Salts in Ceramic Pots

Occasionally newly installed glazed ceramic pots will develop a white crackly film. It's a common thing that happens with ceramic pots.

For many of our clients this is a natural characteristic of a glazed pot, and they love it. Sometimes in modern balcony gardens, it can detract from a contemporary finish.

Why does it happen?

The reason salting happens is because the moisture within the pot causes the natural salts in the terracotta to seep out through the glaze.

In our experience, we find different batches of pots may have more salt than others - probably due to a slightly different mix.

Lower grades of potting mix can make a difference, and for some reason it is more prevalent (or noticeable) in smaller pots

I don't like it, what can I do about it?

We have found that the following course of action works:

  1. We advise to regularly wipe the pots down. After a few months, the pot runs out of salt and it will stop.
  2. We seal the inside of the pot before planting - this makes it much less likely to happen.
  3. We use a good quality well draining potting mix. We also recommend using feet to elevate the pot.
  4. If it works with the design - we would choose a lighter colour pot or one in another material.