Leaching In Pots

Occasionally newly installed pots will develop a white film or discolouration. It's a common thing that happens with pots containing terracotta or clay.

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

Why does it happen?

The reason leaching happens is because the moisture within the pot causes the natural salts in the terracotta to seep out through to the surface. This may also happen on our Balconylite Fibreglass ranges as they contain a mix of clay / terracotta to retain a natural finish.

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

Lower grade potting mix also makes a difference as colour within fillers in cheaper mixes can sometimes seep through. There may also be local environmental conditions.

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

We have found that the following course of action works:

  1. Read our instructions on Sealing Outdoor Pots before planting - this makes it much less likely to happen. If you are really concerned, follow the commercial instructions.
  2. Using a good quality well draining potting mix to get moisture flowing through freely.
  3. Make sure the pot can drain easily through it's drainage holes. Use feet to elevate the pot and a fabric filter over the holes to help drainage. Read our How To Plant Up Your Pots section.
  4. Don't forget you always have the option of Painting Our BalconyLite Fibreglass Pots after a few years to restore the finish.