Terracotta Plant Pots
Terracotta plant pots are having their renaissance. Once considered old-fashioned and plain, the terracotta pot is now loved for its versatility, timeless style, and the perfect color to make your green plants really pop. It’s like the ‘Little Black Dress’ for plants; it goes with everything, and you can never have too many!
Terracotta containers totally nail the minimalist chic look, but there are plenty more reasons to love them. Here’s why we’re filling our gardens, patios, and even our indoor plant collections with terracotta pots this year.
Are Terracotta Pots Good for Plants?
Yes! Planters made from terracotta are great for indoor and outdoor plants because they’re made from a natural, organic, porous baked clay. The breathable nature of the material is better for protecting your plants from intense heat, and it releases excess moisture, preventing root rot and other complications caused by overwatering. You won’t get those benefits from other materials like concrete, resin, and ceramic.
You may have to water plants in terracotta pots slightly more frequently than in non-porous containers, especially if you place them in a hot, sunny location because the soil will be aerated and dry quickly. Generally speaking, overwatering is more harmful than underwatering, so making the switch to terracotta can help protect your plants.
If the moisture evaporates too quickly and you’re having trouble keeping up, try adding a layer of mulch across the soil surface. This shields the soil surface from the sun, so it doesn’t heat up and dry out quite as quickly. The porous material will still release excess moisture, effectively preventing root rot, but it won’t occur quite as rapidly.
Which Plants Do Well in Terracotta Pots?
Most plants are quite content in terracotta pots. However, you may want to avoid plants that prefer consistently moist soil, such as ferns, because you’ll really have to stay on top of watering. Luckily, many of the most popular and common houseplants like their soil to dry out a bit before watering. There are also a lot of plants that prefer drier conditions, such as succulents, so terracotta pots are excellent options in those cases.
Here are our favorite houseplants for planting in terracotta pots:
Monitor the moisture levels by doing the knuckle test: insert your finger into the soil, and if it’s dry up to the second knuckle, it’s time to water again.
How Do You Clean Terracotta Pots?
Over time, you may notice a white, powdery buildup on the exterior of terracotta containers. Not to worry—this is just a natural consequence of the porous material because salts and minerals from water will build up as moisture evaporates. It’s not unique to terra cotta and is easy to scrub off with a vinegar and water solution and a firm-bristled brush.
If you purchase used terracotta pots or decide to reuse your old terracotta pots for new plants, it’s a good idea to let them soak in a vinegar solution for an hour. This will help kill any disease that may be lingering in the porous clay. Rinse them clean, let them dry, and then they’re ready to fill with fresh potting soil and plants!
Not All Terracotta Pots Are the Same
The higher the temperature in which a terracotta pot is fired, the better quality it will be! Poor-quality clays can’t be fired at a high temperature, and it will disintegrate much faster. The best terracotta comes from Italy because the clay there is of such high quality. High quality terra cotta pottery will often last for decades. To test the quality of an empty terracotta pot, sit it on a flat surface or flip it upside down and hold it with your finger through the drain hole. Then, give the edge a tap with the handle end of a metal screwdriver, pliers, or even your garden spade. If you hear a thunk, it’s low-quality. If it has more of a ring sound, then it’s the good stuff! The higher and more resonant the ring, the higher the quality and the longer it will last. The highest quality terracotta can last for generations!
If you’re on the lookout for some terracotta plant pots in California, Roger’s Gardens has a fabulous, high-quality selection in plenty of different sizes. Exclusive to Roger’s Gardens are our Egyptian Terracotta collection ranging from simple urns to beautiful statement pieces, and the moss-covered Campo de Fiori collection handmade in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Visit us soon to snatch up some of these classic containers for your indoor and outdoor plants.