Transplanting Cactus Outdoors: It Will Be Easier!

Cacti are one of the most beloved houseplants and have been around since ancient times. Transplanting cactus outdoors is not as difficult as it may seem, but there are a few critical pieces of information you need to keep in mind before taking the plunge. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of transplanting cactus outdoors, including when to move them and how to do it properly. 

Deciding When to Transplant

One of the most important considerations when transplanting cactus outdoors is the weather. Cactus are susceptible to cold damage, so it’s essential to wait until all danger of frost has passed before transplanting. In general, late spring or early summer is the best time to transplant cacti.

Another consideration is the cactus’s size. Smaller cacti can be transplanted more easily than large ones and are less likely to experience shock from the move. If you’re transplanting a giant cactus, it’s best to do it in stages, moving it to a larger pot every few years until it reaches its final destination.

Finally, ensure the new location you’re transplanting your cactus to is sunny and well-drained. Cactus need lots of sunlight to thrive, so a spot with at least six hours of sun per day is ideal. And good drainage is essential to preventing root rot. If your yard lacks well-drained soil, consider planting your cactus in a raised bed or on a slope.

prepare transplanting cactus outdoors
Photo by Jayme Burrows

The Best Time of Year to Transplant

The best time to transplant cactus outdoors is in the late spring or early summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. This allows the cactus to establish itself in its new home before the hot summer sun arrives. If you live in an area with a short growing season, you can transplant cactus in the fall after the danger of frost has passed.

Preparing Your Cactus for Transplanting

When transplanting your cactus outdoors, it is essential to first acclimate the plant to its new environment. To do this, start by placing the cactus in an area with indirect sunlight for a few hours each day. Gradually increase the amount of time the cactus spends in direct sunlight each day until it is able to tolerate full sun.

Once the cactus has acclimated to its new environment, it is time to prepare it for transplanting. Begin by gently removing the plant from its pot. Be careful not to damage the roots as you do this. Next, loosen any compacted soil around the roots and trim away any damaged or dead roots.

Now it is time to replant your cactus in a pot that is slightly larger than its current one. Use well-draining cactus soil and water thoroughly after planting. Place the pot in an area that receives full sun and allow the plant to adjust to its new home for a few weeks before moving it to a permanent location outdoors.

How to Transplant a Cactus

When the weather outside is warm, and the cactus has been growing well indoors, it is time to transplant the cactus outdoors. Here are some tips on how to transplant a cactus:

1. Choose a spot in your garden that gets plenty of sunlight. Cacti need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

2. Prepare the soil by adding some organic matter, such as compost or manure. The soil should be well-draining but also hold moisture.

3. Carefully remove the cactus from its pot, not damaging the roots.

4. Plant the cactus in the prepared spot, ensuring the roots are covered with soil, but the plant itself is not buried too deeply.

5. Water the cactus well and give it time to adjust to its new location before fertilizing it.

Also read: Revive Dying Cactus With These Helpful Tips!

Aftercare for Transplanted Cacti

Water your cactus deeply immediately after transplanting, then wait two to three days before watering again. After that, water when the top couple inches of soil are dry. Do not fertilize for six weeks.

When transplanting your cactus, please give it a good soaking with water. This will help it to recover from the stress of being moved and get it off to a good start in its new home. However, don’t continue to water it every day like you would a houseplant. Once every few days should be sufficient.

After a couple of weeks, you can fertilize your cactus if you wish. Use a low-nitrogen fertilizer and apply it sparingly, as too much fertilizer can damage the roots. Apply the fertilizer around the base of the plant, taking care not to get any on the leaves or stems.

transplanted cacti
Photo by Nourdine Diouane on Unsplash


Transplanting cactus outdoors can be tricky, but it is essential to ensure you give your cacti the best possible environment for growth. Taking the time to prepare and plan before transplanting will save you from potential difficulties. Transplanting cactus outdoors is an exciting endeavor that can bring beauty and life into any garden!

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