Ardent gardener with a soft spot for container gardening, in particular, knows pretty well that beautiful, high-quality flower pots aren’t something you want to buy each year, mainly because they are often on the pricey side. That’s why it is as essential to take good care of them, as we do with plants, and particularly over cold periods.
Temperatures start to drop usually sometime around the end of October, or the beginning of November (in some areas even sooner), and the beautiful plants from your garden start to dye back. It is time to prepare the pots and store them safely for the next year.
Every good home maker knows that in case they remain outside during winter, there is a risk of water coming inside. Flower containers that contain water are likely to become icy, and the expansion that is the result of freezing can cause pots to break.
If you take all measures for winterizing pots properly, you make sure that they serve you for a very long time.
Even if taking care of flower pots is relatively simple, it depends on the type of the container.
Emptying Flower Pots
The first thing you need to do when you are preparing the flower pots for storing is to leave them. You might be wondering what to do with the soil from the containers. While some people say that you can keep it as reuse it next year we think it’s not the best idea. This old soil very likely won’t have any nutrients by the time new plants grow. It will probably also be full of fibrous roots and maybe diseases like blights and leaf spots caused by fungi that leave in the soil. That’s why we would advise you to when the time comes, pull out the entire plant and throw it to the compost along with the ground.
Cleaning Containers in Autumn
After you emptied them, washing containers is a pretty straightforward process. Scour them with warm soapy water with 10 percent of bleach. The ration of water and bleach needs to be 9:1. For scrubbing, it is best if you use hard brush to be sure everything is removed. By doing this, you make sure to kill any germs and fungi that potentially remained in the pot. Of course, rinse and dry them thoroughly before storing them.
Terracotta is a porous material which makes it super sensitive to cold and freezing. The reason for this is that moisture can easily penetrate the inside of the terracotta flower pot. If you leave these or other clay pots outside during winter, they will almost certainly break due to the freeze and thaw rounds in these months.
You can store them in the garage or working area of the house. Also, they can be in your living room, providing a home for your holiday greenery.
Unlike terracotta, plastic can withstand freezing temperatures without experiencing any damage. It practically means that it is safe to leave them with the soil inside during the entire winter. In case you decide to store them, you can keep them outside. However, even if cold cant damages them, funnily winter sun can be quite rough on plastic pots, causing the color to fade. For preventing this from happening, it is essential to cover them well.
Ceramic containers are the same as terracotta very prone to winter cracks. However, you might encounter a problem with these flower pots since most of them are big and bulky, thus challenging to move around. If it is possible to move them, then the process of storing them is the same as for clay and terracotta planters. It is also important to point out that you should wrap each piece in a newspaper or some other paper and store them separately, not stacked. If you cannot move them, make sure that the soil inside is always dry and wrap them the best you can.
No one wants to move concrete flower containers! The good thing is that you can leave them outside. You will maybe notice some little cracks over the years, but it is not very likely they will genuinely damage the beauty of your container. And of course, it is better if you plant some of the evergreens in the concrete pot. If you don’t want to take care of the garden in winter or aren’t too big on winter plants, you can leave empty containers outside or store it indoors if you have space and the strength to carry them around. In case you don’t feel comfortable with going them out, but you don’t have any storage space left, cover them with a cloth or something similar.
Period before the holiday season is often quite hectic, and many of us have a lot of things to think about. But this shouldn’t mean that we neglect taking good care of the homes for our plants. Particularly if we want to see them happy and healthy, come spring. We covered here the most common questions related to winterizing pots. We hope that you enjoyed reading. Also, in case you have some other questions, or comments feel free to contact us.