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Protecting Planting Containers from the Colder Temperatures

Here at The HC Companies, we manufacture hundreds of thousands of planting containers each and every year for greenhouses and nurseries across North America. As stewards of the industry, we’d like to make some recommendations for your customers at retail about protecting planting containers come the winter.

What you may not know is we also manufacture decorative planting containers for consumers – for the homeowner looking to spruce up their patio, front porch or balcony with beautiful flowers (and a beautiful container to match).

But as the fall temperatures begin to approach the freezing mark, beautiful flowers fall victim to the cold, withering and drying out to our dismay. At this point, that beautiful HC container is now nothing more than an afterthought.

While your flowers couldn’t handle the colder temperatures, have you ever thought about how planting containers will weather the fall and winter temperature drops?

If you already sell garden products to consumers, you’re well aware that decorative planting containers (plastic, ceramic, terra cotta) are not inexpensive.

It’s important to educate the consumer into taking the necessary steps to ensure that their containers will be viable for another planting season come the spring.

Here are a few simple tips for homeowners and businesses on protecting planting containers.

Plastic Pots
These pots are often incredibly durable and can withstand the harsh conditions of winter if left outdoors. However, if you choose to keep soil in these pots, remember that temperature fluctuations could expand and contract the residual moisture still in the soil. This could lead to bottom or side splitting which is not something you can repair.

Terra Cotta, Clay and Ceramic Pots
It’s not a good idea to store these pots outdoors over the winter. As they are porous, they are prone to cracking with the fluctuation in temperatures. To prevent chipping when storing them in garages, on shelves or in sheds, it’s recommended to wrap each pot in newspaper or old towels to provide some insulation and protection.

Protecting planting containers at the end of the season will guarantee they’ll be ready for planting come the spring, while keeping excess waste (those which can’t be recycled) out of landfills.

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