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Why We Love Terra Cotta Pots!

Posted on April 22, 2022 in Garden, House + Home, Container Gardens, Indoor & Tropical Plant Care

Written by West Coast Gardens

We love terra cotta pots, and not just for their earthy, natural look or accessibility. From a designer-crafted style to a basic terra cotta pot and saucer—they are easy to find and easy to use. Plus: We haven’t met a plant yet that doesn’t look great in one of these warm-toned clay pots! Take a look at some of our top reasons for using terra cotta below, as well as tips on when not to use these pots and how to keep them looking great. 

Are Terra Cotta Pots Good for My Plants?

The short answer? Yes! But of course, there are a few exceptions. Terra cotta is a porous material and helps your plants’ roots to breathe through oxygen exchange. These pots also absorb some of the excess moisture after you water your plants, preventing your roots from staying in soggy soil too long. This also means you may have to water these plants more often than if they were in ceramic pots but you are less likely to end up with diseases, root rot, or other overwatering problems. 

Which Plants Like Terra Cotta Pots?

The natural evaporation qualities of the terra cotta clay pot mean that there are plants that will especially adore these containers. Cacti and succulents are two of these plants, which makes sense since they are desert plants and will not tolerate being overwatered. Some plants are more difficult in terra cotta pots, such as ferns and moss, because they enjoy soil that stays moist. 

Why Do My Terra Cotta Pots Turn White?

Terra cotta absorbs water, which means that it also absorbs the minerals, fertilizers and salts from the water and soil. The residue of these can make your naturally brown pot turn white, dark or have a patchwork of patina. Though many people like this aging process and the look it produces, it can be cleaned relatively easily. Soak your pots in a vinegar and water solution (1 part vinegar/3 parts water) for 30-45 minutes, leaving them completely submerged. If the buildup on the pots does not come off easily when you scrub them, try soaking them longer or using pure vinegar in certain spots. 

Get Creative with Your Terra Cotta

Although traditionally an outdoor plant pot, terra cotta looks amazing indoors as well. We love tall pots or vases made from this warm ceramic, especially for a handful of cut blooms (fresh from the garden or faux year-round). Terra cotta saucers made great ‘catch-all’ dishes by the front door for keys and coins, or by the sink for your scrubbers. The uniquely natural style of this material makes it versatile and welcome anywhere in your home!