Considering the Pros and Cons of Terracotta Pots for Your Houseplants: A Guide to Proper Care

Considering the advantages and disadvantages of using terracotta pots for gardening is essential. It is important to note the benefits and drawbacks of this type of container before making a decision.

Did you know that terracotta, which translates to “cooked Earth” in Italian, is a type of clay that is shaped, dried, and fired for its final structure? With a history dating back to 26,000 – 24,000 BCE, terracotta is a common and ancient medium that has both advantages and disadvantages to consider when using it for your houseplants. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using terracotta pots and learn how to properly care for them.

Terracotta Pot Advantages

Natural Porous Material

When it comes to maintaining healthy plants, it’s important to understand terracotta pots’ role. While these pots can absorb minerals from water, their porous nature is essential for promoting strong root development, soil aeration, and proper air circulation. This allows for optimal growth conditions and ensures your plants thrive!

Prevents Overwatering

Terracotta pots are naturally absorbent and help those who tend to overwater their plants. The clay material absorbs extra water, preventing root rot and making it difficult to overwater your plants. This is especially helpful for those who care a little too much for their plants.


If you’re a plant enthusiast who loves indoor and outdoor plants, consider terracotta pots a versatile option. These pots are great for various settings and can effortlessly transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. This makes them ideal for those who like moving their plants outside during warmer months and bringing them back inside when the weather turns colder. With terracotta pots, you can enjoy your plants all year round, no matter the season!

Protect The Roots

Terracotta pots have thick walls that provide insulation for plants, protecting them from temperature changes. Using these pots indoors during colder months can help your plants that are in dormancy. During dormancy, plants absorb water from the soil slower, making it essential to adjust our watering schedule to avoid root rot. Terracotta pots can help by absorbing water from the soil and allowing it to dry out more quickly, reducing the risk of root rot.


If you’re looking for affordable gardening options, terracotta pots are great! Not only are they cost-effective, but they also bring a timeless and sophisticated aesthetic to any plant arrangement. Their earthy hues and natural texture effortlessly blend in with any decor.

Terracotta Pot Disadvantages

Higher Maintenance

If you’re growing plants that prefer a moist environment, it’s good to remember that terracotta pots may need more watering than other types of pots. These plants aren’t the best fit for this type of pot. Because terracotta pots are porous, your plant may need more water, especially if it’s small. So, it is important to keep an eye on it and water it more often until you get used to the new watering schedule with a terracotta pot.


Terracotta pots are more fragile than plastic and require extra care. Handle them carefully to prevent cracking or breaking, and avoid sudden impacts or pressure. Also, avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight for prolonged periods. Taking these precautions allows your terracotta pots to last years and keep your plants thriving.

Can Harm Furniture

When placing your plants in terracotta pots and saucers at home, it’s important to consider what type of furniture you place them on. Terracotta can hold onto water, harming your furniture, especially wooden furniture. By finding the right spot to put them, you can keep your furniture safe and make it last longer.

How to Care for Your Terracotta Pots

Keeping your terracotta pots clean is super important for the health of your plants. Fungus and algae love to grow in the tiny pores of the clay but don’t worry; I’ll show you how to clean them up in just a few easy steps. Regular cleaning is key, but a more thorough cleanup might be needed if you notice a lot of buildup. Let’s ensure your terracotta pots stay fresh and clean for all your gardening needs!

First, let the soil dry out and compact. Then, move the plant to a temporary pot or plant mat. 

To clean the terracotta pot, use a bristle brush to remove any dirt or loose mineral buildup. To get rid of the remaining mineral buildup:

  1. Make a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and soak the pot in it for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Scrub off the residue. If the mineral buildup is stubborn, you can make a paste of baking soda and water, apply it to the affected area, and scrub it off after 5-10 minutes.
  3. Just make sure you don’t use items meant for food or plates to clean your plant pots to avoid cross-contamination.

We recommend avoiding alternative methods like using the oven or dishwasher to disinfect the pot, as they might not be safe for your plants.

Tips When Using Terracotta Pots

Before planting, soak it in distilled water for about 24 hours or overnight. This will help keep your plant’s moisture levels balanced and prevent any cracking due to temperature changes.

Use a glazed terracotta or plastic saucer, or place a cork plant coaster underneath.

Opt for organic fertilizers, like Joyful Dirt, instead of chemical-based ones. Also, be careful with tap water – it could have harmful chemicals that might not be the best for your plant’s growth. Use filtered or distilled water instead to keep your plant in top-notch condition.

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