How to Prevent Ceramic and Clay Pots from Cracking or Shattering

By November 12, 2018No Comments

Ceramic and clay pots are classic staples in gardens throughout the world. They are a simple and effective way to hold and separate plants while also providing the right amount of drainage for them to thrive. They’re hardy, versatile and sturdy enough to hold everything from a sprouting flower to an aging ficus. These ceramic troopers are meant to last a lifetime and are readily available at your local nursery in Fargo, ND.
Unfortunately, clay and ceramic aren’t as strong as they might appear to be. They’re actually quite susceptible to changes in temperature and freezing snow. The materials expand and contract every time the temperature heats up and cools with each changing season. The winter season presents the biggest threat, often leaving even the most reliable pots cracked and broken by the time spring finally rolls around.
Here’s what you need to know about preventing ceramic and clay pots from cracking or shattering. Visit S & S Landscaping Co. Inc. to learn more.

What happens?

Usually, the water enters and drains out of the pot without any issue. But during the winter months, the water can become trapped inside of the planter and freeze, which means it also expands. This expansion causes the pot to crack. The small cracks can go unnoticed until spring, when the compromised pot will fall apart completely.

How to prevent it

Luckily, there are a few different ways to prevent this from happening. One option is to empty any planters filled with plants not tough enough to stand up to winter. Then, empty the pot of soil and clean it with a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water. Let the pot dry in the sun until all the moisture evaporates. Cleaning the pot will help it avoid pests and diseases. Once the pot is dry, bring it inside the shed, garage or other covered area to be stored upside down. Make sure the pot is protected from rain or snow. This should be done before the first freeze of the season to ensure the pot is still in one piece come spring.

Some plants are strong enough to last through the winter, but they will still need some attention before the cold weather rolls in. Move the pots onto a shelf, a concrete surface or bricks to keep the pot off of the ground. This will prevent rain and snow from causing the pots to stick to the ground in freezing temperatures. Remember not to block the drainage holes.

Changing the way you plant can also help. Poor drainage is a pot’s enemy. The more water stored in the soil, the more likely it will freeze and cause an irreparable crack. There should be an abundance of drainage material on the bottom of the pot before it is filled with soil. The drainage holes should never be blocked.

Let us help you prepare for winter!

Need some help getting your garden ready for winter? Then call S & S Landscaping Co. Inc. today. We’ve been an all-in-one provider of landscape services for decades. Call us or stop by our nursery in Fargo, ND today for more information!

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