Asked on Oct 27, 2014

Can you leave flower pots out over the winter?

by Christina
Is it OK to turn over flower pots and leave them out during winter? Or is it best to bring them in? Thank you.
  17 answers
  • Ginger Robinson Ginger Robinson on Oct 27, 2014
    I have most of clay pots damaged during the winter months. It's chipped them and most have just fallen apart from the cold. The heaver thicker pots have had no problems, but my clay pots don't fare as well. I live in an area with ice storms, weather in the 20's and 30's and some snow
  • In your area I would clean out the dirt(if you are not overwintering any plants) and put them in the garage or shed or even against the house in a protected spot. I put some of mine in a tote that I do not want to get damaged by winter. If you are overwintering plants, then that is a different approach such as finding a protected spot if they are perennials and covering with leaves or in the garage where they won't freeze but stay dormant (and giving them a shower to 'debug'). hope this helps
  • Pam Johnston Pam Johnston on Oct 27, 2014
    Here is what happens to clay pots if you leave them out in the winter weather...they absorb moisture from rain snow etc. and when the temp drops they freeze and the moisture causes them to crack and chip. Best to keep dry and out of freezing temps. if you want them to last for reuse.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Oct 27, 2014
    It looks like you flowers are perennials so I would go ahead and empty the pots now to allow some time for them to dry out a little. Then store them in a garage or shed since getting wet in cold weather just freezes them and they break. If you want pots, they are too expensive to replace. Even the saucers are costly now!
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Oct 27, 2014
    What I usually do is to tap the soil/plants out of my pots and give them a good soap-and-water scrubbing, allow them to thoroughly dry and store them, upside down, out of the weather. Moisture accumulation and temperature fluctuations can damage pots, particularly clay ones. Plastic not so much. The nice thing about doing this is that in the spring my pots are all clean and ready for new plants.
  • MaryAnn Jensen MaryAnn Jensen on Oct 28, 2014
    I'd clean out the pots & store them in a shed or cellar over the Winter. Another reason I'd put the pots away, I like a manicure look to my home whether it's in or outdoors !!! In the Spring, you can start anew !!!
  • Carolyn Hoxton Carolyn Hoxton on Oct 28, 2014
    Here in Iowa, it gets pretty cold, every time I leave a glass, ceramic, or clay pot out, it is ruined, but if I put them in the garage they are fine.
  • Patti @Hearth and Vine Patti @Hearth and Vine on Oct 28, 2014
    A garage or shed is best for clay or ceramics. I do leave my large resin pots outside all winter long and I'm in SW PA - Zone 6.
  • Ruth Wolery Ruth Wolery on Oct 28, 2014
    I live in Zone 5 for colder winters - I put all my pots away in the garage or potting shed for extra protection. I have had them chip and drop clay chipping type of damage. I would rather be safe than sorry. I hope this helps you made a decision.
  • Lreg Lreg on Oct 28, 2014
    No. Empty and put inside or cover so they cannot absorb water.
  • Klm381784 Klm381784 on Nov 02, 2014
  • Christina Christina on Nov 05, 2014
    Thanks all!
  • Anecia Price Anecia Price on Nov 05, 2014
    If any sort of water freezes in or around them, then they will crack and break. If you lived in zone 6 or above I'd tell you to flip them over and leave them out on a porch or in a shed, but if you're going to get any sort of snow, you really need to bring them inside.
  • Kathleen Glasscock Kathleen Glasscock on Nov 13, 2014
    I've never had any luck with ceramic or clay pots left out in the winter. One year I even painted them with polyurethane but I had to redo it again the next year..... best to clean them good and store them inside until after the last freeze
  • Cyndi Neumann Cyndi Neumann on Nov 15, 2014
    I agree with everywhere else, I store my clay pots empty under my house as I have no garage. I do put some plants in my attic to overwinter as I have good light therefrom dormer windows.. Smiles, Cyndi
  • Cyndi Neumann Cyndi Neumann on Nov 15, 2014
    If those are petunia's they won't last anyway as they are annuals, just toss them. As long as they are blooming put in a plastic pot till they die back.
  • I live in the northeast and with our intense winters, we have to take them inside.