Tips On How To Protect Your Terra Cotta Planters From Damage

Posted on: 14 June 2016

Terracotta planters are stoneware pots made from clay and often have an aesthetic natural stone appeal. However, if you fail to observe essential protective practices, your terracotta pots may deplete prematurely or lose their aesthetic appeal. Below are essential tips to help you protect your terracotta pots from damage and prolong their lifespan.  

Winter Storage

Protecting your terracotta planters from the extreme weather conditions experienced in winter helps prolong their durability. The chilly temperatures in winter freeze the water absorbed by clay. As a result, the frozen water expands and the pressure caused makes the pots prone to cracks.

In winter, store your terracotta planters indoors so that you can protect them from the extreme cold temperatures. Also, it's advisable to wrap the pots with newspaper, so as to protect them from any external impact that may break or chip the surface, advises Gardening Know How.


Sanitization of terracotta planters involves thorough decontamination meant to kill fungi and other micro-organisms that often grow on the inner and outer surfaces. The growth of fungus and bacteria can infect your plants. Also, moulds and algae can discolour your planters, and at times, the discoloration may form permanent stains if the pot is not sanitized in good time.

Heat treatment is effective in killing fungi and bacteria found on clay pots. For heat treatment, you should set the temperatures of your kiln or oven at about 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Treat the pots for about one hour and allow them to cool to room temperature. Make sure you don't move your pots when they're still hot so as to avoid accidents and breakages.


Terracotta glazing is the layering of pots with a protective coating. The coating is meant for both aesthetic and protective purposes. Glazing protects the pot from water absorption as it reduces the ability of the surface to absorb water. So it's important to make sure that your pot is glazed and not just for aesthetic purposes but also for protection from water damage.

For instance, glazing meant for water-proofing should be done on the inner and outer parts of your clay planter. Also, it's best to have the glazing done on the bottom as well, because in most cases, the pots will not have glazed bottoms. Inquire from your stoneware provider whether your terracotta pots are glazed all round. Also, you may want to inquire if you can have glazing done on your old pots that don't have water-proof glazing.

Protecting terracotta pots helps prolong their durability. The tips aforementioned can help you prolong the lifespan and usability of your terracotta planters.