Best way to extend the life of flower pots?

honestbill(6a)May 6, 2011

I've been told that sealing at least the inside of your flower pots (terra cotta, etc.) will extend the life of them by protecting them from the freeze/thaw damage of winter ... some people say they use Thompson's water sealant, some say oil-based polyurethane, some say water-based polyurethane, some say a 10:1 solution of PVA (poly vinyl acetate).

What is the best way to get more life out of my pots? I'm replacing them far too often. I have to store the unused pots outside, but I also have some plants that I keep in pots outside over winter.


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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

If you turn the pots upside-down, they can't fill with ice. Maybe cover them with a tarp, too. I can't imagine any sealant could be stronger than ice. I think a sealant is to protect the clay from absorbing so much water that ice crystals crack it from within the clay. It also helps during the growing season to prevent the water in the soil from evaporating through the porous clay walls so quickly. Are you able to use plastic pots for the plants while overwintering?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:50AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I agree that it's the water in the clay itself that does the greatest damage. You can store clay pots outdoors if you keep them dry. I have lots of very large terra cotta pots that I tip upside down when they're dry & overwinter on my growing benches under the cover of garbage bags wrapped tightly around them. For the pots with plants. I think I would be thinking about storing them where they can't freeze, or just slipping the plants out of them and into nursery cans or plastic pots for the winter so you can store the clay where it will remain dry.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 3:28PM
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