Terracotta pots may look fine come spring but minor cracks caused by cold weather can cause pots to fall apart. It’s best not to keep terracotta pots outdoors in the winter months but for those who don’t have indoor space, Monty Don has shared his simple solution.
Monty, 67, is the lead host of Gardeners’ World and often shares gardening advice each month on his blog.
The gardening expert said November is the month to protect your best terracotta pots ready for the cooler weather ahead.
Monty explained that terracotta absorbs water which means when there’s a hard frost the pot can crack.
He wrote: “I am not suggesting that you have any bad terracotta pots – heaven forfend – but some are undoubtedly more weather-proof and expensive than others.
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There are other ways to prevent pots from cracking in winter. Gardeners should aim to eliminate the possibility of water being absorbed and frozen as this is what causes cracking.
One thing gardeners can do is lift the pot off the ground by placing it on pot feet, wooden blocks or stones.
This allows air to circulate underneath the pot and allows water to exit through the holes in the bottom of the pot and drain away.
Another alternative is to remove plants and soil from the pot and temporarily repot them in a plastic container or elsewhere.
The soil absorbs water, freezes and expands which then causes the pot to crack.
The best method is to move the pot indoors either into a greenhouse, shed or conservatory.
The best quality terracotta pots can be expensive, fetching £20 to £100 online.
Cracked terracotta pots can be fixed using waterproof silicone caulk or by wiring the cracked edges together.
The pot should be durable once fixed but it takes patience to fix.