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My wife is reading Gardeners world mag, they are talking about Terracotta pots with plants in, outside in winter, we thought that was a no, due to breaking during frost,thoughts and advice please


  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,240
    Some Terracotta pots are frost Proof which won't crack or shouldn't , Yorkshire pots are frost proof. They is a lesser resistant pot which are classed as frost resistant which can take a bit of frost but not guarantee against breaking. And normal terracotta which can crack quite easy compared to the other two.

    I think its has something to do how hot it gets when they are fired which makes them frost proof.
  • floraliesfloralies Haute-Garonne SW FrancePosts: 2,039
    Which ever pot you choose you need to ensure good drainage and put the pots up on pot feet so that they don't sit in water.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,975
    It's the water freezing and expanding that does the damage.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,229
    You can protect terracotta pots with 2 to 3 layers of acrylic varnish in matt, satin or gloss according to preference.   More than 3 and it goes milky and spoils the look.   

    Doing this will preserve the terracotta but also stop it aging so if you want the whole patina/algae/moss effect you have to shell out and buy the very high baked frost-proof ones.   Either way you need to make sure there is good drainage within and that it stands on pot feet or bricks. 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • plumbplumb Posts: 63
    Thanks all for help
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,895
    I haven't stood any of my big terracotta pots on pot feet since a high wind blew one over on the terrace a few years back. I do bubble wrap ones I think may not be properly frostproof. I don't think any of my pots suffer from waterlogging, none of my plants in pots have died on me - yet (fingers crossed). I rather suspect the pot feet 'must have' is just a ploy to make us spend more money on things we don't need. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,229
    I think it depends on how big is the pot, how much drainage crocks there are between the base and the compost and how wet your area/garden is and also how frequent and how deep are the frosts.   

    I don't need pot feet here where -8C for one or two nights is considered extreme and where high temps and drought are so frequent I need pot saucers more than pot feet.

    In my last garden there was far more rain that sat about on the surface of paths and terraces and frosts lasted for weeks and -15C was normal and -25C not unusual.   Not good for terracotta pots and even dangerous for some high baked glazed ceramic ones, even when taken into shelter.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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