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Why Do Terracotta Pots Get Wet? – 5 Reasons

Why do terracotta pots get wet What should I do

Terracotta pots are made from clay and fire-baked to form porous earthenware. Terracotta typically means baked earth or cooked earth. This makes sense because it is baked clay.

They can be used in gardens, houseplants, or transplanting pots. You need to be careful about the material used to make the terracotta pots. If they are unglazed, they tend to absorb moisture. Hence, they can easily crack when exposed to cold temperatures.

Terracotta is efficient and helps to improve soil aeration and protect your plants from staying wet for long.

The porous material allows moisture and air to pass easily with a drainage hole in the bottom. Most houseplants are better off when dry than too wet, and these terracotta pots are made to prevent roots from sitting in standing water.

Why Do Terracotta Pots Get Wet?

1. Improper Care

Terracotta pots are ideal for your houseplants and will help gear you forward. However, after purchasing that kind of pot, you shouldn’t just use it as it is. Instead, take proper care.

Even if you had already planted before on the terracotta pots, you need to clean them before reusing them again.

Don’t just assume that the same conditions the other plant had been the same that this one will need. Improper care and not taking the relevant measures once you purchase them is what causes the terracotta pots to get wet quickly.

What To Do?

To provide the best care, you need to clean and paint the terracotta pot in the best way possible. Hence, clean the terracotta pot first and make sure you remove all the dirt and debris.

You need to choose the right brush to perform the task. You can paint the terracotta by dipping a paintbrush into an exterior varnish, terracotta sealer, or oil-based polyurethane.

While painting, make sure to brush an even coat onto the inside of the terracotta pot and allow it to dry completely after applying all the relevant coats. First, start with the inside then finish with the exterior parts. For most efficiency, coat it in three layers.

2. Lack Of Soaking

Have you recently bought a new terracotta pot? Soaking terracotta pots helps them be stronger and helps the clay to retain moisture. This also helps prevent the soil from drying too quickly after planting seeds.

This is an essential procedure before planting to prevent spreading any plant disease. Also, once you purchase a terracotta pot, if you don’t soak, it may end up getting wet easily.

What To Do?

You should soak it in warm water for at least half an hour. This helps to prevent the pot from wicking excessive moisture from the plant.

The pots tend to dry out so quickly, so ensure you don’t make the situation worse. Also, ensure you buy a terracotta pot that is made of high-quality material.

If you have removed a previous plant and planning to plant another, soak the pot by putting it in warm soapy water overnight. You can also decide to add bleach to the soapy solution.

3. Mineral And Salt Spots

Terracotta pots may easily get wet because of mineral and salt spots. Thus, always be careful about the nutrients you give your plants in the terracotta.

Excessive of them can be disastrous. The amount of compost or nutrients you feed your plants needs to be the right amount.

What To Do?

If you want to prevent mineral and salt spots from forming due to water exposure, seal using an exterior varnish or terracotta sealer. This will help ensure the pots last long and don’t affect your growing plants.

However, if there are any mineral spots, you can clean the terracotta pots using warm water and a few drops of dish detergents using a scrub brush.

Alternatively, use apple cider vinegar. When done, rinse the pots then dry with the towel. Ensure they completely dry before you waterproof them.

4. Poor Material

Always be careful when buying terracotta plants. This is because some are made from poor material that will make it ineffective and get wet easily when you water your plant. Hence, this can make it break when you least expect.

What To Do?

Thus, get from the best dealers and purchase something worth the value of it. This will ensure it lasts long.

Also, always look out if you note any cracking on the pot that may deem it as a disaster. If you want the proper growth of your houseplants, ensure you use an ideal pot.

5. Excessive Water Damage

If you use excess water to irrigate your plants, the terracotta pot can easily get wet, and this will be disastrous to your plants.

That’s why you need to ensure you have soaked your terracotta pot before using it to grow a plant. At times we may not be aware when irrigating our plants, thus just use enough water.

What To Do?

To prevent any water damage, it is much wiser to use a glazed saucer. If you use a regular, unglazed terracotta sauce, water will easily seep through and damage any wooden furniture you may have placed on.

Thus use any glazed terracotta saucers, which are normally glazed on the interior to ensure no water seeps through. Terracotta pots normally have drainage holes at the bottom, thus putting a coffee filter will help enhance the drainage of water in the pot.


Did you know that you can use broken terracotta pots to cover drainage holes when you repot the plant? This can either be for indoor or outdoor reasons.

Patina can easily develop on terracotta pots overtime. Thus, you can prevent this by not using tap water to spray your plants. The hard minerals will build upon the clay.

Also, use an organic fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizer to prevent accelerating the build-up. Always purchase your terracotta pot from a credible seller, clean, paint, soak and use minimal water, and additives for your houseplant.