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Are terracotta pots good for plants? This is one of the most frequent questions new gardeners ask when selecting pots for their gardens.

Terracotta pots are unglazed clay pots, and they are made of unique soil, which is fired in kilns as part of the molding, manufacturing, and production process. They have a striking orange color that provides a perfect foil for different plants and flowers. This peculiar hue identifies these pots as terracotta clay pots. These planting containers are readily available in the market, and they come in different shapes and sizes.

Besides, they are inexpensive and durable. The name terracotta is of Latin origin, and it means baked earth. After the baking process, the pot acquires a natural orange-brown color and a porous nature. As the pot is fired, the heat disburses the iron, thus bringing about the orange hue. The resultant pot is porous, and it is not watertight, meaning the pot can breathe. The pot is glazed to tone down the porosity, but it is often left in its natural state.

Besides making planting pots, terracotta is used as roofing tiles, art, and so much more. The porosity of terracotta pots makes them ideal for plants.

Glamming and Redecorating Terracotta pots can make your garden and home more beautiful and elegant. The brown color of outdoor pots can become too monotonous, and that can be changed using the right type of paint.

The ideal paint to use on terracotta pots is either spray paint or acrylic paint. Clay pots often look alike, and paint can be used to either beautify or make them stand out. Getting creative with clay pots adds some pizzas to the pots and explores one’s creativity. The designs to paint are not limited; one can use block colors, dots, or stripes. The list is only bound by how creative one can get.

Before we proceed, let me explain the difference between terracotta pots and clay pots.

What is the Difference Between Terracotta and Clay Pots?

The difference between clay pots and terracotta pots boils down to the creation process. Terracotta clay pots are made of clay that has been molded and fired, while ordinary clay pots have been made without being exposed to heat.

Ideally, terracotta pots are made from earthenware clay, but they have been fired to become more porous and permeable.

Ordinary clay pots are made from organic and earthenware clay, but they are not cured or processed before making the final product. Permeability and porosity make terracotta pots good for plants.

How do you Prepare Terracotta Pots for Planting?

The first and most important thing to do before using terracotta pots is to soak them up before planting. You can fill up a tub, a sink, or a big basin.

The pots are either soaked overnight or for thirty minutes before beginning the potting process. Since the pots are made of clay, soaking them up prevents them from stealing your plants’ water.

The second tip is to layer the bottom of the pot with a coffee filter. This is not because I am a coffee fan, but since the pots have drainage holes at the bottom, the soil remains in the pot while excess water drains out. Even if the pot is still wet from being soaked, it does not affect the filter. Just make sure the filter is well pressed on the sides to prevent the soil from falling between the pot and the filter. The third tip is to use a plastic saucer for the pot.

The saucer that comes with the pot is made of clay, and it can destroy a surface after being watered. The plastic saucer is not affected by water, which makes it ideal for use.

The saucer does not have to be made of plastic, but any material that will protect the carpet, wood, or surface you will put the pot on.

How Long do Terracotta Pots Last?

Terracotta pots have a short lifespan because they last for about three years. As these pots age, they begin molding and decaying.

The most susceptible pots are those that look beautiful, and they have unique designs and textures on them. After their second year, they start cracking, especially if you live in a climate experiencing extreme weather changes.

The freezing and thawing eventually cracks them up, bringing the need to purchase new ones. The advantage is that a cracked pot can be repaired easily at home using simple DIY methods. Besides, the pot can be shattered and remodeled, making it useful after its time is up.

Aging the pot using home products like yogurt and lime can increase the pot’s lifespan and beauty, making terracotta pots good for indoor plants.

Are Terracotta Pots Waterproof?

Terracotta plants are naturally porous and permeable; therefore, they are not waterproof unless they are sealed. One of the easiest ways to seal these pots is by using liquid rubber.

The rubber is eco-friendly, which makes it safe for all plants, animals, and you during the application. All you need for the application is the liquid rubber, some gloves, and an ordinary paintbrush.

Before beginning the coating process, thoroughly was the pot to remove any debris, especially if it is an old pot. The debris can contain lingering diseases that will prevent the plants from growing healthy.

If possible, use a wire brush to scrub the inside, since it is where you will need to waterproof. If the pot has developed any cracks, the liquid rubber will seal off all these cracks.

Before beginning the potting process, always ensure that the pot is completely dry. Waterproofing makes terracotta pots good for plants, both indoor and outdoor plants.

Plants to Put in Terracotta Pots

Terracotta pots are ideal for succulent plants. Because succulents prefer drier soils, the pots are ideal since they are porous and permeable.

The drainage holes at the bottom drain excess water, and the porous pot material actively absorbs water. Besides, the porous nature of the pot allows air to freely circulate in the soil, which is essential for the roots. Some of the best plant species to use include; the aloe vera, cacti, snake plants, the spiral aloe, the bunny-eared cacti, and the queen of the night.

These are but a sample of the vast amounts of succulent plants available in the market. Let us now understand why terracotta pots are good for plants and why you should have them in your garden.

Why are Terracotta Pots Good For Plants?

The main reason why terracotta pots are good for plants is because of their porous nature. Being made from baked clay, they have an earth-based medium that allows water and air to circulate and pass through the pot’s walls freely.

This factor promotes healthy plants’ growth by keeping away root rot, which is the leading cause of wilting and death of plants. When finding terracotta pots for home use, it is important to purchase pots that have been baked at high temperatures.

They are the most durable and are less permeable. They strike the right moisture balance, meaning that you don’t need to water the plants often to maintain adequate moisture levels.

Is Painting Terracotta Pots Good For Plants?

The main reason why terracotta pots are good for plants is because of their porous nature. Being made from baked clay, they have an earth-based medium that allows water and air to circulate and pass through the pot’s walls freely.

This factor promotes healthy plants’ growth by keeping away root rot, which is the leading cause of wilting and death of plants. When finding terracotta pots for home use, it is important to purchase pots that have been baked at high temperatures.

They are the most durable and are less permeable. They strike the right moisture balance, meaning that you don’t need to water the plants often to maintain adequate moisture levels.

Parting Shot On Whether Terracotta Pots Are Good For Plants

Terracotta pots are good for plants, especially if you are looking to grow succulent plants in your garden or home. Although terracotta pots are made from earthenware clay, they are different from ordinary clay pots because they are heated to become porous.

The heating gives them an orange hue, which differentiates them from other clay pots. They are baked clay pots, which makes them porous and permeable. They allow air to freely enter the soil in the pot while actively absorbing water, making the environment ideal for succulent plants.

For non-succulent plants, watering the pot occasionally is necessary. Although the pots have a short lifespan of three years, their cracks can be resealed, and they can be shattered and remolded into new pots.

Terracotta pots are good for indoor plants, and they require preparation before potting begins. They need to be soaked in water and layered with a coffee filter at the bottom. The soil needs to be carefully filled to prevent it from getting between the filter and the pot.

As a good gardener, you might want to find a saucer that is not made of clay. The essence of this is to prevent the clay saucer from damaging your surfaces since clay actively absorbs water.