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Caring for Your Concrete Planters - Tips to Help Them Last for Years

Updated: Mar 9

Home gardeners who love the look of concrete planters will quickly learn that they require extra care to keep them in good condition. These hefty pots are durable, but as a porous material, they can still deteriorate from freeze-thaw cycles, stains, scratches, and other damage.


Caring for Your Concrete Planters - Tips to Help Them Last for Years
Caring for Your Concrete Planters - Tips to Help Them Last for Years

The good news is that concrete planters can enhance your outdoor space for many years with proper maintenance.


Follow these tips for keeping them protected and preventing common issues:


Choose a Sun-Safe Planter Location

Location plays a crucial role in concrete planter longevity. Placing pots in direct sunlight can damage the concrete over time as moisture expands and contracts. The harsh UV rays can also fade decorative finishes. Positioning your planters in an area with partial sun or dappled shade is ideal. Watch for cracks around drain holes, which can indicate sun exposure problems. You can also stain or seal with a UV-protectant to minimise fading.


Use Gravel Underneath For Drainage

Excess moisture leads to lots of problems. Creating better drainage by elevating concrete planters is essential. Place pots up on feet or plant stands, if available. Or add a base layer of pea gravel in plant saucers to lift the planters from water. Do not let them sit directly in saucers full of water, as the saturated concrete base can deteriorate over the freeze-thaw cycles or promote bacterial growth.


Apply an Acrylic Sealer Periodically

Maintaining a protective coating is especially important for textured concrete planters with more surface area where moisture and debris can collect. Sealing all types of concrete pots yearly or two with an acrylic sealer helps water bead off the surface rather than getting soaked into the material. This extends longevity and resists staining over time. Check for sealer wear if planters look extra dirty with well-defined water lines. To recoat, clean the pot and follow sealer application directions.


Wash Regularly with Mild Soap and Water

Prevent stubborn grime buildup by thoroughly cleaning your concrete planters at least a few times per season. Cleaning also makes inspecting for any sealer damage or cracks easier. Use a soft sponge or brush with mild soap and hose off well. Routine cleaning and resealing go hand-in-hand to maintain that like-new shine. Stay on top of it!


Cover or Seal for Winter Months in Cold Climates

In regions with sub-freezing winters, concrete pots must be protected. Water seeping into the concrete and freezing/expanding causes irreparable internal cracking called spalling. Store concrete planters somewhere sheltered, like a shed or garage, or seal drainage holes with a foam plug to keep moisture out.


Adding extra waterproof sealant before storage helps as well. There is no need for winter protection if you don’t live in an area with sustained below-freezing temperatures.


Conclusion Caring For Concrete Planters

By proactively caring for your concrete planters using these essential methods, you can minimise damage and deterioration over many growing seasons. Know that a little bit of maintenance goes a long way. Set yourself a seasonal reminder and inspect/clean your planters regularly. They’ll continue enhancing your space beautifully for years with just a bit of extra concrete TLC!

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