Leaving antique pots outside during winter

How do you keep ceramic pots from cracking?

Ceramic pots left outside during winter can become damaged during freezing temperatures. This is because water expands when it freezes. The damage can come from still water at the bottom of the pot, water in the soil if you use the pot as planter, or even water that has soaked into the unglazed ceramic itself. Unglazed ceramics are therefore the most vulnerable to cracks and flaking, but it is best to protect every pot outside during winter.

Antique pots and planters will probably make you extra nervous for breakage, but if you take in mind the following steps, you should not have any problem leaving pots outside!

  1. Always elevate your pots! This will keep the pots from absorbing water from the ground and makes sure your pots won’t leave marks behind on the floor.
  2. If the pots are not too heavy, think about moving them to a covered shelter during winter.
  3. Make sure no water is left in the pot! This means emptying the pot of all water and soil before winter. Potting soil needs to be changed every year anyway.
  4. Cover the pots so no rain or snow will fall inside.
  5. We recommend you use a second, easily removable water pot or soil container inside the first one. This way your antique pot will be protected from constant contact with water or soil. It makes the upkeep and cleaning of the pot much easier!

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