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Hello Gardening stackexchange!

We bought a few cacti and aloe vera last year, which live in pots. We took them inside the house at the start of the past autumn, when the temperatures were starting to get below about 7°C. The question is: when is it safe to put the cacti and aloe vera outside again? It is a rather cold spring here in Switzerland, with night temperatures still reaching 0-3°C, but daytime temperatures up to 15°C. Is there a clear advice that we can follow?

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I wouldn't leave any frost-sensitive plants outside, before half May. But this is gardeners wisdom from the Netherlands, I am not sure if that would count for Switzerland as well. Here in the Netherlands we have what we call Ice Saints (IJsheiligen), which is half May, and after that date we are sure there will be no frost anymore until autumn. So all frost-sensitive plants can safely go outside, after the Ice Saints has passed. I am not sure if that would count for Switzerland as well, there are some differences in e.g., altitude between our countries.

Furthermore, you can always take your plants outside if the weather forecasts are good, and don't predict any low night temps for the coming days/weeks. But be sure to follow those forecasts daily and bring your plants inside again when the temperature is predicted to drop.

  • Thank you very much for your answer! We have the IJsheiligen too (Eisheiligen!) here, so that makes sense! Just a simple follow-up question: from what point onwards do you think that temperatures are too 'low', is that at, say, 2°C or more like 6°C? Thanks again! – Erik Apr 4 '20 at 10:05
  • I think that would depend on the cactus species, some can go as low as 2C but others not. Also very important is moisture level during this low temperature, these desert plants don't like it too wet (they can rot, especially with low temperatures). So it is hard to tell if 2 or 6 C is safe under wetter conditions than their own habitat. – benn Apr 4 '20 at 10:21

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