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How To Stop Terracotta Pots From Cracking

How To Stop Terracotta Pots From Cracking

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Terracotta pots add a warm vibe to outdoor space and this material is one of the best for plant cultivation. But it’s not uncommon for these planters to crack and break during the wintertime. 

Once the temperatures drop, moisture in clay containers can freeze and expand, which leads to damage.

If you’ve already had this issue or you’re afraid it could happen, I’ll show you how to stop terracotta pots from cracking!

Let’s get started!

Empty Them And Transfer Indoors

The easiest way to prevent these planters from cracking is by taking them indoors during the winter months. Of course, this applies only to those who have a lot of indoor space for all their terracotta pots.

You can leave the growing substrate or a part of it in your planters if you have enough space. 

If this isn’t the case, you should empty these containers and wash them thoroughly using bleach and water in a ratio of 1:10.

After cleaning, leave your terracotta pots in full sun for a few days until they’re fully dry. When storing them, make sure each one is upside down; they should be staggered to promote airflow.

If you have large terracotta planters and can’t store them indoors, you can cover them with a tarp and find a suitable location outdoors. For instance, you can keep them on the porch, in an outdoor shed, or any other sheltered spot

Make sure the bottom of the planter doesn’t touch the cold ground. Rain should not collect inside the planters; if you can’t turn them upside down, lean them to the side and protect them with a tarp.

Or Elevate And Seal Outdoors

Some gardeners don’t have a lot of choices and have to keep their terracotta planters outdoors. 

If you’re one of them, the easiest solution is to use a protective sealant; I recommend using those made of stone.

Clean your planters well and apply the varnish using a foam paint brush. Apply the first coat to the interior, allow it to dry well (follow the instructions from the manufacturer), and then apply the first coat to the exterior.

When all the varnish has dried well, repeat the process once again. 

If this is too much work for you, there’s one more method you can use to protect your terracotta planters. Your main task is to make sure the holes at the bottom of the planters are never clogged

Water can’t drain if the holes are clogged and it will turn into ice and the pots will crack as a result. The solution to clogging is using planter feet or items such as bricks or drainage dishes.

This will also prevent your planters from touching the cold ground, which is another preventative measure. 

Terracotta planters have multiple benefits for plants, so you should protect them from cracking using any of the methods described above!