures to survive and bloom. 

Freezing temperatures can lead to cold damage, and you may lose them forever.

Placement

While placing your Christmas cactus, you must take a step back before deciding on the spot to keep it. 

You may consider the following points for better understanding:

  • Light is the first thing you need to check before placing your Christmas cactus outdoors. Prefer a spot with indirect light.
  • Putting them on a patio in the west or east is the right direction as they can get ample sunlight.
  • Put them under a shade if there is a lot of direct light on them.
  • Please keep them in a spot where they are safe from cold and hot drafts.
  • If you have moved your Christmas cactus indoors during winter, keep them away from heating systems such as vents, radiators, fireplaces, etc.

Where should I put my Christmas cactus outside?

Following are the spots you can keep Christmas cactus outside:

  • Keep them under a canopy of trees, if you have trees outdoors.
  • Look for a place where Christmas cactus can receive ample indirect light. A spot out of direct light is perfect.
  • Besides the wall outdoors is also a good spot.
  • Place them on a patio outside, near a west, east or south-facing direction.

Also read: Where To Place Christmas Cactus? (Ideal Spot+What To Consider)

Watering regime

Christmas cactus doesn’t ask for too much watering, but the needs differentiate outdoors from indoors. 

Indoors they need less water as the sun is not too strong, temperature level is controlled, and other cultural conditions are in control too. 

When you decide to move the Christmas cactus outside, all cultural conditions will change and will be less in your control. 

Here, it would be best to water the plant more frequently. 

Checking the soil’s moistness every few days will help you keep up with their water needs.

How often should I water my Christmas cactus outside?

No one can tell you how much and when to water your plant except your plant. 

Each plant is different from the others. Even plants in the same region can ask for different watering regimes. 

This is because of their different cultural conditions, growing pots, etc.

The best method to follow is the finger/skewer method, which is done by digging a finger/skewer in the soil up to a few inches from the top. 

Take it out after a minute and check if the soil is sticking to it or feels moist; it means the soil is moist from within.

Do not follow any watering regime blindly. Know your plant’s need for water. 

Even if you have discovered the perfect regime for your Christmas cactus, keep checking the soil every few days. 

They don’t like to be overwatered and should only be watered when the soil is dry.

Note: Never soak your Christmas cactus while watering, and make sure the excess water has drained out.

Also read: How Often To Water Christmas Cactus? (Water Requirement+Tips)

How to move the indoor Christmas cactus outdoors?

It would be best if you moved the Christmas cactus outdoors slowly. They are being moved from one condition to another, which they need time to process.

So, following some steps will make the process of moving easier for you and your plant:

  • Move your Christmas cactus outdoors for a few hours, in a shade or partial shade. It can be a tree, patio, or shade. Please bring them back after a few hours.
  • Keep increasing the outdoor hours every 2-3 days.
  • After a week, you can keep them in the direct morning sun for about 2 hours; other than that, keep them in the shade.
  • Repeat the last step for a week. By the end of the week, the plant will acclimate to the new conditions.
  • Now you can keep them outdoors for the entire day and night.
  • After your plant has been permanently moved, keep good care to make it easy for them to adjust to the new condition. It would be best if you did this by checking the signs of stress from moving the plant.
  • Keep them away from the direct sun and water them more frequently as the sun will be strong outside. Keep checking the soil every few days for soil moisture.
  • Outdoors the chances of pest infestation go up, so keep examining them every few days. Use some protective measures such as neem oil spray.
  • Fertilize them after a month of moving, and feed only in the growing season to promote their growth and development.

When to bring the Christmas cactus inside?

Christmas cactus should be moved indoors before freezing and extreme temperatures to save them from permanent damage. 

They cannot tolerate frost. Thus, the leaves and stems may rot and drop gradually.

Move them indoors during early winter when the temperature drops around 60°F to prepare them for freezing temperatures. That will also encourage their flowering.

Also, check for pests and diseases before moving them indoors. Move them only when they seem completely healthy.

Final Thought

Christmas cactus are resilient to different conditions but should be provided with proper care while moving them outside.

Shift the plant outside gradually to save the plant from any shock. 

Always move the plant inside before freezing temperatures, during early winter when the temperature starts to drop.

Making your plant comfortable with the new condition is important as a planter. Acclimatize them slowly with new conditions.

Save your plant from bad weather, cold drafts, hot drafts, and excess rain, and move them to a safer spot.

Use neem oil spray, horticulture spray, etc., on your plant as a preventive measure to save them from pests.


Reference: NC State University, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County, Researchgate, Texas A&M University, Chicago Botanic Garden.

Richa

Hello everyone, My name is Richa and I am here to make you a better gardener by creating an in-depth and helpful resource for all the fellow gardeners out there. If I could help even a few people understand their plants better then I call it a success for my efforts.

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